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PM-45M-CNC Setup and Configuration with Mach3

Discussion in 'CNC IN THE HOME SHOP' started by Boswell, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Boswell

    Boswell United States Hobby Machinist since 2010 H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I figured we could use a thread specific to configuration of the Precision Mathews 45M-CNC. This will make it easier for people to find from searches in the future.

    I have attached my XML configuration file. I am not sure if it is directly interchangeable with other systems but likely it is with the one issue that I have the PBJ Multi Interface ScreenSet 2013 installed.
    Just put this in the MACH3 directory and it should show up in the list of systems when you use the Mach3 loader. View attachment PM-45M-CNC.xml
     
  2. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Boswell...

    Hi... Found a few moments and tried this profile. It doesn't seem to be compatible with my system. When I select that profile, the Mach 3 crashes...

    I'll try the older driver in a few moments...

    Ray
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell United States Hobby Machinist since 2010 H-M Supporter-Premium

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    for whats it worth, I am pretty sure I used the newer driver. but I have not heard if you can move XML files between systems or what the gotcha's are.
    It is an ascii file so you can open it with a text editor but it is not formatted to make it easy for humans to read.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here are some screen shots of my MACH3 configuration pages.
    it may take several post to get them all, not sure what the limits are.

    GeneralLogic.jpg Home.jpg Motor Tuning spindle.jpg Motor Tuning z.jpg Motor Tuning.jpg Ports and Pins 1.jpg Ports and Pins 2.jpg Ports and Pins 3a.jpg Ports and Pins 3b.jpg Ports and Pins 3c.jpg Ports and Pins 3d.jpg Ports and Pins 3e.jpg Ports and Pins 3f.jpg Ports and Pins 4a.jpg Ports and Pins 4b.jpg Ports and Pins 4c.jpg Ports and Pins 4d.jpg Ports and Pins 5.jpg Ports and Pins 6.jpg Ports and Pins 7.jpg Pulley.jpg
     
    totalyfrozen likes this.
  4. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Much thanks... It's working fine. Now I need to go back and make sure I understand everything. Most of it makes sense in hindsight but there's a few things that don't make sense.

    Anyhow... A million thanks for the jumpstart!


    Ray
     
  5. ajg308

    ajg308 United States Iron Registered Member

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    How did you get to these settings? I just used the settings out of the PDF on the disk that came with the mill. Yours look different.
     
  6. Boswell

    Boswell United States Hobby Machinist since 2010 H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I started with those, at least where I could make sense out of them. one difference is that I am NOT using the supplied pendent so that is not enabled in my config screens. If I remember the steps per revolutions was not specified or was wrong in the documentation so I worked it out by using the built in calibration mode and adjusted slightly to be a logical number (8000). I then tested this with an indicator. I don't remember what else is different but I know that the screen shots supplied with the red circles did not always have the right information in areas that were not in the circle.

    If you have a question about a particular parameter, I can explain how i came to it.

    and in full disclosure, know that I am computer geek with no cnc or really much machining experience so I could easily have something wrong here.
     
  7. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi all...

    Once again, a big thanks to everyone for helping out. I'm in the process analyzing all the configuration information as I'm privy to some of the stuff that came from China. Some of that stuff was not working when Matt tried it or, it worked but was in Chinese only...

    I shall spend the rest of this weekend researching, reviewing and validating all available information about the basic CNC config parameters. I'll compile it in some reasonable format and share it (by request only) to interested parties here for review and comment. A copy will also to go the fellow in China who integrated the system. It will take a little while to converge on an agreed-upon configuration but, it will be worth the effort. In parallel with that effort, I will also write-up a user manual that describes the basic physical setup and mechanical aspects.

    Ok, standby... We're making good progress...

    Ray
     
  8. ajg308

    ajg308 United States Iron Registered Member

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    That is great, it will be a huge help to all those that follow.

    I spent almost this whole week on this setup, some good instructions would have cut off a couple days.
     
  9. Boswell

    Boswell United States Hobby Machinist since 2010 H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I spend several hours trying to understand why when I told it to HOME the Z-axis would go down instead of up. Took some time to learn about how this is configured in MACH3. I never would have figured it out if it were not for the great you-tube tutorials on Mach3. I highly recommend them them for anyone that is new to Mach3. They cover a lot of ground, not all of it relevant overall worth the time.
     
  10. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Absolutely... I viewed all the videos several weeks ago and they are invaluable. Keep in-mind folks, there's a huge learning curve ahead -actually, several of them. One for the machine itself. One for Mach 3. Another for your CAM software...

