Time to upgrade from Mach 3. What are my options?

Time to upgrade from Mach 3. What are my options?

Postby ChrisInEstes » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:58 pm

I'm running Mach 3 on an old XP machine. My control box has a Gecko G540 and a Warp 9 USB smoothstepper board. My goal is a more modern control system.

I know of Mach 4 and the Centroid Acorn stuff. What else is out there that'll work on a Windows 10 machine and still use my Gecko G540. I also want to replace my Warp 9 USB board with something withy a network cable. My USB cable keeps coming loose.

Thanks!
Chris
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Re: Time to upgrade from Mach 3. What are my options?

Postby highpockets » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:31 pm

Great getting to meet you Chris.

I'm in the "early" stages of replacing my Mach3 and control system with Centroid Acorn and a G540.

Just started today after getting home from the Vectric Conference.
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Re: Time to upgrade from Mach 3. What are my options?

Postby ChrisInEstes » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:33 am

highpockets wrote:Great getting to meet you Chris.

I'm in the "early" stages of replacing my Mach3 and control system with Centroid Acorn and a G540.

Just started today after getting home from the Vectric Conference.


Good to meet you, too. I posted over at the Centroid forum, too. It looks like good help is available there. Maybe I can get it done.

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Re: Time to upgrade from Mach 3. What are my options?

Postby ger21 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:07 pm

A LOT of longtime Mach3 users have been switching to UCCNC. Very similar to Mach3, so super easy to learn. Very inexpensive as well.
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Re: Time to upgrade from Mach 3. What are my options?

Postby ChrisInEstes » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:01 pm

ger21 wrote:A LOT of longtime Mach3 users have been switching to UCCNC. Very similar to Mach3, so super easy to learn. Very inexpensive as well.


Thanks, Ger... I'll check it out.

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Re: Time to upgrade from Mach 3. What are my options?

Postby highpockets » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:42 pm

On a recommendation from someone who's opinion I respect I went with Acorn. Part of the big deciding factor (yes it's more expensive), but the controller has an on-board motion controller CPU which takes the load off the Windows computer. Should hookup the Acorn for testing (not to the CNC yet), so I'll start to see how the CNC12 control software works.
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Re: Time to upgrade from Mach 3. What are my options?

Postby ChrisInEstes » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:00 pm

After some reading, I know even less than when I started!

Looks like the Acorn will control 4 axes, so if I build a new gantry, with 2 motors, so it'll home and square itself, then I don't have an output for a rotary indexer, and I'd have to unplug and replug a cable. That's going to be annoying... Or an excuse to build a stand alone rotary machine...

Gerrry, it looks like a CNCdrive UC400ETH board will control 6 axes. Can I make that work with my Gecko G540, and then another single drive so I don't have to do the unplug/replug thing?? I recently learned of S-Curve acceleration Vs linear. Does UCCNC support S-Curve or something like that? I'm reading, but can't find it. I definitely have more wires plugged into my Warp 9 smoothstepper board than the UC400ETH has places to plug in to... Would a UC400ETH replace my Warp 9 smoothstepper stuff, or would I need something else?

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Re: Time to upgrade from Mach 3. What are my options?

Postby ger21 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:33 pm

Gerrry, it looks like a CNCdrive UC400ETH board will control 6 axes. Can I make that work with my Gecko G540, and then another single drive so I don't have to do the unplug/replug thing??


Yes, just plug the G540 into one port, and use a breakout board to connect your additional drive to the second port.

I recently learned of S-Curve acceleration Vs linear. Does UCCNC support S-Curve or something like that?


As soon as they release the next full versionof UCCNC, CNC drive is planning on writing a new S Curve trajectory planner. It'll probably be 6-12 months, maybe a little longer, if I had to guess.
The only low cost control I'm aware of that currently has S-Curve accel is the TinyG.

I definitely have more wires plugged into my Warp 9 smoothstepper board than the UC400ETH has places to plug in to... Would a UC400ETH replace my Warp 9 smoothstepper stuff, or would I need something else?


The Smoothstepper has 3 ports of I/O, while the UC400ETH has 2 ports. If you need more I/O, get a UC300ETH, which is only about $20 more, and has 5 ports, plus analog inputs and outputs.
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