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  1. #1
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    Default So this is what happened.

    Hi All

    It is actually quite daunting to post stuff on a site like this that is full of experts who know so much compared to people like me who are new to it all and know so little. Often you do not even know the questions to ask. The last thing you want to do is to look like is a goose but at the end of the day if making a bit of a fool of yourself is the price of doing what you want to do, it is a price I am quite happy to pay.

    Several months ago I started a thread to talk about the way forward for a very old bloke who wanted to get his head around CNC and the best way to do it. All I want to do is equip a lathe, or maybe two, with CNC capability.

    Long story short. After a very long time including blown up computers and confusion about which boxes I need to tick and which I needed to ignore, I finally got Mach 3 to work on my lathe and was about to purchase a license. I was trying to work out whether it would be necessary to spend more money to buy smart stepping equipment to allow me to use a USB etc etc.

    Then I found out about Acorn. The initial feedback I got was pretty negative which was disappointing because I was particularly attracted to the conversational programming Acorn offered which is not a feature of Mach 3.

    One of the main criticisms I read about Acorn was a lack of support. The more I looked into it the more convinced I became that the accusation of a lack of support did not make sense because there were literally heaps of videos available.

    So I decided that rather than purchasing a licence for Mach 3 I would buy Acorn.

    After a relatively short time, and with incredible support from Marty, today I got it to jog for the first time and will now begin finalizing the installation process. It was a milestone for an old bloke who came to this stuff far too late in life and without the support I have had from Marty and others I would not have been able to do it. At this point I am using the free software but once I get my head around it (and when/if the Australian/US dollar exchange rate becomes a bit more reasonable) I will buy the pro version.

    So my conclusion is that if you are a newbie who would like to venture into CNC I would recommend Acorn without hesitation. The support you get is second to none and you are never left to feel stupid because you have failed to grasp something immediately.

    Woodie

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    Default Re: So this is what happened.

    You have many options today not just mach3 and the acorn, there is uccnc, planetcnc, grbl, linuxcnc. You can get good support with all of these from the developers and or from the user community and most of these are much more powerful than the acorn.



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    Default Re: So this is what happened.

    I am sure you are right. I notice you have 824 posts which tells me your pretty experienced which means that you are coming from a different level of understanding to me. With respect my comments were really directed at people whose ability is more like my own, pretty thin,

    My experience with getting support has been a bit mixed. I have experimented with arduino, downloaded grbl and got steppers to turn but, because I am not a programmer, it became a question of where to from there. I was looking for something that more specifically addressed metal lathes.

    There were two things that attracted me to Acorn. One was that they manufactured both the hardware and the software which meant that they are integrated. The other was their conversational programming was exactly what I was looking for. The backup support I got took me by surprise, I have never had that sort of service before, not ever.

    Woodie



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    Default Re: So this is what happened.

    Glad to hear you have made progress and are getting to where you want to be.

    As is said "the only silly question is the one you don't ask". Everyone starts by not knowing. More so, we have what is called "unconscious ignorance" too. This is akin to not knowing you don't know; everyone starts there to discover they don't know about what it was they now know they don't know, this is the starting point of learning.

    Always be learning :-)

    Never be afraid to ask.

    From another "old" Australian fella, well the Wise Wife says I'm getting old(er) but I can't see it :-)



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    Default Re: So this is what happened.

    Age is a state of mind and only an issue if you allow yourself to think about it.

    For me it is about having something to get you going in the mornings. The fact that we have access to this information base, complete with moving pictures, never ceased to amaze me. And the help that is available is astonishing.

    I started clock making in my late sixties, now CNC in my eighties. Maybe I will retire when I get into my nineties and do law or something different like that!

    Just kidding! I think!

    Woodie



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    Default Re: So this is what happened.

    Congratulations on getting your acorn running. Its a good feeling when you get a computer to move a machine like you want it to. I am in the early stages of testing an acorn but it seems to be working well. I was previously using Mach 3 and had many problems with it. From what I have read the acorn will do everything I need it to do. My biggest concern is reliability. Mach 3 constantly gave me odd problems like it would forget to apply a tool offset. Another time during a multi part run it went to the 0,0,0 position then lifted up and tried to make the part in a completely different place. This was on the 10th part of a 20 part run. It made all the others before it correctly.

    My biggest complaint about the acorn is the lack of documentation as you mentioned. I prefer a written manual. However I will say if you have a problem the information is available on the forum or in a video. Some of the videos are long winded and I just want to know a simple thing some times. If you are the first person to have the problem they are willing to help on the forum. I was able to get Mach 3 configured and running but found it much easier with the acorn.



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    Default Re: So this is what happened.

    it would forget to apply a tool offset. Another time during a multi part run it went to the 0,0,0 position then lifted up and tried to make the part in a completely different place. This was on the 10th part of a 20 part run. It made all the others before it correctly.
    So I must be careful to take care of these issues, I have just converted OKK manual lathe into cnc using mach3. I have just bought my second hand wasino dead cnc lathe (dc servo) and I plan to retrofit it to use Acorn cnc lathe after reading this thread. Thanks for info. old man can do it, I am old man must do it.

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