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  1. #1
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    Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Application Probe Wizard (open source) developed for convenient work with the touch probe in Mach3.



    User's manual here.

    Download.

  2. #2
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    This looks great! I can't wait to try it out. My machine is being rebuilt currently. Thank you for sharing this!!
    Mike

  3. #3
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    That is awesome. I have my probe hard wired into my big mill right now (which has an axis down). but as soon as I get a plug on it so I can use it with my other machines I will definitely give your wizard try.

    I've been using Probe-It on the big mill, but wasn't looking forward to buying 4 more license files. LOL.
    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com

  4. #4
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    The application uses a non traditional approach to movements (G31).
    In my opinion this is the best approach to ensure safe movement in Mach3 without straining the user with additional settings.

    Thanks for your good feedback.

  5. #5
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Looks pretty good to me and I'll certainly be giving it a try. I've also been using Probe-it but found the lack of a simple Z-axis probe function occasionally irritating.

  6. #6
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    OK, I had a good play with this today. Mixed results I'm afraid.

    First problem is that any errors during probing results in the routine stopping - as you'd expect - but with the feed rate set to 0. Subsequent attempts to repeat the probe or do any other probe operations produce the same error message as before and the operation fails. Shutting down and restarting Mach3, then this wizard fails to sort the problem. You have to notice the feed rate set to 0 and set it to something sensible yourself before anything works again.

    Once you've worked that out, z probing and simple x+, x-, y+ and y- probing works fine although the extra moves makes it slower than it has to be.

    Outside corner probing is a bit problematic. The start point seems to have to be roughly above the corner but displaced in the y-axis. When you ask for a corner probe, the probe will move away in the x direction before descending in z. It does not move in y before starting the first probe that's always in the x direction. That's fine, except after the probe has finished, the probe tip is left exactly above the corner, so you can't immediately repeat the operation. Do the probe once with auto zero turned on and then a 2nd time with auto zero off to check the repeatability and the 2nd probe will fail or at least produce poor results unless you remember to manually move away in the y direction.

    The internal x and y slot probes are a disaster. First they move in the y direction before descending - not right if you expect to start with the probe tip above the centre of the slot - but worse, after the first edge has been found, the probe then moves in the wrong direction and immediately runs into the same wall again. This causes an error, sets the feed rate to zero and, as noted above, refuses to retry the operation.

    Finally, on exiting the wizard, the system is left in G91, incremental movement irrespective of the mode the system was in at the start.

    It's not bad, and having had a look I can confirm that the code is pretty well written, but it's still going to be probe-it for me I'm afraid.

  7. #7
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Thanks davidloomes for the comments. I confirm this errors. Made an attempt to fix them. Source files updated.

  8. #8
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Thanks for taking the time to do an update, but the download appears to be empty. I've tried several times and just get an empty zip file.

  9. #9
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Sorry, the link is fixed.

  10. #10
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Got the new download and had another look.

    It's certainly better than before, but a couple of foibles remain. To give you an idea, I compared this system with Probe-it on the simple task of finding the spacing between my vice jaws - 42mm as it turned out - using the internal slot probe routine.

    With Probe-it, I jogged the probe to very roughly the centre of the space between the jaws and pressed the button. 10 moves and 16s later I had the answer.

    I then tried this system with the same settings - fast probe at 500mm/min, slow probe at 25 mm/min and 0.5mm back-off before slow probe. The first thing I found was that I couldn't start the probe from inside the vice jaws. I had to position the probe 10mm above the level I wanted to probe and 10mm in the -ve y direction. Not counting the time it took to get the probe to the start position, after I pressed the go button, it took 13 moves and 25s to produce the result - the same result to 0.005mm.

    So the net result is it's fidlier to use and takes fully 50% longer than Probe-it to do the same job. Only thing I can see in this system's favour is an altogether simpler way of just doing a z-probe and set 0. Wish I understood the motivation behind Probe-it's bizarre system.

    On which subject, the thing I _really_ need from a new probing system, is the ability to tell it what the tool no. should be set to and have it check for me that the correct tool is selected and the correct offsets are in effect before it does the probe. I have a collection of tools damaged by setting Z=0 with the wrong tool offset active and I'd like to prevent that collection from expanding any further! Any takers?

    David

  11. #11
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Quote Originally Posted by davidloomes View Post
    It's certainly better than before, but a couple of foibles remain. To give you an idea, I compared this system with Probe-it on the simple task of finding the spacing between my vice jaws - 42mm as it turned out - using the internal slot probe routine.

