CNC Coordinate Systems

I learned G code and wrote my programs long hand on a Kitamura Horizontal Machine center. When bought my Andi WFD I bought AlphaCam and couldnt make it cut a circle and put holes in it. I could write in long hand faster than using the program anyway. That was $9600.00 well spent. Found out after 8 months of trying to make it work and a trip back to Charlotte NC the the ME operating system was the problem with that version of AlpaCam. Put in the updated (bootlegged copy) and it worked fine. By then I lost my Lazy-boy contract.
 

Leo Voisine

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I learned G code and wrote my programs long hand on a Kitamura Horizontal Machine center. When bought my Andi WFD I bought AlphaCam and couldnt make it cut a circle and put holes in it. I could write in long hand faster than using the program anyway. That was $9600.00 well spent. Found out after 8 months of trying to make it work and a trip back to Charlotte NC the the ME operating system was the problem with that version of AlpaCam. Put in the updated (bootlegged copy) and it worked fine. By then I lost my Lazy-boy contract.
Jay, I have written tons of G-Code programs, including Macro-B with tons of variables. We had a couple of guys using AlphaCam when I worked at Johnson and Johnson. I never used AlphaCam but I know the other guys liked it. Back in 1993 while at the IMTS show I came really close to buying a Kitamura Mycenter VMC. I thought is was a nice rugged well built machine. The management at Winchester wanted a different brand to be compatible with what we already had and to have the local service, We landed on a Matsuura VMC. Still a really nice machine.

Long hand programming offers some really nice ability to control EXACTLY what you want, but I would not want to try programming some of the stuff I do now by hand. The Vectric CAM and PP is so good that I can program my machine with super simplicity, no mistakes, and extremely fast. There is no way I can manually write G-Code that way. It is a very minor compromise to what manual g-coding can do.

I can program a simple circle of square with Vectric and have it cutting in the machine, FASTER, in Vectric than by hand.
 
I liked the AlphaCam once I got a program that would work. But as far as support, it was a joke. Real money hungry. I had to threaten them with a lawyer to solve the problem. They out right told me I was to stupid to use their program until I spent another $1000/day for more training. :huh:
 

Ryan Mooney

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I had to look up shuttle mode haha.. Nice explanation here - looks like it could be useful for debugging gcode.


Nice video that covered the basic concepts very well! (y)
 

Leo Voisine

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I had to look up shuttle mode haha.. Nice explanation here - looks like it could be useful for debugging gcode.


Nice video that covered the basic concepts very well! (y)
Actually - Mach3 is currently obsolete. ArtSoft no longer supports it. The new Mach4 is the current version.

I have no need to debug G-Code.
The CAM software is NEAR flawless.
Mach3 has a LOT of functionality to it.

I will be abandoning Mach3 some time this coming winter.
Don't get me wrong, Mach3 is great control software, but I am outgrowing it and want to upgrade.
My new control software will be Centroid Acorn
Tool touch probe
Probing a surface - point cloud mapping
A bunch of other stuff as well.
 

Ed Thomas

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I remember some years ago we had a CNC in the shop and I always set 0,0,0 at the front, left, top corner. Unless we were doing through cuts in which case it would be front, left, bottom corner (to account for stock thickness variations). I also remember too many times my partner wouldn't ask and he'd end up cutting into the table.
 

Leo Voisine

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Ed yes that is a common place to set a work coordinate.

However it is really just a matter of preference.

With lower left corner and top of material - all "X" and "Y" moves are positive and all moves in "Z" minus are IN the cut. That makes G-Code a bit easier to read.

My personal preference is top of material and center of material.
I do vary, depending on the situation.

There are 10 possible ways to set ON the material. It does not matter how it is set, it always works. It just depends of what the personal preference is.

BUT, being a bit innovative there are a lot more options.
 
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