"One Perfect Part at a Time"


Reader Email

I received a good question from reader feedback at Ramblin’ Dan’s Store. It was sent to me as a private email, but I think it is worth making my reply public. MPS2000 is a CNC micro-mill produced by MicroProto, the CNC division of Taig Tools. The question is about using a laptop computer for CNC control.

“Looking to see if there is a way to rum my machine (CNC Mill) from a lap top. Has the MPS2000 software been upgraded to true 3D?”

My reply,

Not sure of your question of “true” 3D. I don’t use or support MicroProto (MPS) controllers and am unaware of any (perhaps hardware?) issues about 3D mill operation and the MPS controllers. The software is MACH3 which can certainly run 3D CNC action in 3 or 4 axes on a single parallel port. I have been doing it for nearly 2 decades.

There may be purest fanatics with certain micro accuracy issues with MACH3 and such things as trajectory planning and my answer is, “don’t use it if it is a bother.” In practical use, it works fine for the hundreds of projects I have run. (Because of issues with Windows 10) I recently switched to LinuxCNC. Not perfect either, but is works for what I need. 🙂  BTW… I don’t recommend LinuxCNC to a non-programmer unwilling to hack code.

Tormach for example, has switched to their own (self-supported) version of Linux based CNC called PathPilot https://www.tormach.com/pathpilot.html

The problem with laptops is the built-in energy conservation techniques at the OS or hardware level that may shutdown ports or interrupt the critical pulse timing. Of course, laptops are being used, but there are too many variables for it to be recommended.  One solution is to use an external pulse generator… Continue reading

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