    With Probe-it, I jogged the probe to very roughly the centre of the space between the jaws and pressed the button. 10 moves and 16s later I had the answer.

    I then tried this system with the same settings - fast probe at 500mm/min, slow probe at 25 mm/min and 0.5mm back-off before slow probe. The first thing I found was that I couldn't start the probe from inside the vice jaws. I had to position the probe 10mm above the level I wanted to probe and 10mm in the -ve y direction. Not counting the time it took to get the probe to the start position, after I pressed the go button, it took 13 moves and 25s to produce the result - the same result to 0.005mm.

    So the net result is it's fidlier to use and takes fully 50% longer than Probe-it to do the same job.
    Thanks for the comparison. You did well with the settings, although my "User's guide" is still quite scanty. I just want to note - if to set Z clearance (Depth of search) = 0 in the settings, you get a measurement without unnecessary movements. Z clearance > 0 is required mainly for outside measurements.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidloomes View Post
    On which subject, the thing I _really_ need from a new probing system, is the ability to tell it what the tool no. should be set to and have it check for me that the correct tool is selected and the correct offsets are in effect before it does the probe. I have a collection of tools damaged by setting Z=0 with the wrong tool offset active and I'd like to prevent that collection from expanding any further!
    Just now I'm working on this. In the near future, I will add functionality for Auto Tool Measurement.

    P.S. Additionally today fixed some bugs found in the Probe Wizard by participants in other forums.

  12. #12
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Update Probe Wizard v.1.1

    Added the ability to auto measure the tool during the execution of g-code for quick manual tool change.



    Sources now in the git repository.

    User's manual here.

  13. #13
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Update Probe Wizard v.1.2

    Fixed initial movement bug for 8 corner buttons.

  14. #14
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    G'day,

    Firstly thanks for the great work on the wizard. I've had no issues with the probing functions that I have used.

    I do come up with a problem using the tool change M6 feature.
    For the first tool change at the start of the program it works flawlessly. but on the following tool change the Z lifts to the tool change height but there is no movement on the X or Y for moving to the tool change position.
    After changing the tool and pressing cycle start, a ---Error! Probe tripped during Z movement appears immediately and the next message I see is ---M6End Script is interrupted.
    My tool height probe definitely did not generate the signal.
    The program then continues with the spindle starting and the tool plunging into the job with an incorrect tool height if left to do so.

    Here is the error list from mach3

    Thu - 09:30:41 ---Program Startup
    Thu - 09:30:45 ---ReConfiguration Estop.
    Thu - 09:30:45 ---Application Watchdog Triggered
    Thu - 09:30:57 ---Homing Z-Axis
    Thu - 09:31:10 ---Homing Y-Axis
    Thu - 09:31:16 ---Homing X-Axis
    Thu - 09:32:04 ---T8 D=6. CR=0.25 - ZMIN=-1. - BULLNOSE END MILL
    Thu - 09:32:04 ---FACE1
    Thu - 09:32:05 ---2D ADAPTIVE1
    Thu - 09:32:05 ---2D CONTOUR1
    Thu - 09:32:06 ---2D CONTOUR2
    Thu - 09:32:08 ---T8 D=6. CR=0.25 - ZMIN=-1. - BULLNOSE END MILL
    Thu - 09:32:08 ---FACE1
    Thu - 09:32:08 ---Tool Change...Press CycleStart to continue.
    Thu - 09:32:09 ---Press CycleStart after Tool Change
    Thu - 09:36:09 ---2D ADAPTIVE1
    Thu - 09:36:48 ---Tool Change...Press CycleStart to continue.
    Thu - 09:36:49 ---Press CycleStart after Tool Change
    Thu - 09:36:57 ---Error! Probe tripped during Z movement
    Thu - 09:36:58 ---Press CycleStart after Tool Change
    Thu - 09:39:01 ---Error! Probe tripped during Z movement
    Thu - 09:39:02 ---No characters found in reading real value , Block = S
    Thu - 09:39:02 ---M6End Script is interrupted
    Thu - 09:39:04 ---External EStop Requested.
    Thu - 09:39:13 ---command killed due to buffer error.

    Hope that might give you an idea of what is going on.
    The problem is repeatable. I'm using the last release version of Mach3 3.043

    Cheers,
    Phil

  15. #15

    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Hello,
    I have the same error on M6.
    My Z axis moving on negative values, maybe its this?

  16. #16

    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Hi Majorstain.

