Help With 5 Axis Setup

Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby Jeff Johnson » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:27 pm

Ok here is my problem. I have 4 axis already, If you call it that. My Y axis has a slave drive called A. I then have X and Z. My hardware came from CANDCNC. So I have capabilities of 5 axis. I already have a X Y Z and A port with a 5th port that I already have hard ware installed. My question is, Can I set up Mach to not bother my A drive and designate the rotary drive as B or C , that way I don't have to switch cables all the time. Would I just run 2 Machs , one for the CNC with the slave drive , then one for the rotary? If so then how do I setup mach to not use the A and to instead use the B or C ? I get frustrated because I dont even know what to ask. I haven't carved anything yet but my rotary does move when i switch the cable to the A drive or any other drive. Just cant get it to move through the 5th axis port. Thanks for any help .
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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby bolingerbe » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:51 pm

Jeff,
I have a MechMate machine and my X-axis has a salve. I have the slave set –up as B and use the A output to control my rotary. I also have to setups using Mach to allow the control of the standard CNC and then another copy of Mach to operate the rotary axis. If you take this approach then you should be able to use a standard post processor. I use Mach2/3-WrapY2A and this processor allows the A axis to operate the rotary.

Bryan
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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby Jeff Johnson » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:44 pm

Ok I am finally getting something I can start to make sense of. I have to contact CANDCNC now and ask about ports and pins to do this, or is there somewhere that I can go to that will help me setup in Mach? Anyone else wanna help out here it would be welcomed?
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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby bolingerbe » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:37 pm

Jeff,

You may want to read throw this section on configuring Mach

http://www.machsupport.com/docs/Mach3Mi ... Config.pdf
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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby Jeff Johnson » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:27 am

I sure will. Thanks !!
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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby rdean33422 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:48 am

May I suggest the following Mach3 configuration that I have used on several machines in the past.
First get the latest version of Mach3 as some of the older versions do not handle radius compensation well.
Setup your slave motor on the Y axis as drive B.
Setup your rotary motor as drive A.
There are two reasons for this one being that when using Vectric software you already have the post processors written that wrap to A drive. The other reason is that Mach3 wants your rotary axis on A drive to be able to use rotary compensation.

If you set your Z zero at the center of the axis of the material when you make a program you would then enter in Mach3 on the settings tab "0.0001" in the Rotation Radius "A" box. By doing this the feed rate and speed of the rotary axis is coordinated with the other feed and speeds in the program.

If you set you Z zero at the surface of the material then you would enter the radius of the material in the rotation radius "A" box on the settings tab. This would then correct the feed and speed for the rotary axis automatically.
Either of these options also turns on the yellow LED "Radius Correct" on the "Program Run" page of Mach3.

You will only need one copy of Mach3 on your computer in order to run both conventional and rotary tool paths. You may want to unhook or disable your rotary axis when not using it so that it is not energized.

This setup will allow you to jog all the axis when positioning your machine for cutting a project as well.

Hope this helped some.

Ray
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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby Jeff Johnson » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:23 am

Thanks Ray and Bryan, its kinda sinking in. This is what I was looking for..... 1 program setup to do it. So this will do regular toolpaths plus rotary when I load a rotary file? I need to study it and read a few more days. Do any of you guys know the formula to calibrate the rotary?
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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby rdean33422 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:45 pm

After you have the rotary axis moving go to the "Settings Tab" and click on "Set Steps per Unit". The "Axis Selection" box appears and choose the "A" axis and hit "OK". The next box asks how far you want to move the A axis so enter "360" which would be one full turn and hit "OK". The next box asks how far did it move. If it only turned half way around then enter "180" and hit "OK". The next box asks if you want to save this number select yes and the settings is saved.

Now keep doing the same procedure until it turns exactly one turn per each 360 degree input. After you have it set as close as you can get it then do it again but this time enter "3600" which would be ten turns and set this as close as possible. By now the "Steps per Unit" number should look something like this "9.3475632178" depending on the gear ratio of your rotary axis.

Can't get much more accurate than that.

You will probably want to adjust your velocity for the axis on the "Motor Tuning" page as you go along to speed it up or slow it down for the tests.

Ray
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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby Jeff Johnson » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:03 pm

Thanks again Ray. Would still be wondering around the www aimlessly if you hadnt helped me. Thanks !!
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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby Jeff Johnson » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:57 pm

Ok a silly question. What keys jog the rotary? Like its arrows left, right ,forward, back for X, and Y, pg up ,pg dn for Z ?
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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby fretsman68 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:15 pm

Jeff Johnson wrote:Ok a silly question. What keys jog the rotary? Like its arrows left, right ,forward, back for X, and Y, pg up ,pg dn for Z ?



Jeff, it should be "home" and "end" buttons on your keyboard.

Dave
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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby bolingerbe » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:52 pm

Jeff,

I do use two different SET files as you read and learn you will understand that the SET files are two different configurations in Mach 3. The two things I do differently are on one SET file I only use X, B “X’s Slave”, Y and Z axis and a setup for my X-box controller. During this one my A-axis is disabled and not powered up. On the other SET file I have all axis running X, B “X’s Slave”, Y ,Z and A axis. Also I change the direction of some of the X-box controller leavers because the A-axis causes me to face the machine the opposite way. Now I may be over thinking this but it works for me. I would try to read as much on Mach 3.


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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby fretsman68 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:37 pm

fretsman68 wrote:
Jeff Johnson wrote:Ok a silly question. What keys jog the rotary? Like its arrows left, right ,forward, back for X, and Y, pg up ,pg dn for Z ?



Jeff, it should be "home" and "end" buttons on your keyboard.

Dave


Just noticed that I neglected to mention that this is for the "A" axis. Now this will not apply to your setup (unless you have to changed the rotary now to the A Axis) as I see you're slaving with the A axis.

Sorry about the confusion!
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Re: Help With 5 Axis Setup

Postby Jeff Johnson » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:23 pm

Ok I went into Config and then System Hot Keys and Got the jog buttons down. I am still having trouble setting up all my axis to run under one program , not because the program but I cant get my motor to turn under its own when plugged in to its intended port. I can get it to work when I unplug A axis and run it through there. Its probably a pin/port setting under Mach, yep I gotta read the manual. I need to look up why its running so slow also. I read that on several other post I know. Thanks all I am getting there.
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