Mach3 Setup for
CNC Micro Mill & CNC Micro Lathe
Last updated on Saturday, February 11, 2017 09:22:00 AM Eastern US Time Zone
Mach3 Interface, Mach3 Mill Menus, Stepper Motor Tuning, Mach3 Turn Menus
4-Axes Taig Micro Mill CNC Conversion
Taig Micro Lathe CNC Conversion
CNCzone Mach Support Forum Mach3 Configuration Mach3 Manual Mach3 Add-ons for Mill Manual
Mach3Turn Manual Mach3 Threading Setup Manual
These settings are specific to my computer, interfaces, CNC mill, CNC lathe, & machining needs.
The settings shown here are not a substitute for reading & understanding the details of the manuals.
Periodically backup the Mach3 mill & lathe setup files using the Config/Save Settings menu. This places an xml
file into the Mach3 xmlbackups folder. Saving to another off-computer location is also advised. Placing a backup
Mach3Mill.xml and/or Mach3Turn.xml profile into the Mach3 folder restores the settings from that date. If the file is
retrieved from the Mach3 xmlbackups folder, the extension has to be renamed to xml. When I restored the latest
file it turned out to be a dummy file placed there by the new Mach3 installation so I used a file that had an earlier date.
Original Mach3 Mill Screen.
Click on linked thumbnail
Mach3 Mill main screen showing among other things, the DROs. Mach3 setup tutorial.
Updated Mach3 using the PBJ ScreenSets 2012 & 2013. Clean, high resolution screen
sets & the MPG can remain displayed without covering the Mach3 controls. Pressing the
tab key will toggle the Manual Pulse Generator (MPG) mode, ON & OFF. There are
several screen-set errors: Tab indicator "lights" do not work, "spindle" is spelled wrong
in multiple locations, & the Simple Run screen has mirrored DRO information.
Simple Run screen. Mirrored (DRO) information not standard ergonomic practice; may slow reading speed & cause errors.
Program Run screen (Alt-1), showing among many other things, the Digital Read-Outs or DROs. Mach3 setup tutorial.
Manual Data Input or MDI (Alt-2) screen.
Tool Path (Alt-4) screen.
Offsets (Alt-5) screen.
Settings (Alt-6). Auto Limit Override is set ON so when a limit switch is tripped, the machine can be manually jogged back off to close the circuit, again.
Diagnostics screen (Alt-7). When all of the limit/home switches are closed, there are no input signals.
When one of the limit/home switches is opened (active low), all of the input signals light up as they are all wired in series. System Schematic
3D Probing (Alt-3) menu. The 3D Mach3 Probe Plug-in module & a probe (switch) are required.
Mach3 Mill Menus
Mill Config menu. Note the Save Settings item.
Sets the native units of the lead screw. Do not use this dialog box to
change between English & Metric GCode. Only used for motor tuning.
Low-profile LPT2 PCI card.
MOBO LPT1 is the main I/O for the stepper motors & signals like spindle, mist, E-stop, & digitizing probe.
LPT2, shown here, is dedicated to only the MPG pendant control. Lava Parallel-PCI/LP Installation Manual
In the BIOS, I turned-off the two RS232 serial ports & configured the two LPT ports to EPP+ECP.
LPT1 is on the motherboard (0378 hex) & LPT2 is a PCI card (DF00 hex). The Port #1 address
is standard but the Port #2 address can vary so examine the computer's devices menu.
|LPT1 PIN I/O|
|1 - Output||-|
|2 - Output||X Direction|
|3 - Output||X Step|
|4 - Output||Y Direction|
|5 - Output||Y Step|
|6 - Output||Z Direction|
|7 - Output||Z Step|
|8 - Output||A Direction|
|9 - Output||A Step|
|10 - Input||Limits|
|11 - Input||Mill Tachometer|
|12 - Input||3D Digitizing Probe|
|13 - Input||E-stops|
|14 - Output||Safety Charge Pump|
|15 - Input||Spindle Index|
|16 - Output||Spindle Motor|
|17 - Output||Air / Mist / Vacuum|
|18 - 25||Ground|
LPT1 OUTPUTS: 1-9, 14, 16, 17
LPT1 INPUTS: 10, 11, 12, 13, 15
LPT2 is for the MPG pendant interface.