    I had a similar problem using the z probing in the wizard. It turns out that in the SafeMoveZ function (https://github.com/verser-git/ProbeW...acros/M917.m1s line 188) there is a threshold of 0.01.

    If Abs(ZHit - Zstart - Z1) > 0.01 Then

    I don't know exactly why, maybe it's due to the accuracy of the machine, but 0.01 was too small for me. I use 0.02 and then it's fine.

    This function is similar in all files so if you face the problem you may have to change it everywhere.

    Best.

  17. #17
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Hi,

    Can folks confirm the controllers they are using with this? (or if they're just using direct drive parallel port) - I'm using the CDXHXTech mach 3 MK4-V card (this one CNC Mach3 motion control card-MKX-V Products ???????????) and it doesn't work properly - mostly, using any of the probe routines in this wizard just pops up an error, but sometimes, randomly (maybe 1 in 8 times?), it seems to work, and other times it starts the routine but doesn't complete it properly - eg doesn't back off as specified.

    I tried ProbeIt as well - and that also doesn't work properly. Again - randomly, it will seem to work ok (a bit more than 1/2 the time), but when it doesn't work the results are much more dangerous - the prope will suddenly take off at full rapid speed in a random direction. It bent a prope tip this way, it ignored a soft limit and was heading for full rapid end-stop crash before I stopped it.

    Using a probe to automatically position work pieces would be so useful though, so I'm looking for a USB controller that properly supports the Mach3 GCodes needed - either for this wizard or the ProbeIt one - does it exist?

    I don't want to go the gecko route, I've already got some decent drivers that I'm running at 52V and 4.5amps.

    cheers,
    Kevin.

  18. #18
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Quote Originally Posted by n0f8r View Post
    Hi,

    Can folks confirm the controllers they are using with this? (or if they're just using direct drive parallel port) - I'm using the CDXHXTech mach 3 MK4-V card (this one CNC Mach3 motion control card-MKX-V Products ???????????) and it doesn't work properly - mostly, using any of the probe routines in this wizard just pops up an error, but sometimes, randomly (maybe 1 in 8 times?), it seems to work, and other times it starts the routine but doesn't complete it properly - eg doesn't back off as specified.

    I tried ProbeIt as well - and that also doesn't work properly. Again - randomly, it will seem to work ok (a bit more than 1/2 the time), but when it doesn't work the results are much more dangerous - the prope will suddenly take off at full rapid speed in a random direction. It bent a prope tip this way, it ignored a soft limit and was heading for full rapid end-stop crash before I stopped it.

    Using a probe to automatically position work pieces would be so useful though, so I'm looking for a USB controller that properly supports the Mach3 GCodes needed - either for this wizard or the ProbeIt one - does it exist?

    I don't want to go the gecko route, I've already got some decent drivers that I'm running at 52V and 4.5amps.

    cheers,
    Kevin.

    Hi Kevin

    this should apply to any Mach3 probing wizard addon:

    Known to work for X/Y/Z probing: parallel port, CNCDrive devices (UC100, UC300, etc), Smoothstepper, CSLabs CSMIO, PDMX devices.

    Likely to work (haven't confirmed): PoKeys devices.

    Almost 100% guaranteed to NOT work: Any device that likely came out of China (such as your device, dead giveaway being the webpage you link to). They may work for tool touch (z probe only), but as soon as you throw a G31 x### y### at them (even manually via MDI command), they misbehave badly and randomly.


    Sorry to hear you bent a tip testing ProbeIt, but the manual and the webpage for ProbeIt does provide a warning about using chinese controllers, and lists some of the known good devices.

    regards
    Eric

  19. #19
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    Re: Probe Wizard for Mach3

    Quote Originally Posted by eabrust View Post
    Known to work for X/Y/Z probing: parallel port, CNCDrive devices (UC100, UC300, etc), Smoothstepper, CSLabs CSMIO, PDMX devices.

    Likely to work (haven't confirmed): PoKeys devices.

    Almost 100% guaranteed to NOT work: Any device that likely came out of China
    Thanks Eric, yes - I did see the warning on your site about Chinese controllers - but China is a big place! although when I bent the probe tip I realized your rule of thumb definitely applied to my controller. Eventually I re-read your page and saw the notes on controllers that work (I'm an inveterate skim reader) - I ordered a CNCDrive AXBB-E yesterday. It's Ethernet not USB, but that's probably better, and very affordable when ordered direct.

    cheers,
    Kevin.

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