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Question #: 345

Question: DOES MACH3 WORK ON A MAC?

Current Solution

There are several CAD/CAM programs out there for MacOS. Here is a list of a few: http://www.macuser.de/forum/f53/3d-2d-cad-395058/#post4499316
I've also read good things about punchCAD: http://www.punchcad.com/
Of course, there is always SketchUp if you are in a pinch. There are a few CAM plugins for SketchUp as well, but I've never used them, so I can't vouch for them.

CAD/CAM will get you as far as designing your parts and producing the g-code, but if you also want to run the CNC machine with your Mac, you will need a piece of software similar to Mach3 or EMC to run the g-code. I haven't been able to find anything like these programs that runs on Mac, so you may have to run Mach3 or EMC in Windows using Boot Camp or a virtual machine such as VMware or Parallels.

Personally, I would use the Mac to do all the CAD/CAM, then use a cheap PC to run the CNC machine.

Additional Information:


Additional Information:
EasyDNC for OSX
www.dnc-x.com

Additional Information:


Additional Information:
Hi guys I’m new to the cnc and I’m beginning to learn how to operate and cad-cam software also my cnc runs on Mach3 my questions is if I should use MacBook to do all designs if I can have all this software to run on Mac or I have to use windows software to operate it? I have separate small computer connected to the cnc table who have Mach3 on it please help. Also if you know any other software much easy for beginners please let me know thank you guys!
My email if needed is r1jastrzebski@gmail.com

Respond:

Other Possible Solutions to this Question

  • DOES THE SOFTWARE WORK ON A MAC?

    There are several CAD/CAM programs out there for MacOS. Here is a list of a few: http://www.macuser.de/forum/f53/3d-2d-cad-395058/#post4499316
    I've also read good things about punchCAD: http://www.punchcad.com/
    Of course, there is always SketchUp if you are in a pinch. There are a few CAM plugins for SketchUp as well, but I've never used them, so I can't vouch for them.

    CAD/CAM will get you as far as designing your parts and producing the g-code, but if you also want to run the CNC machine with your Mac, you will need a piece of software similar to Mach3 or EMC to run the g-code. I haven't been able to find anything like these programs that runs on Mac, so you may have to run Mach3 or EMC in Windows using Boot Camp or a virtual machine such as VMware or Parallels.

    Personally, I would use the Mac to do all the CAD/CAM, then use a cheap PC to run the CNC machine.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    EasyDNC for OSX
    www.dnc-x.com

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Hi guys I’m new to the cnc and I’m beginning to learn how to operate and cad-cam software also my cnc runs on Mach3 my questions is if I should use MacBook to do all designs if I can have all this software to run on Mac or I have to use windows software to operate it? I have separate small computer connected to the cnc table who have Mach3 on it please help. Also if you know any other software much easy for beginners please let me know thank you guys!
    My email if needed is r1jastrzebski@gmail.com

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    DOES THE SOFTWARE WORK ON A MAC?

  • DOES THE SOFTWARE WORK ON AN APPLE?

    There are several CAD/CAM programs out there for MacOS. Here is a list of a few: http://www.macuser.de/forum/f53/3d-2d-cad-395058/#post4499316
    I've also read good things about punchCAD: http://www.punchcad.com/
    Of course, there is always SketchUp if you are in a pinch. There are a few CAM plugins for SketchUp as well, but I've never used them, so I can't vouch for them.

    CAD/CAM will get you as far as designing your parts and producing the g-code, but if you also want to run the CNC machine with your Mac, you will need a piece of software similar to Mach3 or EMC to run the g-code. I haven't been able to find anything like these programs that runs on Mac, so you may have to run Mach3 or EMC in Windows using Boot Camp or a virtual machine such as VMware or Parallels.

    Personally, I would use the Mac to do all the CAD/CAM, then use a cheap PC to run the CNC machine.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    EasyDNC for OSX
    www.dnc-x.com

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Hi guys I’m new to the cnc and I’m beginning to learn how to operate and cad-cam software also my cnc runs on Mach3 my questions is if I should use MacBook to do all designs if I can have all this software to run on Mac or I have to use windows software to operate it? I have separate small computer connected to the cnc table who have Mach3 on it please help. Also if you know any other software much easy for beginners please let me know thank you guys!
    My email if needed is r1jastrzebski@gmail.com

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    DOES THE SOFTWARE WORK ON AN APPLE?

  • WILL THE USB BREAKOUT BOARD WORK WITH MACH3?

    Sure, the USB interface has a place for 4 axes of limit switches.

