"One Perfect Part at a Time"

computer

MACH4 Thoughts

Quad-Screen-Shot1I am interested in giving the new MACH4 a spin. (Pun intended.) Not that I am so excited about plunking down $200 for a single computer license. The days of the MACH3 single license but multiple copies for a single hobby user are still here but it doesn’t work that way for MACH4.

I currently have three CNC machines in my single shop and a computer for each of them. It’s perfectly “legal” for me to load MACH3 on each computer under one MACH3 license.

I have purchased three very nice refurbished PCs from Newegg for $80.00 (yes eighty) each… Continue reading

Smoothstepper a Champion Again!

Once a real smoothie, then a stumble bum, now a VERY smooth stepper again. One tiny software update can change what became a chunk of lead back into pure gold. I don’t know what made the step controller a forgetful POS but I very pleased it has found its feet again.

I suspect it may have been Microsoft fooling around with the USB ports. It is always easy (fun?) to poke at a large and favorite target like MS. But perhaps it could be whomever wrote the USB driver code for Smoothstepper, left out an unneeded (at the time) refresh… Continue reading

Stumbling Warp9TD Smoothstepper

Update 10/1/12 (see below)

If you have been reading me for awhile, you know I purchased a USB Warp9 TD Smoothstepper for my Taig CNC mill controller. The link in the sentence above is to the last time I posted on the Smoothstepper.

It has been running wonderfully well until my last project. I was doing several roughing tool changes then a long three hour run with a 0.005″ ball end mill. When I was stopping the spindle motor for a tool change I was getting a glitch that would give me an E-Stop in MACH3. I would also get… Continue reading

Other Kinds of Projects and Materials

I am currently doing some design work with microprocessors. The first mission is to control a model boat. My intention is to include some computer “smarts” with some of my new projects. Why? Well, because I like to play with the little computers. I will be using machining to make housings for the computer components and some parts for the boat.

I realize that not all machine shop projects are for the making of other machines. The machine shop is intended to shape materials mostly* by lathe turning or milling into a part or product for any use imaginable.… Continue reading

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