V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

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V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby whitetiger28th » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:49 pm

I recently purchased a Sidewinder CNC that has a Xylotec board and Xylotec Nm23 motors. All operating on an XP machine with parallel port. The first attempt at cutting a 3D model turned out horrible. The design looked like it was melted. I was told to purchase a UC100, which I did. The original post processor that I used was Mach 2/3 Arcs(inch)(*.txt). I switched to USBCNC (INCH) (*.nc). My initial settings in Mach 4 for my machine were 3200 which moved all axis 1 inch exactly. Through the Mach 3 that was previously set up on the machine, the auto stated 3200, 120. I set for 3200, 200. This caused my project to be eaten away during the rough pass. I slowed it down to 120 and I got a somewhat descent model. There is still something wrong! Two issues. First, When I complete the finish mode with a 1/16 tapered mill, the project turns out almost perfect, but there are several deep initial gouges at the bottom of the project, not clean and the same at the top of the project when completed. Within the design there are several stray gouges deep into the wood and across several of the arcs in the design. Please help me determine what settings or issues I am having. Second issue, After I create a new project, select Job type as single sided, Job size x,y,z, Material Surface, XY Datum lower left, High(3 x Slower) Modeling Resolution, and select OK. I import component/ 3D model, .stl file, which looks great! I choose Model size Y 8.6827, X 6.6577, Z .6754 inches, and Zero Plane slider to .3918, which puts the top edge of the project to the surface of the material and select OK. When I look at the project in the Z axis face on, the majority of the design is missing. looks like it falls below the material surface and will not be cut away during production. The only way to get the model to show the entire design is to bring the slider all the way to the bottom, which brings most of the design out and above the surface of the wood. I have tried cutting both ways, the design will cut exactly what is shown when brought to the surface, which leaves the remaining part of the design below the material, and if brought up out of the material so that it can be seen in the 3D view, then the CNC cuts the design all of the way through the wood after about the third pass, which is not how it is shown in V-carve. Please help. I can send pics if needed to show what the design looks like and what it is doing to the actual wood. I feel that some of my settings in Mach 4 might not be correct, that there might be a setting that the UC100 is missing, or that I need to choose a different post processor? The design works perfect on an alternate machine running Aspire, so there is something not quite right with my machine. Please Help!!! :cry:
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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby wmgeorge » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:03 pm

So is the machine a Mach3 controller or what? I think you need to contact the folks you purchased it from and ask some questions.
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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby whitetiger28th » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:27 pm

I purchased from Craigs List. The machine is a Sidewinder CNC, The control Box is a Xylotex Ver 4.03, with Xylotex 23H276-28-4B 2.8A/Phase 1.9N.m. It has four separate driver modules integrated on the motherboard, each going out to a separate motor. There are two parallel ports from the control box that I hooked up a UC100 controller, which goes to my computer via USB. Converts parallel to USB. The software that moves the machine is Mach 4. There is no manufacturer available for questions.
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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby adze_cnc » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:27 pm

Just quoting this and inserting reasonably logical paragraph breaks to make things readable for whomever might be able to provide help.

whitetiger28th wrote:I recently purchased a Sidewinder CNC that has a Xylotec board and Xylotec Nm23 motors. All operating on an XP machine with parallel port.

The first attempt at cutting a 3D model turned out horrible. The design looked like it was melted.

I was told to purchase a UC100, which I did.

The original post processor that I used was Mach 2/3 Arcs(inch)(*.txt). I switched to USBCNC (INCH) (*.nc).

My initial settings in Mach 4 for my machine were 3200 which moved all axis 1 inch exactly.

Through the Mach 3 that was previously set up on the machine, the auto stated 3200, 120. I set for 3200, 200. This caused my project to be eaten away during the rough pass. I slowed it down to 120 and I got a somewhat descent model.

There is still something wrong! Two issues.

First, When I complete the finish mode with a 1/16 tapered mill, the project turns out almost perfect, but there are several deep initial gouges at the bottom of the project, not clean and the same at the top of the project when completed. Within the design there are several stray gouges deep into the wood and across several of the arcs in the design.

Please help me determine what settings or issues I am having.

Second issue, After I create a new project, select Job type as single sided, Job size x,y,z, Material Surface, XY Datum lower left, High(3 x Slower) Modeling Resolution, and select OK. I import component/ 3D model, .stl file, which looks great!

