Aspire and Mach4

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Aspire and Mach4

Postby Gocarter » Sat May 18, 2019 5:44 pm

Is anyone using Mach4 with Aspire? I have always used Mach3, and with good success. I really have not had any issues with it. On the website, they bill Mach4 as a reworking of the software; increased speed, being able to handle larger files.

Does anyone know, are these real world benefits?

I have just purchased a new CNC with 5th axis and 4th axis as well. Since i will be getting a new license, any recommendations?
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Re: Aspire and Mach4

Postby ger21 » Sat May 18, 2019 6:08 pm

Mach3 can handle programs up to 10,000,000 lines, so unless you need bigger than that, it's not a reason to upgrade. But most people do need to turn off the toolpath display in Mach3 with very large files, as the display uses a lot of resources.
Mach4 is a completely different program from Mach3, written from the ground up. WIll it make your machine faster? Maybe, maybe not. Most users claim that the motion is indeed better than Mach3, mainly because Mach3's trajectory planner has several bugs, and limitations (It was written over 10 years ago).

The extremely long delays in Mach4 becoming a viable product led many people to look for alternatives. And there's also the issue of Mach4 relying on third party hardware and plugins. If there's an update to Mach4, or new features get added, you have to wait for the hardware manufacturer to support them. This can take months, or even longer. Warp 9 has been working on their Mach4 plugin for their ESS for at least 4 years? And it still does not support all of Mach4's features.
Most people using Mach4 seem to be very happy with it, though.

I decided to switch to UCCNC, which is very similar to Mach3. It's actively developed, and quickly gaining in popularity. And for the cost of a Mach4 license, you get the software and hardware.
It's not perfect, but it's better than Mach3, and getting better all the time.

Other will tell you that the Centroid Acorn is another good option. I've heard it provides the best motion of any of the low cost controls.
Gerry - http://www.thecncwoodworker.com
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Re: Aspire and Mach4

Postby IslaWW » Sat May 18, 2019 6:37 pm

"Others will tell you that the Centroid Acorn is another good option. I've heard it provides the best motion of any of the low cost controls."

Plus one to that. I have provided numerous Centroid Acorn replacement control systems that replace existing Mach, ShopBot, Rich Auto (pendant) and UCCNC controllers. To a man, users are somewhere between impressed and amazed with the "smooth" and decreases in file run time. To clarify, these are 20,30, 40% decreases in file run time with the same initial feedrates as the original.

Numerous "side by side" comparisons on my YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/Islaww1/videos

One of my purchasers that came from a Shark machine is reporting logged file run times for 3D files in the 50-55% range of previous runs.

Current controllers are breaking from the Mach/Linux business model, in that they provide matching supported hardware that compliments and extends the value of the control software.

UCCNC and Centroid Acorn are prime examples of this, in addition they each also have a user forum that is frequented by knowledgeable company staff.
Gary Campbell
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The Ultimate Woodworking Machine
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Re: Aspire and Mach4

Postby Gocarter » Sun May 19, 2019 1:17 am

Thank-you for the great information. My machine is on its way, so I will stick with Mach3 for now, but will look into the options that you outlined here.
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Re: Aspire and Mach4

Postby kilrabit » Sun May 19, 2019 11:42 am

MACH 3 has been fine for me I have different kind of machines running it, my suggestion is to run an ethernet controller instead of a USB or parallel port. Speeds things up and runs smoother. Most problems with MACH 3 were window settings.
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