Mach 3 software (GCode Line limit)

I am looking at testing Mach3.
Mach 3 Demo has a 500 line GCode limit. Just how much can be carved with this limit?

MACH3 won’t work with stock Xcarve electronics as it’s not just a Gcode sender, it’s a CNC control system. It’s an upgraded GRBL.

You’ll need to update your electronics.

And 500 lines won’t do much of a carve.

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mach3 - gecko drive is a power combo. But you’ll need to invest a little bit. Totally worth it though imho.

What do you want to achieve with such a transition?

Mach3 is a great piece of software, but you’ll have to have the full functioning version that allows unlimited lines. 500 lines won’t get you very far unless it is a simple set of codes to do some basic geometric shapes. Universal Gcode sender can do pretty much the same thing, but with fewer bells and whistles. I equate UGS to Notepad, where Mach3 is MS Word. The older version of Mach3 is set up for a parallel port too. It won’t work with a USB without an adapter like I linked below. I’m not sure if current versions are any different, as my version is about 12 years old.

I am a new CNCer. I am using VCarve Desktop. I am looking around for a GCode Sender. I am looking for suggestions. If I am looking for more than what I need, please let me know. There is no sense in spending money that I do not need to.

VTransfer might be something to check out:

The most common Gcode senders used by people here on this forum is:

  • Easel (which can also import gcode from other design suites matched with the proper post processor, aka “translator” between design and machine)
  • Universal Gcode Sender, UGS for short (also require a matched post processor)

I’m using Chillipepper and it works fine. If you want an offline sender check out Universal GCode Sender (UGS).

That’s a dangerous oversimplification of what each program does.

UGS just sends commands to GRBL and then GRBL does the control system algorithm to generate the proper step pulses and directions.

MACH3 is a combined GRBL and UGS. It generates the pulses and The reason why you need a USB adapter is because the USB bus cannot handle the real-time pulse generation that MACH3 does because it’s a digital bus. The old parallel ports were purely analog signals that MACH3 can use to do the waveform generation. USB and Ethernet adapters handle the digital “packets” and make them analog waveforms.

Putting it another way, UGS is a Gcode sender only. MACH3 is a CNC control system. MACH3 replaces GRBL which is why you need different electronics to make MACH3 work.

Those were the Bells and Whistles you just described…:slight_smile: But you are correct, I neglected to mention that the controller isn’t GRBL powered.

the thing about bells and whistles is once you’re used to them you’re wondering how you ever did without :slight_smile:

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Not much. just a start to show the software.