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.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.
Yeah, unfortunately there are those out there like that.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.
Actually - Mach3 is currently obsolete. ArtSoft no longer supports it. The new Mach4 is the current version.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!