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  1. #1

    Optical Registration Mark Reading With Mach3

    Hello everyone,

    First a little background.

    I am in the signage industry and also do the majority of my CNC work as part of that. Having a CNC machine in this work really isn't an option anymore and we can't really imagine doing most of our work without one.

    There is a problem though - of course.

    A big part of the work that we do is made up of printing a graphic, laminating (applying) it to a hard substrate like foamex (PVC foam board) and then contour cutting it out to a shape, that usually looks something like this -

    The problem here is that we usually do the cut with a jigsaw manually because it is much faster and safer (for the workpiece) than trying to do it our CNC.

    Obviously doing complex contour cuts on the CNC router would save a lot of time and just be all around much easier than doing it by hand but right now that usually entails that you make some kind of registration mark in the artwork during preparation for print. Then you would have to export the outline of the artwork, as well as the registration mark, DFX/DWG/whatever and use that to generate your g-code for cutting later on. Then you apply the print to the board substrate and put it on the CNC for cutting, and here's the rub. At this point your work piece has to be perfectly aligned with the machine so that when you set your zeros on the registration mark, which serves as a reference to where the artwork is, that it cuts exactly along the contour. Doing this once or twice isn't that challenging but having to do it all day long quickly becomes tedious.

    Now if it could be somehow accomplished that a camera reads those registration marks and that then software adjusts the angle of the registration marks in the g-code accordingly to the ones that the camera read then this whole problem would be eliminated. Initially I just assumed that doing this was far too complex to be attempted by a hobbyist but lately I noticed that Mach3 seems to have video capabilities and based on Tweakie's replies on a thread that someone else made to this question it seemed to me that it was implied that this wouldn't be too hard to do.

    Systems like this certainly exist but they cost thousands to tens of thousands of dollars which is not viable for me.

    I do hope that someone with deeper understanding of these things can shed some light if doing this is possible or not.

    In any case I'm looking forward to the replies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Cool Re: Optical Registration Mark Reading With Mach3

    Somewhere on Mach forum you can find some code written by user TweakieCNC.
    I'll try to find it on my computer and to put it here.
    Anyhow, you will need at least two registration marks, and one should be your XY zero.
    I use BigTex Blue screen set that I modified to suite my needs.
    You will need to install camera plugin from Klaus: https://kd-dietz.com/index_eng.html and...

    If you are interrested you can PM me.

    On MDI page
    Click image for larger version. 

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    On Program Run page
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thread on Mach3 forum: https://www.machsupport.com/forum/in...?topic=22932.0
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