    As I take notes, I'm writing things in a logical progression so that future newcomers can hone-in a little faster...

    EDIT: FWIW, I am re-reviewing the Mach 3 tutorial videos this morning... There are 4 or 5 and each is about 30 minutes long.

    Ray
     
  11. ajg308

    ajg308 United States Iron Registered Member

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    I am wishing I would have started on the software long ago. Now I have a functional mill in my garage and don't know how to use it. Doh! The videos have been very useful so far, some I had to watch 2-3 times to grasp everything.
     
  12. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    All,

    So far, I've created a step-by-step set of instructions for installing Mach 3, the driver and, the initial configuration parameters. It is in rough, draft format and seems to work. I did a dry run on the sample G-code for the "roadrunner" program supplied with Mach 3. By dry run, I mean the spindle had no cutting tool and the head was raised artificially high and, the table was centered under the spindle. That sample program is not intended to really cut anything as it only spins the spindle to 60 RPM. It only tells you if your machine seems to be functioning properly. -The good news... It seemed to do everything properly the very first time. I ran the same program several times repeatedly and it ran perfectly each time.

    Fellow member "Boswell" was very helpful in getting the motor control parameters setup -much thanks goes to him.

    I'm going to have a few people review the document before sharing it with wider distribution and I state right-up front, this is in draft format and the integrity of the parameters have not been fully tested and it is "use at your own risk".

    I will say this... The hardware as it arrived was perfectly setup. The limit switches were correct, the motors and all electrical cabinet switch settings were perfect. The integrator who distributes the machine assumes the user knows how to use Mach 3 and how to set the parameters -and that is a HUGE learning curve with much room for user-error...

    I did some very precise measurements with the step function -and much to my surprise, when you tell it to move 0.0001" (one ten-thousandth of an inch) -that's exactly how far it moves! -WOW! I'm impressed.

    My goal is to develop a set of basic instruction on how to install the software, drivers and do a basic sane configuration of the motor parameters. How to use CNC software and learning the ins/outs of Mach 3 is something we'll all have to experience together...

    My goal is to have that basic set of instructions done in the next few days... I'm working on this practically around the clock...


    Ray
     
  13. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    All,

    Here is a first draft of the PM 45 CNC software setup manual... This works well on my machine but, it does not cover machines with manual speed selector gearbox heads. This only covers the variable speed units. The only difference will be that you'll need to setup multiple "Spindle Pulley" configurations whereas, this document only shows one Spindle Pulley configuration. It will be easy to replicate the information for a multi-step machine.

    Again, I'd like to thank all the folks I've been on the phone with who helped me and solved some of the basic configuration mysteries... They shall remain nameless for now as I don't have permission to use their real names.

    Ray

    View attachment PM45CNCBasicSoftwareSetup-1.pdf
     
  14. ajg308

    ajg308 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Thanks, I will work on this tonight. I have to setup multiple Spindle Pulley configurations.
     
  15. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    For now, just set up one and only set the spindle speeds in the range of that one gear. Once you see how to do one of them, you'll see that it's the same thing for the others.

    If for some reason your spindle won't fire-up, I think you'll probably need to change PWM setting on page 21 to something more suitable.

    There's another user here named Zr8cnc who has the same machine as your and his is working. Since I don't have that machine, there's no way I can test it.

    All the other controls are the same...


    Ray
     
  16. zr8cnc

    zr8cnc United States Active User Active Member

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    Ray,

    Great job with the work instruction!
     
  17. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Guys,

    Right now, I'm about to flip my wig on getting the table dimensions and soft limits set straight. I'm thinking of changing the home location to the South West corner instead of South East.

    BTW, the setup instructions do not have table dimensions or soft limits properly set...

    Ray
     
  18. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What a difference a day makes...

    Excellent progress with the machine today! I got the homing and soft-limits working the way I want them. The machine comes pre-configured for Home set at the South East corner of the table -which is apparently more common outside the USA and also in some of the really gigantic machines. All the darn tutorials on YouTube etc have it set on the South West corner, making it hard to visualize/translate all the available instructional materials.

    It didn't take long at all... -Just moved the position of some stop switches and twiddled the software configuration. The soft limits need a tiny bit of tweaking but, it's all but a done-deal right now. I also made progress on setting and using predefined offsets. -Very valuable thing to do... Wow, what possibilities!

    Very soon, I'll be ready to cut some metal.... probably by the end of the week. I'm taking my time and learning EVERYTHING I need, to do this right and not screw things up... Funny how you get that way when around 7 grand is at stake...