    Each axis can have two limit switches: one for the ++ (positive) end and one for the -- (negative) end. The positive end would be the limit switch at the end of the machine that, say the machine has a 4'x8' area, reaches a bit after the 8 foot mark. The negative end would be the limit switch behind the 0 foot location behind the origin. If the origin is in the middle, the negative would be at a little more than the -4 foot end and the positive would be at a bit more than the +4 foot end. Note that you can have more than one switch on each pin where the NC is connected in serial fashion and the NO is connected in parallel fashion (this can be seen on the diagram in the multiple limits switch section). The software configurations for the limits switches are under File -> Settings -> Limit.

    A typical limit switch has three connections on it. These connections consist of COM (common), NC (normally closed) and NO (normally open). The COM would generally go to GND and the NC or the NO would go to the pin. If the NC is used, then the the switch is constantly connected until the switch is pushed (engaged) then the connection from the pin to gnd is broken (open). Use the settings in software to set whether in NC or NO configuration.

    Let me know if this information was helpful (or not) by adding information to this question. Thanks.

    User response:
    Thank you very much for this helpful information. I'm still a little fuzzy on how the 6 limit switches physically connect to each other and to the USB breakout board. You've stated one switch (home) goes to positive and another switch (limit) goes to negative. Are all the GND prongs from all 6 switches connected to each other and going to GND on the breakout board, or no? And the NC prongs, how exactly are they connected to each other? And to the board? There has to be a diagram somewhere shows this visually, no? I don't know how to wire the switches in series or in parallel. I have already physically installed all the switches on the machine and ran the wires to where the board is. Now I just need to know where to plug these wires into the board. Also, taking into consideration that I'm using the Planet CNC software, the only settings I have pertaining to limit switches is "Enable/Disable" for each axis, and the actual limit for each axis. Nothing about NC or NO. Is that only in Mach3?
    Thank you.

    buildyourcnc response:
    On the USB interface, the COM on the switch connects to GND and the NC or NO connects to the input pin (i.e. x++, y--, etc.)

    Limit switch configuration is rather difficult to understand, especially with series and parallel. You can think of series as a single wire going from GND to the axis letter input terminal (i.e. X++ or X--). If the wire is broken, then the circuit is open (or the switch is engaged in a normally closed scenario). Normally closed is like an actual wire, and when engaged, the switch "opens" (breaks the wire). This is why we recommend in some systems that you can put many switches in series on a single pin. When one of the switches is engaged (breaking the connection) then the entire circuit of switches is broken and the machine stops.

    In a parallel scenario, the state of the circuit is always broken until the one of the switches is engaged and the circuit is then closed or connected. The topology looks like a ladder. All the switches connect to both sides of the ladder and the switches are like the runs of the ladder (the horizontal bars that the feet are placed while climbing). Imagine all of the switches broken in this scenario (normally open). It would be like the ladder could be split in two, but if one of the ladder runs (switches) is closed by engaging it, then that run would connect both sides of the ladder and the two sides of the ladder would have a connection.

    There is a diagram on the USB page of the various limit switch configurations. If you need more information (visual and/or otherwise), please let us know and we will immediately add that information to benefit everyone.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WILL THE USB BREAKOUT BOARD WORK WITH MACH3?

  • DOES THE SPINDLE RUN ON A 50HZ POWER SOURCE?

    The spindle inverter (VFD) will run on a 220V (or between 170V-250V) power source with either 50Hz or 60Hz.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    DOES THE SPINDLE RUN ON A 50HZ POWER SOURCE?

  • HOW DO I CALIBRATE IN MACH3?

    In Mach3, go to the Settings Tab, and select "Set Steps Per Unit". It will ask you how far to move the machine. Before you do this, make a mark on the table exactly where the end mill is resting. You can do this by lowering the end mill until it touches the material, then spinning it by hand to cut a small dimple in the material. Then, raise the end mill to clear the material, and assign a distance to move the machine. Once the machine moves and stops, measure the exact distance that it actually traveled with a tape measure, and enter this value into the dialog box that asks how far it moved. Mach3 will automatically adjust your steps per unit for that axis to be more accurate. Do this for all axes often to ensure you are cutting accurately. The longer distances you use calibrate, and the more precise you are with your measurements, the better.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    HOW DO I CALIBRATE IN MACH3?

  • MACH3 CONTROL SPINDLE

    It is not necessary to connect the spindle VFD (Variable Frequency Drive also called an Inverter) to the computer or CNC motion electronics. The VFD can be controlled independently using the control panel on the VFD. The control panel has the ability to control all aspects of the spindle including Speed, Torque, limits, etc. However, you can connect the VFD to the computer so the CNC control program can control the spindle during the CNC Machine operation. You will need to connect the VFD to the computer via a serial conection (in this case, it is the RS-485 protocol).

