I've just purchased Simplify3D to use with my Mach 3 controlled CNC machine with a printer extruder mounted. I currently have a 12" x 12" heated bed magnetically attached to the table for printing, but the machine has 18" x 18" x 18" travels. It looks like my maximum travel speed is about 145mm/sec. That was tested with a large router installed and a lathe tool post, so if I drop those off I can lose quite a bit of mass and maybe go a little faster. This is a project with my 10 year old grandson Tyler. However it took me a year to get it all built so he has mostly lost interest. I am hoping that 3D printing may bring his interest back. The machine is a vertical mill, horizontal mill, and lathe at this point with the 3D printing not quite done. It also has a full enclosure with lighting and door switches for safety. I have two spindles, one a high speed router, the other other an R8 with Tormach tooling. We also have air blow off and fog buster mist cooling. So I call it the Ifactory. You can see it here:
http://s811.photobucket.com/user/garyhl ... t=6&page=1
I'd like to ask a few questions. Is anyone else here running a printer with Mach 3? I am guessing I will only be able to use the G-code and may need to set it up differently than for a normal printer. I have heated bed with a PID controller, but Mach3 can only turn it on or off. Temperature control is set from a standalone controller. I also have an extruder, also controlled from a standalone controller, so again it can only be turned on or off by Mach 3. Mach 3 can put out a PWM signal which is usually used for spindle speed. Do you think it will be necessary to give full temperature control to Mach 3 for the extruder? The machine also has a Automation Direct DL06 PLC in it, with an analog input card and PID capability. I could also possibly create multiple temperature selections to allow Mach 3 to pick one.
I am also in the process of building a standalone Delta printer. It has a heated work envelope of 22" diameter x 25" tall, and we plan on using a smoothie board. I have the design mostly done in SolidWorks and have already cut up most of the metal parts. Just need to do all the machining. Hoping my grandson will run most of the parts. This one isn't ours though, it is going to friend with lots of electronic experience. If my grandson gets interested in the printing we'll probably machine up the parts for a smaller version.
Gary H. Lucas