My X-Carve Build (was Mach3 Setup - Please help me)

I’ve finally (mostly) setup my 1000mm X-Carve and built much of the custom control panel. From the pictures you can see it located on a torsion box cart - the remainder of the ‘lid’ still needs to be built and will feature acrylic windows and interior LED lighting. I also custom built the control panel - was a lot of planning and there’s still a lot of extras to be added like power supply (48V, 12V and 5V) and motor current monitoring, arduino data gathering, etc.

As far as upgrades are concerned I ran shielded 18/4 cable to all motors, stiffened the X rail, replaced the eccentric nuts for eccentric spacers, upgraded to 3mm GT2 (I’m not sure if this should correctly be called GT3 or not) belts and pulleys on X and Y axes. I’ll also be adding hall-effect homing sensors. I’m using the G540 so I’ve slaved one of the Y axis motors to the other but have each on their own motor driver.

I’ve attached a few photos of my setup.

I’m planning to run Mach3 (or Mach4?) and am definitely using the G540 motor controller and a SuperPID.

I’m currently running Mach3 in demo (unlicensed) mode and can get the motors to respond to keyboard control, etc. So far so good.

This is where I’m now stuck. I think everything I’ve set up in Mach3 is working but I’m not sure exactly how to do the following:

  • how to I properly set up the motor tuning steps, acceleration, etc.
  • can I set ‘soft’ limits
  • how do I define the bed size to Mach3
  • how do I define a ‘permanent’ machine home position

These may be separate from each other but I suspect they’re all related. Advice is appreciated.

Also, am I correct to set machine zero location of X and Y at front-left and Z axis at top position? When moving X from left to right is this positive? When moving Y from front to back would this be positive? When moving Z from top to bottom would this be positive or negative?


1 Like

1 Like


Hi Chris

I Don’t have lots of time now , but here a first tip .

On mach 3 go to tab settings (i think the last one right side)
on the tab on the lower left is a button for callibration the axis.

First choose the axis then say how much to move. Mark the start point and measure after and set it.

Go for all axis.

On the second tab there is motor tunning there you can set velocity en accel. But there are a lot of great movie guide on the mach 3 website.

Hope it help a bit. Im not an expert :blush:

Grtz Koen

I found where to calibrate an axis and see that it sets the steps on the motor tuning screen.

So this is still my question… how do I determine what the velocity and acceleration should be?

On another note, I did get auto zero functions working so I’m happy about that.

I’m still not clear about setting the velocity and acceleration in Mach3. I’ve sear he online and usually the comments assume the user already knows the speed they need, etc.

My problem is that I don’t known what speed I should be using…

While I wait for your comments, I’ve included a better picture of the control panel interior for your viewing pleasure.


I’ve not gotten too many comments regarding Mach3 so I decide to change the topic to the build of my X-Carve and the cart/cabinet I built for it.

It’s still a work in progress, but today I installed the bed components - basically slabs of 19mm MDF with T-Track slots between them. It’s not a new idea but my variation on the theme others have posted in this forum. I’ve gone with MDF for now but could upgrade to solid aluminum in future if necessary.

The cart isn’t complete but I’ll post pics as it progresses.

Tomorrow I’ll make sure everything is as square as possible to the bed and maybe even do my first test cut to verify everything is working and check the accuracy of my calibration.

Not too much done today - working outside in my yard enjoying the warm weather. I’m in Canada so there wil only be a couple more nice days before the colder weather arrives :frowning:

Did a quick test cut. First ever cut on my X-Carve. I still have to refine the rate and DOC details but the dimensions seem perfect so far.