Breakout Board, SCHP, Pendant, Tach & Relay Box C1 breakout board manual.
Motor Outputs step & direction signals.
The motors are set via PCB jumpers to 1/4-stepped & the no idle mode. Stepper Motors & Controller
Input Signals tab. Mill & lathe home/limit input signals are on the same circuit, all wired in series.
Input Signals tab defining the digitizing probe, spindle index, & E-stops. Tachometer/buffer circuit
This Manual Pulse Generator (MPG2) has 4 pulses/detent with 100 detents/dial revolution. Handy Pulser specs.
Encoder/MPG tab. Pendant Manual Pulse Generator (MPG) inputs to LPT2. The MPG2 has 4 pulses/detent.
There are 100 detents/dial revolution. Handy Pulser specs. It is very important to perform the Mach3 jog control CAL.
Disable any Mach3 brains (seeCNC4PC setup guide) that are not in use. The MPG's white button has to be held down during use.
This setup is for the LPT2 pendant C22 v2.4 interface board powered via USB. Use the latest brain Version 4 from CNC4PC.
A brain can be opened within Mach3 & its operations viewed in real-time. The diagnostic tab (Alt-7) also shows all the signal states & changes.
|PENDANT BRAIN SETUP|
Output Signals tab. Control of the 110VAC relay box; turns ON/Off the spindle motor (16) & mist/vacuum (17).
The 12.5 kHz Safety Charge Pump (SCHP) is on LPT1 output Pin #14. C4 safety pump manual
MPG setup tab. This shows the MPG setup using Brains.
The MPG can also be setup using the MPG 4-6 Plug-in & its Readme 1st file.
I found the Mach3 MPG 4-6v3 plug-in control method to be a better implementation than the Brains.
MPG Calibrate window.
Spindle Setup tab.
Mill Options tab.
Stepper Motor Tuning
Tuning for the mill's X, Y, Z-axes & the lathe's X, Z1-axes 3A stepper motors.
My motors are set via PCB jumpers to 1/4-step so 4 x 200 (native) steps/rev = 800 steps/rev, total.
Full or 1/2-stepping may cause mid-band resonance. 1/4-stepping gives me smooth low-speed (5 RPM or less)
performance. It is essential to click Save Axis Settings & OK after making changes & before testing.
(MOTOR STEPS / REVOLUTION) x (LEAD SCREW 20 THREADS / INCH) = STEPS / INCH
(800 STEPS / REV) x (20 REVS / INCH) = 16,000 STEPS / INCH [REV units cancel]
Tuning for the 4th A-axis rotary table stepper motor.
(MOTOR STEPS / REVOLUTION) x (ROTARY TABLE GEAR RATIO 72 REVOLUTIONS / 360 DEGREES) = STEPS / DEGREE
(800 STEPS / REV) x (72 REVS / 360 DEGREES) = 160 STEPS / DEGREE [REV units cancel]
System HotKey definitions.
General Logic Configuration.
Notepad++ using the imported G-Code xml language file is the default G-Code editor as assigned in Gen Logic Config.
The Mach3 Driver Test is located in the Mach3 root folder.
Mach3 Turn Menus
The Mach3 Turn wizard was used to setup cutting threads. For threading, the spindle must have an indexing sensor.
The Mach3 spindle switch must also be ON, even if it does not directly control it, so the program will read the indexing position.
Motor Outputs tab for Mach3 Turn X & Z1-axes. Mach3Turn Manual
Many Mach3 Turn menus are the same as in Mach3 Mill so just the main changes are shown.
Input Signals tab for Mach3 Turn X & Z1-axes.
Input tab for the spindle indexing pickup using LPT1 pin 15. The mill uses pin 11 for its tachometer.
Spindle Setup tab for Mach3 Turn. Some of these settings are for threading. Mach3 Threading Setup Manual
Turn Options tab for Mach3 Turn.
The General Logic Configuration for Mach3 Turn showing the Initialization String parameters needed for threading. See the Mach3 Threading Setup Manual
Diagnostics page for Mach3 Turn. Note a limit switch has been tripped open, lighting-up the X & Z-axes input LEDs. System Schematic
Mach3 Interface, Mach3 Mill Menus, Stepper Motor Tuning, Mach3 Turn Menus