Garyhlucas
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:13 pm
Location: Hightstown, NJ

New user printing to Mach 3

Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:53 pm

Hello,
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.

Thanks,

Gary H. Lucas
Gary H. Lucas

Garyhlucas
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:13 pm
Location: Hightstown, NJ

Re: New user printing to Mach 3

Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:29 pm

Well it looks like no one else is using Mach 3. So I'll have to figure out how to make this work.

Does anyone here understand how the standard printer firmware works to process g-code? Is the E axis the extruder in the G-code? I was expecting that for each X and Y move there would be a corresponding E move. However, it looks to me like the E axis is actually defined as a rotary axis and the g-code indicates a speed. So extrusion is continuous at a constant speed as many X and Y moves are made. Is this correct?

Thanks,
Gary H. Lucas

Garyhlucas
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:13 pm
Location: Hightstown, NJ

Re: New user printing to Mach 3

Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:03 pm

Can someone send me some G-code from Simplify3d for any printer that you know works? I am having a difficult time figuring out what I have to change in Mach 3 to get it to understand the G-code from Simplify3D.

Thanks,
Gary H. Lucas

jsc
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:21 pm

Re: New user printing to Mach 3

Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:48 pm

Hi, Gary. From the questions you're asking, you may find better answers from the reprap community, which is comprised of a lot of people who build and design 3D printers from scratch. This is a slicer forum, and although it is the software you may wish to use, the low level details of how the gcode is interpreted is really a matter for the firmware. Many printers use the Marlin firmware, and if you google "gcode Marlin" you should see among the first few hits a list of all the Marlin gcode commands. Also, this master list of gcodes from Ed Nisley pulls together how they are interpreted by a number of different machines: http://softsolder.com/2013/03/14/g-code ... ster-list/

I am not at my computer right now, but for a Simplify3D sliced gcode file, here is one from Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:267137/#files

Garyhlucas
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:13 pm
Location: Hightstown, NJ

Re: New user printing to Mach 3

Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:34 pm

JSC,
Funny, every forum has told me that someone else will have the answer! However your links did it for me. It turns out that the little test part that I sliced in Simplify3D only put in the E for the retract and reposition at the beginning and end of each layer, not for each line of X,Y code. So that is why I couldn't figure out how it could possibly work. The g-code you pointed me to had the E on each line with the X & Y which makes sense. So I need to work on getting a post to change E to A or use a text editor.

Thanks,
Gary H. Lucas

heliboy
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:10 pm

Re: New user printing to Mach 3

Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:16 pm

I came across your posts on using mach3 for 3d printing. I am using simplify3D with a replicator 2. This works very well. But I have an old shopbot with mach3 board that is not used much anymore. I wanted to convert it to 3D printing and I purchased and extruder for it but have done nothing for the past 6 months. I was wondereing how far you got, and if you would be willing to collaborate on getting 3d printing out of mach3 . All I have so far is that I have to convert E codes to A codes. I am in NJ.

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