Which software?

General software related questions should be posted here.
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oneweldingpapa
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Which software?

Post by oneweldingpapa » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:11 pm

So I have an older version of Mach3 with servo motors and need to upgrade. I already talked to CandCNC and I can go that route with their Linux upgrade. Flash cut is out of the question. To much money. I am just exploring my options at the moment before I make any decisions. Thought maybe someone out there would have some input on the matter. Right now it looks like CandCNC is my best and most economical option but I’m open to any suggestions anyone might have for me. Thanks.
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The usual fab shop tools.

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robertspark
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Re: Which software?

Post by robertspark » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:13 pm

Linuxcnc
with plasmac GUI
requires mesa hardware

https://forum.linuxcnc.org/plasmac/3723 ... umentation
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Re: Which software?

Post by robertspark » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:24 pm

If you want windows based, I'd suggest uccnc. https://www.cncdrive.com/UCCNC.html
If you want to take a look at the development release http://www.forum.cncdrive.com/viewtopic ... 240#p17337 (it has a new screenset + all the newer features tend to be in the development release {same as sheetcam}, if you want a workhorse .... use the stable release

It is a mach3 replacement.... but you need a UC motion controller. http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/index.php?categoryID=114 ... you can also flip back to mach3 if you want to or over to mach4 (although THC is not enabled in Mach4 I don't believe).

But there is a bit of contraversy about the use of acceleration for the internal THC functionality... I'll leave that for you to read and research and make your own mind up about it and whether its a show stopper for you or a minor issue
http://www.forum.cncdrive.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1740

Basically if you want plug and play, its not far off, and realtivly low cost drop in replacement at ~ 160 ~ 200 USD {motion controller + uccnc licence}
https://www.cnc4pc.com/motion-control/m ... ucx00.html
https://www.cnc4pc.com/uccnc-control-software.html

If you want to be able to modify and change absolutly anything to your liking (if you have the time to do it yourself), Linuxcnc. If you want low cost.... linuxcnc (its free if using a parallel port).... if you need mesa hardware then it will cost a little bit.... the plasmac link posted earlier will be your best read)

There is a very active plasmac thread here which is good to follow about what the latest ideas are:
https://forum.linuxcnc.org/plasma-laser ... -component

If I had the time I'd be more active with it, and if I was to start out, I think it would be more my first port of call, but the learning curve can be steep {if you have a problem or want to go under the bonnet.... like anything under the bonnet I guess if you are not use to it} ..... I know someone will say just install it from the iso image on a bootable usb from here: http://www.linuxcnc.org/testing-stretch-rtpreempt/ and then update to master branch.... etc
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oneweldingpapa
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Re: Which software?

Post by oneweldingpapa » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:56 pm

robertspark wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:24 pm
If you want windows based, I'd suggest uccnc. https://www.cncdrive.com/UCCNC.html
If you want to take a look at the development release http://www.forum.cncdrive.com/viewtopic ... 240#p17337 (it has a new screenset + all the newer features tend to be in the development release {same as sheetcam}, if you want a workhorse .... use the stable release

It is a mach3 replacement.... but you need a UC motion controller. http://www.shop.cncdrive.com/index.php?categoryID=114 ... you can also flip back to mach3 if you want to or over to mach4 (although THC is not enabled in Mach4 I don't believe).

But there is a bit of contraversy about the use of acceleration for the internal THC functionality... I'll leave that for you to read and research and make your own mind up about it and whether its a show stopper for you or a minor issue
http://www.forum.cncdrive.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1740

Basically if you want plug and play, its not far off, and realtivly low cost drop in replacement at ~ 160 ~ 200 USD {motion controller + uccnc licence}
https://www.cnc4pc.com/motion-control/m ... ucx00.html
https://www.cnc4pc.com/uccnc-control-software.html

If you want to be able to modify and change absolutly anything to your liking (if you have the time to do it yourself), Linuxcnc. If you want low cost.... linuxcnc (its free if using a parallel port).... if you need mesa hardware then it will cost a little bit.... the plasmac link posted earlier will be your best read)

There is a very active plasmac thread here which is good to follow about what the latest ideas are:
https://forum.linuxcnc.org/plasma-laser ... -component