    The following are instructions on how to connect the VFD to Mach3 via this RS-485 serial connection.

    The first thing you will need is the dynamic link library to pair with mach3 called the Huanyang VFD Mach3 PlugIn. You can find this file at the mach3 support forum here: http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,14182.0.html

    You will also need to download the Microsoft .net 3.5 framework and install it: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=21

    Follow the pdf that comes with the library file, but here is a synopsis of what you need to do (I also added a lot more information that may be useful during this process as the manual does not cover the main connections that need to be done):

    You will need to program your VFD so that it knows how to communicate with mach3 and the computer (go into the programming mode of the VFD and change these parameters):
    - PD001 - value 2 - Enables with communication aspect of the VFD
    - PD002 - value 2 - Enables frequency control from the communcations port
    - PD163 - value 1 - VFD address
    - PD164 - value 1 - Baud rate of 9600 (speed of the communication)
    - PD165 - value 3 - 8N1 RTU - 8 bits (that's the size of the word that gets communicated), N (No parity or no error checking) and 1 (1 stop bit)

    Copy the dll file to the PlugIns folder of mach3.

    Connect the RX and TX lines to your computer. There are a couple ways you can do this, but the recommended way would be to use an FTDI USB device which converts a USB to a serial com port. The device will have Rx and Tx connectors to connect to the VFD terminals with the same labels. This method is recommended since serial ports are not as common in computers these days.

    Next, you will need to configure mach3 to use the plugin library. Start mach3 and click on Menu -> config ->Config Plugins. Enable the new plugin by clicking on the red cross on the left column next to the plug in. Restart mach3 after doing this.

    No you need to configure mach3 to use the HuanyangVFD plugin. Go to the ports & pins configuration and select the spindle setup tab. Make sure that the Disable Spindle Relays checkbox is unchecked. We don't want mach3 to output a signal for a relay since the spindle will start up and turn off within the VFD and not from an external relay.

    Next, go to the HuanyangVFD settings by clicking on Menu -> plugin control -> HuanyangVFD. Set the parameters to the same settings you put into the VFD programming. The com port will be shown as new hardward when you plug in the USB FTDI device. A little bubble will be displayed at the bottom right where it will notify you that a new device is being installed (be patient while windows assigns a com port). Alternatively, you can use the windows device manager to see which port was set for the new USB FTDI device). You may need to restart mach3 several times until you get the correct information displayed in the PD001 and PD002 fields. When the com port is correct and the other parameters, like baud and VFD address is the same as you entered in the programming, then the PD001 and PD002 will show the number 2, otherwise, a 99 will appear which means that communication was not successful.

    You can now control the on/off and RPM of the spindle using the RS485 communication between mach3 and the VFD.

    Additional Information:
    The question was how to connect the spindle to the redfy. I did not receive a VFD.
    I have the redFly system and a 2.2kW Spindle - 110V how do i connect the spindle?

    Additional Information:
    If you received a spindle without a VFD, please contact us asap. Our spindle will not work without a VFD.

    Additional Information:
    Hi, how is this setup in mach4?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    MACH3 CONTROL SPINDLE

  • DOES ANY OF THE SOFTWARE THAT COMES WITH IT COMPATIBLE MAC 10.6?

    There are several CAD/CAM programs out there for MacOS. Here is a list of a few: http://www.macuser.de/forum/f53/3d-2d-cad-395058/#post4499316
    I've also read good things about punchCAD: http://www.punchcad.com/
    Of course, there is always SketchUp if you are in a pinch. There are a few CAM plugins for SketchUp as well, but I've never used them, so I can't vouch for them.

    CAD/CAM will get you as far as designing your parts and producing the g-code, but if you also want to run the CNC machine with your Mac, you will need a piece of software similar to Mach3 or EMC to run the g-code. I haven't been able to find anything like these programs that runs on Mac, so you may have to run Mach3 or EMC in Windows using Boot Camp or a virtual machine such as VMware or Parallels.

    Personally, I would use the Mac to do all the CAD/CAM, then use a cheap PC to run the CNC machine.

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    EasyDNC for OSX
    www.dnc-x.com

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Hi guys I’m new to the cnc and I’m beginning to learn how to operate and cad-cam software also my cnc runs on Mach3 my questions is if I should use MacBook to do all designs if I can have all this software to run on Mac or I have to use windows software to operate it? I have separate small computer connected to the cnc table who have Mach3 on it please help. Also if you know any other software much easy for beginners please let me know thank you guys!
    My email if needed is r1jastrzebski@gmail.com

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    DOES ANY OF THE SOFTWARE THAT COMES WITH IT COMPATIBLE MAC 10.6?

  • HOW MANY SIDES DOES A TRIANGLE HAVE?

