Mach4 and GShield / UNO

Not sure where to post this question as it really doesn’t fit anywhere else. Has anyone (is anyone) using Mach4 to control their X-Carve? I’ve been looking through their documentation and cannot tell if it will work w/ a UBS connection to the device. Has anyone tried this? Yes, I’ve used universal g code sender and ChiliPeppr. Both are ‘fine’ but have their quirks and would like to try out some other options.

I really wish that Easel supported uploading a G-Code file…or am I missing something in the feature set there?


Try Chilipeppr

He said he has Chilipepper! lol

Im not sure either, I was trying to research tfor Mach 4 and this is what I came up with from ArtSofts forum:

By default - Mach controls your stepper drivers via the PARALLEL PORT - NOT via modbus (serial or TCP).

If alternatively you’re trying to use your Arduino as a USB based motion controller for Mach - i.e. like the Smoothstepper et al, then you’ll need to write a plugin for Mach and the firmware for the Arduino.

Mach 3 was mostly built around the parallel port, but had plugins that allowed other interfaces (at least that is my understanding). Mach 4 is completely built around plugins for tying to external devices. In theory I don’t know why someone couldn’t write a GRBL plugin for Mach 4, but at this point it doesn’t look like anyone has. I also was having a hard time finding any info about this compatibility. It looks like Artsoft is trying to put the burden on the hardware manufactures to work with them, instead of the other way around. I don’t know where that leaves a program like GRBL.

Sounds like you ended up where I did, LMAO!!

Thanks all for the responses. The problem I am having is that Easel doesn’t come close to what I’m trying to do with this machine, 2D letters and shapes with a static Z value are extremely limiting. I’m looking for a solution to take Rhino CAD files, put them through a CAM program like MadCAM and output to a controller (like ChiliPeppr). The ISO G code post processor is outputting G Code that GRBL machine is having a hard time running properly. Coordinates seem fine but there are other nuances that it seems to trip up on. Namely the speed is very slow (I measured 22 in / min) and I can’t seem to make it go any faster. For example, I bumped up the cutter speed to 500 in MadCAM (for testing, no bit) and the postprocessor output estimated the time to cut the part @ 7 mins (yes, too fast, but this is a test). Once uploaded to ChiliPeppr, it takes 1.4 hours. I’m just trying to figure out where my issue is. Is it in the G Code, the Controller or the system? Is this machine really that slow? (Using the larger Nemo stepper motors btw). Also, I can’t seem to find a G Code spec for GRBL & ChiliPeppr that I can trust. Is there any documentation for what is supported for both and G Code examples?

Again thanks for the responses thus far.

You might want to take a look at MecSoft’s RhinoCam. It is a plug-in for Rhino and you work right in the Rhino UI. I’m too new to this to give a good review of the product, but the company has been super to work with. They have a demo version you can download and try it out. Demo restriction is that you can’t save the CAM output for the rough cuts, but you can use their FreeMill product to save a finish toolpath to test on your machine.

When asked they said that the post processing files are editable so if you can’t find one that works for the X-carve you can create your own.