I choose Model size Y 8.6827, X 6.6577, Z .6754 inches, and Zero Plane slider to .3918, which puts the top edge of the project to the surface of the material and select OK. When I look at the project in the Z axis face on, the majority of the design is missing. looks like it falls below the material surface and will not be cut away during production.

The only way to get the model to show the entire design is to bring the slider all the way to the bottom, which brings most of the design out and above the surface of the wood. I have tried cutting both ways, the design will cut exactly what is shown when brought to the surface, which leaves the remaining part of the design below the material, and if brought up out of the material so that it can be seen in the 3D view, then the CNC cuts the design all of the way through the wood after about the third pass, which is not how it is shown in V-carve.

Please help. I can send pics if needed to show what the design looks like and what it is doing to the actual wood. I feel that some of my settings in Mach 4 might not be correct, that there might be a setting that the UC100 is missing, or that I need to choose a different post processor? The design works perfect on an alternate machine running Aspire, so there is something not quite right with my machine.

Please Help!!! :cry:
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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby whitetiger28th » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:51 pm

Thank you adze_cnc for the separation.

I am in a panic to get this fixed.

I have been messing with it for over a month and am frustrated.

I have tried every tip and trick given, purchased additional products and each one get me a little closer to perfection, but for some reason these last two issues will not go away.

Something is missing :?
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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby wmgeorge » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:04 am

Looks to be some sort of kit a google Search leads to this >http://www.garageworxcnc.com/home.html

I wonder how it got to be a Mach4 controller? Have you tried over at CNC Zone?
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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby whitetiger28th » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:51 am

I purchased Mach 4. I am not sure what you mean by how it came to be a Mach 4 controller?

Mach 4 is just software, so I guess that's how it became a Mach4 controller.

The CNC machine (controller board/motors) will run on any controller software installed. I am guessing, and Since it had Mach 3 previously installed, I just upgraded to Mach 4.

I will check out CNC Zone, but I haven't been able to find out any information related to these issues on any forum.

I have watched a lot of videos from Dave Gatton, as he has a Sidewinder CNC in several of his videos.

He stated that there is a step by step for setting up a CNC machine, to get the correct tolerances, movements, etc, but I have yet to find that video.

I believe all of my tolerances are correct as I stated earlier that home and soft limits go back exactly to their position when I move the gantry all over and then press home, or go back to previous position.

How specific do the tolerances need to be. I eyeballed 1inch. If it moved 1.010 inches, then do I need to use a micrometer to put those specific tolerances into Mach 4 when setting up the machine parameters?

Does the 200, 120, 100 movement of the machine matter. I suppose it does from 200 to 100 as my project became more clear and not torn up. Should I adjust it down to 50? That doesn't seem right either.

Any help at this point would be greatly appreciated. I will try anything. Maybe its not the machine tolerances? How about the V-Carve issues, with the project not showing up in the final view, or carving all of the way through the material when the project design is set just above surface and not all of the way through the material.

v/r

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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby whitetiger28th » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:55 am

wmgeorge,

Thank you for the link. I will check it out. That looks to be exactly the video that I just stated in the previous reply that I was looking for. I will have to tear my machine down and go step by step for tolerances as shown. I will post again after I review these videos.

v/r

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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby wmgeorge » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:19 am

Well I found a 5 page Thread over on CNC Zone its not good news. Upgrading to Mach4 is not going to help anything. So you lost all settings that worked in Mach3. You need to find that Thread and read before you spend any more time or money.
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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby martin54 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:20 pm

Personnally I wouldn't have bought mach4, it still seems to have a lot of problems. Mach3 would have run fine with the UC00 you purchased & if you were looking to change control software you would have been better purchasing UCCNC long with the UC100 ontroller.
If you still have mach3 installed then forget mach4 & try using mach3 with the UC100 use mach2/3 post you used previously :lol: :lol:

Most of your problems stem from the fact that you don't seem to know what you are doing (no disrespect meant). First thing you need to do is prove that the machine is set up correctly & calibrated correctly, then you really need to learn the basics before you just in to more advanced projects, the problems you are having may well be due to the STL models you are trying to use. A lot of STL's re produced for 3D printing not cnc machining. If you are using free or cheaply bought STL's then they often contain defects that can cause problems. Prove the machine cuts some of the 3D models supplied with the software first so you have some sort of benchmark to work from. :lol: :lol:
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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby ger21 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:07 pm

My guess is that you're pushing the machine too fast, and it's stalling and losing steps.
Gerry - http://www.thecncwoodworker.com
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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby whitetiger28th » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:51 pm

Martin54,

Thank you for the reply. No disrespect taken. I bought the machine with a bogus copy of Mach 3. Had a lot of issues and would only work in Demo mode, even though the person I purchased it from had it licensed on this computer. Machine was purchased with the computer, hardware, CNC control box and motors. Complete system except software. After three weeks of messing with demo versions of Mach 3 and V-Carve Desktop with constant issues, I read several things in forums about Mach3 and Mach4. I decided to purchase Mach 4 since there are talks of Mach 3 not having any further support and Mach 4 has had most of the bugs worked out.