    The triangle has three (3) sides. The triangle is a polygon that contains three sides and three inner angles and three vertices.

    Additional Information:
    But if a triangle have a front and back side wouldn't the triangle have 5 sides

    Additional Information:
    Interesting slant (pun). A triangle would have 5 sides if the triangle had a thickness and became an object. A triangle drawn on paper with three lines would still only have three sides. A triangle is a primitive form of geometry (polygon) that can only have three sides in its simplest form. If you add complexity to the triangle with a thickness and count two more sides, then it really isn't the simplest form of the triangle anymore and it becomes another geometrical 3D primitive like a triangular prism.

    Additional Information:
    A triangle has multiply answers for number of sides but is made up of 3 lines.. this is because when connecting the 3rd line to form the shape you create an "inside". so you could say a triangle has 2 sides, an "outside" and "inside" or you could say 4 sides, an "inside" and 3 "outside facings" or 6 sides 3 "outside facings" and 3 "inside facings". none of these answers are incorrect technically. the important thing is that a triangle is made up of 3 inner angles adding upto 180 degree's.

    Additional Information:
    A triangle has 6 sides, there are 3 straight edges in AND out side of a triangle.

    Additional Information:
    I am fairly sure that a triangle has 12 sides (3 insides and 3 outsides on each side).

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    4

    Additional Information:
    4

    Additional Information:
    4

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    HOW MANY SIDES DOES A TRIANGLE HAVE?

  • HOW MANY STRINGS DOES A VIOLIN HAVE?

    The violin has four strings.

    Additional Information:
    3

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    HOW MANY STRINGS DOES A VIOLIN HAVE?

  • WILL THE LASER ENGRAVER WORK ON NON-ANODIZED ALUMINUM

    no, it will only work on anodized aluminum

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WILL THE LASER ENGRAVER WORK ON NON-ANODIZED ALUMINUM

  • MACH3 TUNING

    blueChick:

    X-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    blackToe:

    X-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    blackFoot:

    X-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100 (“0”=down, “1”=up)
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/16 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 11001100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1422.22 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    greenBull:

    X-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 5.43A, 1/16 Microstep
    Dipswitches: 01100110 (“0”=down, “1”=up)
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 5.43A, 1/16 Microstep
    Dipswitches: 01100110
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 914.29 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW8060 (6.0A) Driver”
    Set to 5.43A, 1/4 Microstep
    Dipswitches: 01100100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in


    Scratch-Build / Book-Build Kit:

    X-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100 (“0”=down, “1”=up)
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    Y-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    Z-axis
    “CW230 (3.0A) Driver”
    Set to 1/4 Microstep, 2.7A
    Dipswitches: 10101100
    Mach3 Motor Tuning: 1600 steps/in

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    Scratch built/book CNC with NEMA 34 motors and CW8060 microstep driver

    Additional Information:

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    MACH3 TUNING

  • HOW DO CNC MACHINES WORK?

    A CNC machine takes codes from a computer and converts the code using software into electrical signals. The signals from the computer are then used to control motors. Since the motors can turn very small amounts the machine is able to move in highly precise movements over and over again.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    HOW DO CNC MACHINES WORK?

  • HOW TO CONTROL MY 2.2 KW SPINDLE VIA MACH3

    You can go to our instructions on for the breakout board here: http://www.buildyourcnc.com/item/electronicsAndMotors-parallel-breakout-relay to get the information on turning the spindle on and off from the computer and mach3. Alternatively, you can connect the computer using RS485 serial to the inverter and send control commands that way.

    Additional Information:
    HOW TO CONTROL MY 2.2 KW SPINDLE VIA MACH3 usb

    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:


    Additional Information:
    How should I wire the Mach3 card (red, 4 axis) and the vfd (Yl620-a)?

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    HOW TO CONTROL MY 2.2 KW SPINDLE VIA MACH3

  • WHAT DOES COPYRIGHT MEAN

    Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT DOES COPYRIGHT MEAN

  • WHAT DOES FFC STANDS FOR

    FFC stands for Film Finance Corporation

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT DOES FFC STANDS FOR

  • WHAT DOES YOUR HEART PUMP?

    Your heart pumps blood.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT DOES YOUR HEART PUMP?

  • WHEN MY WORK PROTECTED?

    Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHEN MY WORK PROTECTED?

  • I need info on connecting my vfd to run via mach3. Any videos please? Thanks.

    I will be making a video on controlling the VFD via Mach3 shortly.

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    I need info on connecting my vfd to run via mach3. Any videos please? Thanks.

  • WHAT DOES COPYRIGHT PROTECT?

    Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed

    Click the link to add information to this solution:
    WHAT DOES COPYRIGHT PROTECT?

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