If I had the time I'd be more active with it, and if I was to start out, I think it would be more my first port of call, but the learning curve can be steep {if you have a problem or want to go under the bonnet.... like anything under the bonnet I guess if you are not use to it} ..... I know someone will say just install it from the iso image on a bootable usb from here: http://www.linuxcnc.org/testing-stretch-rtpreempt/ and then update to master branch.... etc
Well, you certainly have given me a homework assignment, to say the least. Ok. I"ll read up on it tonight when I get some time. Thanks for all the info. I currently am running Windows 10 on my Dell laptop but I"m thinking I will just purchase a Dell solely for the purpose of running the table. I have Windows 7 Pro. I suppose that would run it ok as a stand-alone.
Oneweldingpapa

The usual fab shop tools.

There are no problems, only solutions.

"There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them." Nietzsche.

oneweldingpapa
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Location: oregon

Re: Which software?

Post by oneweldingpapa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:45 am

Basically if you want plug and play, its not far off, and realtivly low cost drop in replacement at ~ 160 ~ 200 USD {motion controller + uccnc licence}
https://www.cnc4pc.com/motion-control/m ... ucx00.html
https://www.cnc4pc.com/uccnc-control-software.html

So what my understanding is that I can add the UCCNC Software along with the controller and stay with Win10 pro which is what I currently have and I shoud be good to go? Do I need to add a DTHC to the mix?
Oneweldingpapa

The usual fab shop tools.

There are no problems, only solutions.

"There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them." Nietzsche.

robertspark
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Re: Which software?

Post by robertspark » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:33 pm

do you have torch height control at present?
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oneweldingpapa
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Re: Which software?

Post by oneweldingpapa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:09 pm

Yes, the unit I got from Cand CNC had a DTHC added to the package but it was for Mach3. I have no idea if the same one would work with UCCNC software.
In terms of CNC related knowledge, you are talking to a preschooler here by the way.
Oneweldingpapa

The usual fab shop tools.

There are no problems, only solutions.

"There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them." Nietzsche.

robertspark
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Re: Which software?

Post by robertspark » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:17 pm

no problem, do you know which dhtc you have( does it have stickers on it?)
let me look into it for you but I need a bit more info or photos
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oneweldingpapa
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Re: Which software?

Post by oneweldingpapa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:49 pm

Image

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Oneweldingpapa

The usual fab shop tools.

There are no problems, only solutions.

"There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them." Nietzsche.

oneweldingpapa
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:57 am
Location: oregon

Re: Which software?

Post by oneweldingpapa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:55 pm

image.jpg

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Oneweldingpapa

The usual fab shop tools.

There are no problems, only solutions.

"There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them." Nietzsche.

robertspark
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Re: Which software?

Post by robertspark » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:04 pm

Thats quite a nice setup (first time I've seen inside the CandCNC drive grey box)

Gecko drives are good.
Ethernet smooth stepper.... I had one I had great aspirations but the development just took too long waiting for things to happen and then they broke when something changed in Mach4.....
The transformer in the bottom is good (big heavy copper toroidal transformer)

your manual is here (or it looks like it):
http://www.candcnc.net/images/Manuals/D ... ge1-69.pdf
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oneweldingpapa
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Re: Which software?

Post by oneweldingpapa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:35 pm

Yes, I have no problem with CandCNC except that I really do not want to spend any more money if I don't have to. That said I am thinking I will just go ahead and run this off Win10 and see what happens. I was told that the current version of Mach3 is compatible with that OS. If it does not cooperate then I can always upgrade to UCCNC. We learn as we go right?
Oneweldingpapa

The usual fab shop tools.

There are no problems, only solutions.

"There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them." Nietzsche.

robertspark
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Re: Which software?

Post by robertspark » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:26 pm

it may be worthwhile asking Tom about win10 compatibility with mach3 and CandCNC had their own version on mach3 developed version 067 when the last official release was 066 (before they did an update for w10 where something broke)
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oneweldingpapa
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Re: Which software?

Post by oneweldingpapa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:20 pm

Yes, I do want to talk with Tom but he happens to be out of town at the moment. Thanks.
Oneweldingpapa

The usual fab shop tools.

There are no problems, only solutions.

"There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them." Nietzsche.

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Re: Which software?

