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Can you use Mach 3 on a macbook running bootcamp Windoz xp

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:56 am
by kristenanne77
I have a macbook running windoz xp (bootcamp mode) , a shapeoko 2 with stock arduino and grbl shield.
I am currently checking ot Cambam and Cut2d.

I notice a lot of people use Mach 3 with the ShapeOko. but I don't understand why since the Shapeoko really only does 2.5 d type cutting (with the x,y and axis). and Mach 3 claims to handle 3 and 4 axis..... I do not plan on adding another axis any time soon.

Anyway, if mach 3 "a better way" to implement gcode for the standard Shapeoko setup I mentioned, Will this work on a laptop with the standard usb going to the arduino, or wll it require additional (headache) interfaces? I do not have old fashioned parallel ports on the macbook. Just usb. (its old, but not that old!)


Thanks
K

Re: Can you use Mach 3 on a macbook running bootcamp Windoz

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:18 am
by Brian
The shapeoko can handle 3d milling and the shapeoko is also a 3 axis machine(X,Y,Z)(technically it is a 4 axis but the A axis is slaved to the y axis so they move in unison, with mach3 and the 4 axis board i posted below you can have individual drivers for each stepper) I use mach3 with my shapeoko and I love it, I can easily run 2.5d and 3d gcode on it that i generated with vcarve pro and bobcad.

You'll have to use a standard parallel port that goes to a breakout board and the stepper drivers. The only way to use USB is with a mach3 usb adapter like the UC100. The most commonly used stepper driver for mach 3 would be the tb6560 or tb6600 all in one boards that can be found on ebay for under $100.

http://www.cnc4pc.com/Store/osc/product ... cts_id=481

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CNC-Router-Mill ... 2c876fa734

Personally Id go with cut 2d or vcarve pro if you just want to do 2.5d work.

Re: Can you use Mach 3 on a macbook running bootcamp Windoz

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:12 am
by WillAdams
AIUI, the reasons to switch to Mach 3 are:

- using more powerful motors than the gShield (and other smaller stepper driver boards or some all-in-one microcontrollers) can drive
- needing more axis control than the gShield supports (in particular, one can have separate steppers for the Y-axis motors and have the system control them separately, even during homing, so as to minimize racking of the gantry --- this helps on especially wide machines)
- need additional axes
- need other sophisticated features which Mach 3 affords

Until you hit a specific limitation of Arduino/Grbl/gShield, determine that some other small microcontroller (I'm trying out an Azteeg x5 mini Smoothieboard) won't address your needs, Mach 3 is a needless complication/expense --- once you need one of the features which it brings to the table, you need Mach 3 (or some similarly high-end option).

Re: Can you use Mach 3 on a macbook running bootcamp Windoz

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:32 am
by cvoinescu
WillAdams wrote:- using more powerful motors than the gShield (and other small microcontrollers) can drive
That sentence is a bit confused, Will. The gShield is not a microcontroller, and does not have a microcontroller either; the microcontroller is on the Arduino (the Atmega328P). The same Arduino that controls your gShield, running the same GRBL firmware, can also drive large motors, if connected to large drivers instead of a gShield. Conversely, you can connect a gShield to a PC running Mach3, and have Mach3 control the small drivers on the gShield.

What I'm saying is that the choice of controller and software for it (e.g. Arduino Uno with GRBL, Arduino Mega with Marlin, PC with Mach3, PC with LinuxCNC) is not tied to the choice of motor size. However, some combinations are often used together (e.g. PC and large separate drivers), are designed to work together (e.g. Arduino Uno and gShield, PC and Gecko G540), or, in some cases, are a single unit, with the controller and the drivers on the same board (e.g. Azteeg X5, Smoothieboard, TinyG).

The situation is not helped by some motor drivers (e.g. 4-axis driver boards on eBay) being called "controllers", because that refers to a very different level of control.

Re: Can you use Mach 3 on a macbook running bootcamp Windoz

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:44 am
by WillAdams
Changed it to ``stepper driver board'' --- okay?

and added `` or some all-in-one microcontrollers''

Re: Can you use Mach 3 on a macbook running bootcamp Windoz

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:41 pm
by cvoinescu
It's better, but my point is that you can use large motors without Mach3, so large motors alone are not a reason to go for Mach3 or LinuxCNC. The other reasons are valid.