Mach 3, Kcam, TurboCNC or EMC2 Users

Discussion in 'ANTIQUE, VINTAGE, & OTHER TYPES OF MACHINERY' started by racecar builder, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. racecar builder

    racecar builder Steel

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    any user's out there?
    how are any of these CNC controller programs
    working for you?

    Have A Nice Day!
     

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  2. brucer

    brucer Active Members Active Member

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    I think it will depend more on what operating system your more familiar with and how much you want to spend... mach3 several hundred dollars... ubuntu/emc2 FREE..
    I'm setting my computer up with a dual boot setup, winXP/mach3 and also ubuntu/emc2.

    My design software is windows based, so more than likely I'll go with the winXP/mach3 so I can have the design software in the shop also... Then again I might use ubuntu/emc2 and just use a large flash drive from my design computer to the cnc control computer..

    I havent made up my mind yet, but the only two control software I would even consider would be mach3 or the emc2, they are pretty much industry standard in the hobby world..

    the biggest problem I find with ubuntu is I woukld like to run wifi on it, ubuntu gives me fits with wifi, other than that I would run it as I find it more stable than XP, plus ubuntu/emc2 is free and works good on older computers...
     
  3. racecar builder

    racecar builder Steel

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    brucer
    when you to use 2 operating systems the hot tip
    is to use a two hard drives and a hardware hard drive switch.
    windows is notorious for overwriting partitons, etc.
    like for instance mine right now is on win 7.
    when i want to change to PCBSD i do this:
    1 shut down win
    2 switch to #2 hard drive
    3 hit power switch
    3 PCBSD starts up.
    when i did it 500 gig hd was $60, switch was $30.
    money well spent.

    Have A Nice Day!
     
  4. brucer

    brucer Active Members Active Member

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    is your win7 32 bit or 64bit?
     
  5. pjf134

    pjf134 Active Members Active Member

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    I used Vector a few years ago and loved it for the tool path altering. I have EMC2 and it works good on Linux. I am going to try Inkscape for gears and it seems to have a lot of features and is loaded on my Win7. I have to see if I can inport it to EMC2.
    Paul
     
  6. racecar builder

    racecar builder Steel

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    bruce
    64 bit.

    Have A Nice Day!
     
  7. brucer

    brucer Active Members Active Member

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    You need to check on what control software will run on 64bit operating system... I dont think mach3 or emc2 will run on 64bit.
     
  8. racecar builder

    racecar builder Steel

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    bruce
    i think ubuntu has a 32 or 64 bit selection during install.
    i mentioned mach3 because it's popular.
    what do you think about hard drive switch?:)

    pjf
    what's vector?

    Have A Nice Day!
     
  9. Gadget

    Gadget Active Members Active Member

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    I've found Ubuntu and EMC2 to be very easy to customize. I've created buttons on my install to do an offset for the plasma torch and router from my laser cross hair. I also added a button to do a Z touch off which raises the tool 3/4" after touch off and compensates for the touch plate. It runs well and is easy to get set up initially. As an added bonus it's free.
     
  10. brucer

    brucer Active Members Active Member

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    I would probably use 2 hard drives and just load windows on one and ubuntu on the other, no need for a switch.. You have the option to choose which hard drive to use on boot up because you choose which hard drives to install the OS on..
    When you install ubuntu, you can put it on a partition and windows wont write on that partition or hard drive that ubuntu is on, unless you choose to...

    I feel the best way to do it would be to have 3 hard drives, one drive being external usb hard drive for file storage and have your operating systems and control software separate on the other 2 hard drives.... dont run raid, its not needed.

    yes ubuntu does have the option of either 32 or 64bit, but the problem is the control software (emc2 or mach3) doesnt run on a 64bit operating systems.. something about the parallel port doesnt function correctly. this is the reason why you see so many running ubuntu/emc2 or winxp/mach3 its proven to perform and from what I've been told the setups are easy and straight forward..
     
  11. pjf134

    pjf134 Active Members Active Member

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    Vector is a program that I use after I insert a AutoCad dxf file into it and pick my tool path or let it do it for me. I have not used it for awhile, but I think you can draw in it too. It makes codes also. It was very easy to use, I did learn it in one day on the job. I do hope it works with Linus system as I have not tryed it yet.
    Paul
     
  12. Gadget

    Gadget Active Members Active Member

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    Bruce,
    You can actually install Ubuntu from Windows and it is nothing more than a file when viewing from windows. You get the option to boot from Ubuntu or Windows on startup and both can be on the same drive. There's a file on the Ubuntu disk that will initiate this type of install. There's also some free CAD software for Ubuntu although I don't know how good it is. SheetCam also has a Linux installation too. As for creating DXF files Inkscape for Linux does fairly well.
     
  13. brucer

    brucer Active Members Active Member

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    yes gadget you can install ubuntu just like any other program and run it from within windows.. I think its called wubi if I remember correctly
    I've never done that type of install but have seen it in action, the only reason I wouldnt want to do that is if something happened to the windows install your done with both at that point, at least with 2 separate hd's you have a backup plan if something happens...

    I wouldnt care to have the linux files mingling around within windows myself, Do you know how well the parallel port would work doing that?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  14. Gadget

    Gadget Active Members Active Member

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    Bruce, the unit I have set up like that is a test machine for my DXF files and also the the EMC2 test version I use to test customizations. I only have it running a virtual machine so I don't know how the parallel port works with it. Mine is set up where you select the OS at boot time. You don't start a virtual Linux within windows so I would expect the parallel to work just fine.
     
  15. racecar builder

    racecar builder Steel

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    gadget

    statement #1
    'I've found Ubuntu and EMC2 to be very easy to customize. I've created buttons on my install to do an offset for the plasma torch and router from my laser cross hair. I also added a button to do a Z touch off which raises the tool 3/4" after touch off and compensates for the touch plate.'

    statement #2
    'the unit I have set up like that is a test machine for my DXF files and also the the EMC2 test version I use to test customizations. I only have it running a virtual machine so I don't know how the parallel port works with it. Mine is set up where you select the OS at boot time.'

    could you sort this out for us?:)

    bob
     
  16. Gadget

    Gadget Active Members Active Member

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    Sure Bob,
    Here's a link to the thread I used when customizing EMC2 for the on screen buttons for touchoff plate and tool offset from cross hair laser.
    http://www.cnczone.com/forums/linuxcnc_formerly_emc2/62423-touch-off_plate_cnc_router.html
    Here's a video demonstration of the functions working on my CNC table.
    [video=youtube;8zDpMoa_heI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zDpMoa_heI[/video]

    For statement 2 I have a Windows machine that I installed Ubuntu on through Windows (there's a file on the Ubuntu disk to do this). At boot time you have the option of booting to Windows or Ubuntu. The Ubuntu install is just a file that runs, not a separate partition on the drive. I don't have this machine hooked to my CNC table, I just use it to make sure my GCode is working as expected before actually cutting something. I also use it to test the touch off function. I've hooked a parallel cable to the machine and just use the wires used for the touch off function with a push button switch and pull up resistor in the circuit.
     

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