Post by WyoGreen » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:25 pm

It looks like you have a pretty good system already with the CandCNC system. The reason CandCNC went away from the windows and Mach3 environment had to do with performance and costs (among other things). Mach3 was going away and Mach4 didn't support DTHC Plasma. The Linux path was more stable and cheaper. I upgraded from a Mach3 CandCNC system to CommandCNC, and am very happy with that choice. Things run smoother with fewer problems now.

I don't know why you are wanting to upgrade, but you could just pick up a Windows 7 computer and combine that with Mach3 and have a very nice setup for very few dollars. My CNC router table runs that way and does a nice job. I just don't ever let it update, in fact I don't even let it on the internet.

If you want better performance with fewer headaches, then going with CandCNC's upgrade to CommandCNC is painless, and keeps you in an environment you already know. The screens are just like the screens you use now, and the computer Desktop is not that different from the Windows desktop. The Linux system boots up faster, and has fewer hiccups than Windows.

Anyway, good luck on whatever you decide, Steve
Precision Plasma gantry
CommandCNC Linux controller w/Feather Touch & PN200 hand controller
HT-45 plasma cutter
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oneweldingpapa
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Re: Which software?

Post by oneweldingpapa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:53 pm

"If you want better performance with fewer headaches, then going with CandCNC's upgrade to CommandCNC is painless".

Its only 1k painless lol. I like the idea of it but am reluctant to spend the money but I may have to.
Oneweldingpapa

The usual fab shop tools.

There are no problems, only solutions.

"There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them." Nietzsche.

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Re: Which software?

Post by tcaudle » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:29 am

robertspark wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:26 pm
it may be worthwhile asking Tom about win10 compatibility with mach3 and CandCNC had their own version on mach3 developed version 067 when the last official release was 066 (before they did an update for w10 where something broke)
Well part of that is correct. 067 is just 066 (same code). Our update to fix a bug to let the DTHCIV work with MACH3 and ESS card is version 077 written for us by Art after current Mach owners refused to do any more fixes on MACH3. It's part of our Latest Master Installer XI. It not to fix anything with older hardware we had prior to the EtherCut versions.

There are a lot of things that are not widely know about LINUX and LINUXCNC :. CommandCNC is an extension of LINUXCNC. LINUX file structures are the same as Windows. Linux computers will connect to a windows network or wifi and vise verse and exchange files back and forth transparently. A lot of applications run on both including: SheetCAM, Inkscape , Firefox, and Open office to name a few. So you can draw or CAM process on your Windows PC or laptop, and send it to your CommandCNC computer for cutting or you can choose to do all or part of the process on the Linux side, Total flexibility. The OS is updated "officially" every two years and has a 5 year support window. We just upgraded to 18.04 that is the latest release until 20.04. Its a bare bones OS without bloatware. It has no "built in"applications, like for the GUI presentation, Email, Web browser , file manager , text editor , etc. Those are all separate programs that can be loaded or unloaded at will. A lot of LINUX Packages come with preloaded apps so it just loads and has the features you need but few are required to make it run. It runs 32 or 64 bit hardware and applications and uses the multiple cores in a PC more efficiently.

Do i still use Windows...yes, on my laptop ,although i to took it back to WIN 7 because I hated the WIN10 take over your PC to update trick.Plus several other annoyances with no improvement in performance . There are still a couple of apps I like that are Windows only but I am slowly coming over to the "Dark Side"!

There are still a lot of old MACH3 parallel port PC's out there that still run fine. You can use WIN7 32 bit but the 64 bit parallel port MACH drive will not work.

oneweldingpapa
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Re: Which software?

Post by oneweldingpapa » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:51 am

Thanks Tom for that reply. I think my answer for now anyway will be to get a refurbished dell and install win7 pro on it which I already own. Cheap and it works. I use win10 because Solidworks doesn’t support win7 and that’s what I use for cad. I would stay with 7pro if I could.
Oneweldingpapa

The usual fab shop tools.

There are no problems, only solutions.

"There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them." Nietzsche.

robertspark
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Re: Which software?

Post by robertspark » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:20 am

Tom thanks for the comprehensive response, I learnt something.

oneweldinpapa..... why not run a dedicated pc for your CNC and a laptop or PC for your design software?