    Ray
     
  19. Boswell

    Boswell United States Hobby Machinist since 2010 H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Good to hear you were able to get the Y axis Home switched around without trouble. I look forward to hearing about your results to see if if this is something worth doing on my machine.
     
  20. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Actually, Y and X. The change is easy and the soft limits are fantastic! It keeps you from bumping a switch and then needing to go through all the rigamarole of resetting the condition...


    Ray
     
  21. ajg308

    ajg308 United States Iron Registered Member

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    This is where I am at right now. I have the machine homed at the SE corner and I am trying to flip that to the SW. I think I have the soft limits set as well.

    When I ordered this setup I visualized this all being so easy...
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  22. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Surprise!

    By any chance, did you look at the setup guideline that was posted and if so, was it readable/useful?

    The machine itself is/was pretty well behaved. No technical problems once the software was installed and configured.

    Anyhow, yes... Everything looks easy when you see it on YouTube but when you're face-to-face with a sophisticated program like Mach 3, suddenly, the tail is between the legs, the head bows down and the ears hang to the sides... I can see however that it will get easier once basic familiarity is established and the machine and Mach 3 "have one-ness". It won't be long after that that we'll be bemoaning the hurdles to overcome with our respective CAM packages -and soon after that, we'll bump into the limitations of our economy CAM programs and we'll be bellyaching that we didn't spring for the more expensive software. All of this will probably happen in the next 4, 6, 8 weeks... Life is short. Enjoy it.

    Ray
     
  23. ajg308

    ajg308 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Yes I printed the guide. It was written in English and easy to understand and follow. Excellent work there.

    I agree about the machine, no issues there and it does what it is told. I am trying to learn at least 3 software programs at once, that is the struggle.
     
  24. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Here's an updated version (Draft II) of the Software and Driver Setup manual and an additional draft document covering Homing and Setting Limit Switches. There are two documents because of their large byte size. The first document is just cleaned up a little with no changes to the technical content.

    Please let me know if this stuff is helping you folks so I can get some idea if I'm knocking myself out for nothing... Comments and suggestion for content and to improve readability are welcome.


    Once again, I'd like to thank a nameless person for proofreading the latest doc... Once we get beyond "draft" status, I'll put editor information in there. I'm going to keep these in "Work Instruction" format as I hate pedantic manuals with all kinds of headings, titles, lists of figure -and all that crap. Beef. I want beef -no fluff.


    Ray...

    View attachment ADDENDUM-Homing-1.pdf

    View attachment PM45CNCBasicSoftwareSetup-2 -.pdf
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  25. ajg308

    ajg308 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Ray, thanks so much. I am really new to all of this and have been banging my head against the mill table trying to get this sorted out. I appreciate your efforts immensely. I will report back after reading the updates.
     
  26. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    LOL: That makes two of us... The original manuals were a doozie. Do let me know if things make sense or not. On the second document, I added a tiny bit of background. Mainly though, I'm new to this and one way to challenge my understanding is to write it out in explanatory form.

    BTW: I'm not planning to cover how to use Mach 3 or any particular CAM software as there are hours of videos on YouTube and endless manuals covering those topics.

    Ray
     
  27. zr8cnc

    zr8cnc United States Active User Active Member

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    Ray,

    Amazing job with the limits and home switch document. I will be using it this weekend to set up my parameters. Your efforts are greatly appreciated and we are luck to have a dedicated member like you on this board.
     
  28. ajg308

    ajg308 United States Iron Registered Member

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    I am having a heck of a time getting this thing tuned up. I have used Ray's documents and they are great.

    I was all set to ref all home and when I did the LED lights for the home switches on the diagnostic page are no longer functional, and the home switches don't work. Somehow I turned them off, so now I am back to watching videos and double checking everything to see where I went wrong.
     
  29. Ray C

    Ray C United States Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This happened to me too... When you enter values in Mach 3, you must press the "Apply" button. If you press "OK", the parameters you change are not saved -must press "Apply" first.

    When you get to the Motor Tuning, there is a special "Save Parameters" button that you MUST press.

    I fell for this trap a bunch of times! (BTW: The documents I provided mention these pitfalls but, there's so much to read, it's easy to pass over).


    Hey ajg308, remind me again on what machine type you have (Variable or non-variable) and what options. I'm trying to collect info from folks so I can make the manual complete for all machine types.


    Ray
     
  30. ajg308

    ajg308 United States Iron Registered Member

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    Thanks Ray,

    PM45-CNC 3 axis. nonvariable motor, coolant, one shot lube, pendant unit.

    I've been though the documents and the mach3 videos like 5 times each and can't put my finger on the problem. If/when I figure it out, I will let you know.

    Aaron
     

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