I chatted with someone who spent 9 months messing with Mach 4 before they purchased it and it has not had any issues with their system. That is why I purchased Mach 4.

I purchased the UC100 based off of Dave Gatton's experience and recommendation with the Xylotex control box and motors. All indications were that they worked well together.

I have adjusted settings calibrated the machine over and over to get it to move to exact coordinates and stop on the point selected. There is nothing that I have found other than running a project to determine if the system is calibrated incorrectly. With all of the stray marks it appears there is something off.

I contacted Xylotex and they state that "The drive just responds to step/dir signals, and doesn't care where they come from." "If the motors are moving properly then the drive is working correctly", that I am having software issues. Stating that it sounds like I have either the feed rate or acceleration (or both) too high in Mach 3/Mach4. Which can cause stalling.

I agree that there is something still not correct. That is why I am asking if anyone can help determine what settings might need to be adjusted. It seems to me that the Y axis is moving smoothly. There are no stray marks in that direction of the design. However the X axis and possibly in combination with the Z axis are causing tooling marks, nicks in the design as if it is moving too fast across the project or not adjusting up on the Z axis properly, every time it goes across an arc. Stalling, lagging? Not sure, because it doesn't do it for 90 percent of the design. Only occasionally, but the occasional stray marks destroy the project.

As for the STL that I purchased from CNC military emblems. Nobody has had any issues. The project has been run on three different machines of people that I know have used that specific design, and they have not had any issues. However they cannot tell me why V-Carve is not allowing me to see the project in its entirety, unless I pull the design up out/over the material surface in V-Carve. Again, probably another setting. Lack of experience. I took a class to do this one thing, so not having the experience shouldn't be the issue. All settings should work as they did in class, with the same programs.

One person selected Vectors around the project to ensure that the initial stray marks that I was getting would not happen on their machine. He ran it with and without the Vectors and there were no stray marks.

Looking for some clarification on step/dir signals, and how I should move forward with adjustments on all Axis.

My current settings are:

X, Y, A motors. A is slaved to Y:
Counts per unit = 3200.00
Velocity units/minute = 100
Acceleration Units/Sec^2 = 2.0
GForce = 0..518038. This setting is not adjustable. Grayed out.
Backlash = 0.000
Reverse ? = Not Checked
Enable Delay (ms) = 0

The only thing different with the Z axis is that Velocity units/minute = 60

Last project ran had a plunge rate of 25.

Thank you for anyone who can give me a better perspective on these issues.
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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby whitetiger28th » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:54 pm

Ger21,

I agree, there are some settings not correct. Please see my previous post for the issues I am having and current settings. Hopefully there is enough there that you could lend some advise.

I contacted Xylotex, they told me everything is working properly with their equipment and to contact Mach for further support. :( :roll:

v/r

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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby whitetiger28th » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:00 pm

Mach contacted me and gave me a link to a copy of the Mach 3 manual. Told me to set up as per the manual and also a link for motor tuning. Going to try these out again. There are more in depth procedures. Well, just testing at larger increments than just 1 inch to verify all distances are travelled equally. Looks like a lot of fine tuning if not set correctly. I will let you know what happens. Hopefully these are the adjustments I am lacking.

v/r

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Re: V-Carve Desktop and Mach4/UC100 Issues!!!

Postby martin54 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:03 am

Yes but if you only have the demo version of mach3 then you are still going to be limited to 500 lines of code. Really when calibrating an axis it is best to try & use the longest length that you can measure accurately :lol: :lol: Can't remember what the mach manual/tutorials say about motor tuning, something like increase until the axis stalls & then back off 10% or something like that, I know I had to reduce my velocity & acceleration by quite a bit more than that to ensure my machine wasn't loosing steps, I could probably now increase both but the machine runs OK & speed is not my greatest concern, there are other mach3 settings that need looking at as well such as CV settings but it has been some time since I used it so can't remember all the settings I had changed or applied, ger21 is your man for that sort of thing :lol: :lol: :lol:
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