I run a fanless pc for my CNC system which is offline and just gets fed USB memory sticks of gcode .... that allows me to control what and when I update things on it

I have just upgraded from a N3150 to an i7 , both werefanless so no chance of metal dust in the pc.

https://m.made-in-china.com/product/Ind ... 55375.html

the n3150 is not really available any more in the same config I had with two network 8nterface cards.

I mainly upgraded to the i7 fanless to improve the real-time capabilities of linuxcnc I have installed on a second drive in a hope of playing with plasmac ... but time is proving illusive at the moment...

https://m.made-in-china.com/product/Ind ... 55375.html

ignore the costs in the links I never paid anywhere near those costs.

the point being you can install whatever operating system you want onto a solid state drive and it will boot very fast and the graphics cards are quite good on both of those if you want to run large or wide or a touchscreen
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oneweldingpapa
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Re: Which software?

Post by oneweldingpapa » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:45 am

robertspark...I agree with you wholeheartedly on that. I just recently installed an SSD in my Dell that I use for cad. A world of difference and when working with large files I don't have to listen to a fan running constantly. I will check out those products and give them some serious consideration. You have been quite helpful in this thread. Much appreciated and thanks.
Oneweldingpapa

The usual fab shop tools.

There are no problems, only solutions.

"There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them." Nietzsche.

robertspark
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Re: Which software?

Post by robertspark » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:34 am

No problem,

Those were just general examples of the ones that I have bought, shop around as the technology changes so regularly. I look at all avenues and touch wood, I've been ok buying them from Aliexpress in the past (all arrived in a week or less via DHL). The last one I bought without memory and HDD because they (in my opinion) look for the cheapest memory about and SSD's ..... and given I'm after reliability I kind of like to buy a reputable brand SSD than any old cheap tat, but the PC I accept that it may pack up but I can just plug my SSD into the next one and be up and running shortly.

Happy to have been able to help / give options.

Happy cutting :Like
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thefabricator
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Re: Which software?

Post by thefabricator » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:52 pm

If you are open to learning a bit about linux, You could have a high end control system that will be superior to anything on the market for a fraction of the cost.

I made the decision to go with CandCNC when I first built my machine and its something I really regret. I stuffed around with that system for a year and a half before giving up and building my own controller.

I use a linux config called PlasmaC. It is written by my fellow Australian linux user and it is the most full fledged plasma controller I have ever used, even including a Hypertherm control which retails for around $40,000 AUD.

I have full THC integrated into the controller using a simple Mesa THCAD10 card.

Getting setup with PlasmaC is simple thanks to the complete set of docs written by the author, http://linuxcnc.org/docs/devel/html/pla ... guide.html

I use it everyday in a production enviroment and do not have any problems what so ever with the software,

Some examples of what I cut all day, everyday,
cross brace cleats.jpg
20190717_142305.jpg
20190717_142227.jpg
20190719_173305.jpg

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Re: Which software?

Post by oneweldingpapa » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:34 am

thefabricator wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:52 pm
If you are open to learning a bit about linux, You could have a high end control system that will be superior to anything on the market for a fraction of the cost.

I made the decision to go with CandCNC when I first built my machine and its something I really regret. I stuffed around with that system for a year and a half before giving up and building my own controller.

I use a linux config called PlasmaC. It is written by my fellow Australian linux user and it is the most full fledged plasma controller I have ever used, even including a Hypertherm control which retails for around $40,000 AUD.

I have full THC integrated into the controller using a simple Mesa THCAD10 card.

Getting setup with PlasmaC is simple thanks to the complete set of docs written by the author, http://linuxcnc.org/docs/devel/html/pla ... guide.html



I use it everyday in a production enviroment and do not have any problems what so ever with the software,

Some examples of what I cut all day, everyday,
cross brace cleats.jpg
20190717_142305.jpg

20190717_142227.jpg

20190719_173305.jpg
Thank. I will definitely look into that. While I am interested in the Linux I also don’t like getting caught up in being locked into a particular system just because. I’m still very much in the learning stages with all the cnc stuff so wading my way through it slowly. Appreciate the information and the link. I’ll check it out.
Oneweldingpapa

The usual fab shop tools.

There are no problems, only solutions.

"There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them." Nietzsche.

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