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IndustryArena Forum > Machine Controllers Software and Solutions > Controller & Computer Solutions > Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?
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  1. #1
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    Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?

    I have Mach 3 on a mill and have used it on different small machines for years and have lost confidence in it. As for the actual cutting it works great. My problem has been just small bugs that pop out of nowhere. I have had the zero touch plate mysteriously stop working and destroy my bit, I have had just one motor spin on a slaved axis while jogging and damaged my bearings. My latest issue, is if I feedhold when a program is running and then decide to rewind the program and start over, jogging in step mode stops working. I have to restart mach 3 and then it works. My shuttle pro also mysteriously stopped working. I have actually had Mach 3 for years and was quite content with it for a long time, but I just don't want to deal with it anymore. I'm considering other options.

    Mach 4 is completely new but whether it is reasonable or not, I have lost confidence in it as well because it was coming soon for years and when it finally came out it still seems to be in perpetual beta and the focus just seems to be bout having lots of features and not a solid reliable basic control. I hope I am wrong because it looks good. Then there is flash cut. I looks awesome any I keep reading about how reliable it is. However it costs $1300, which I think is a decent price considering the technical support, if it included spindle speed control. Nope, it will cost an extra $500 for a total of $1800. They also have a terrible excuse for a pendant. I have seen some decent reports of UCCNC but it appears to be in development. Then there is EdingCNC...I'm trying to figure out why this control is not more popular here in the states. What am I missing here? With the current exchange rate, one can get a 4 axis usb controller for $277 and $366 for the ethernet version and software is included. Lots of inputs output, 1-10v output for spindle control. The GUI looks good to me too. Lots of nice features and to me it is ideal that the software company also makes the hardware thus are forced to make sure they operate seamlessly when updates are made. lots of OEMS seem to use it in Germany and various contries, but nobody seems to use it in the US. Any thoughts? I have to find a new control for my build and it looks very good on the surface and pretty cheap too.

  2. #2
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    Re: Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?

    You have lots of options you haven't even touched upon. For example EMC/LinuxCNC, KFlop, GRBL and its derivatives, or more elaborate controllers like Centroid. Those are quick and off the top of my head, there are many other low end controllers out there.

    As for EdingCNC I've heard good things but I don't think it is actively marketed in the USA. That isn't really surprising as doing a good job of supporting hardware in a foreign country isn't that easy for a small operation.

    In the end more info about the type of machine this control will go on is in order.

  3. #3
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    Re: Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?

    I use edingCNC stuff and it's one of the better controls I've used. And Bert is very quick with email response. Ordering is quick too, no more than a few days to the US. You can download the software and run it in simulation mode. Very professional looking interface.

    I think one concern is the pin outs are not compatible with Mach3 so it will require either rewiring or making a custom parallel cable if you're interfacing with a Mach3 drive box you already have. I did just that to interface with a G540.

  4. #4
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    Re: Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?

    ALL controllers have issues. All of them.
    Some are important, some are not.

    None of the issues are documented anywhere.

    Some of the issues are various faults and problems related to homing, slaving, step/dir spindles, probing, lack of css (lathe), bugs or not working with threading, not threading correctly, no rear toolpost, compensation(s) screwed.

    The best solution, at the moment, is a csmio.
    Both in terms of hardware, speed, reliabiliy, nr of issues, and plugin sw support.

    Its quite expensive for a full lathe setup, I have spent about 1500€ so far on csmio, +500 on the various bits and pieces required.
    My lathe has about 100 io atm, and its an industrial quality setup.

    I would never use any of the usb stuff again, only ethernet, for many reasons.
    Pokeys+cncaddon is good and cheap.

  5. #5
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?

    I hope to get my new router this winter, and I'm in the same boat. Right now, I like UCCNC, but would like to see it mature a little more.
    Every time it looks like Mach4 is getting closer, it seems to take a step backwards. I was looking for a more industrial system, and was originally looking at Mach4 with a CSMIO board. I read a few days ago that CS Labs is not supporting their mach4 plugins until mach4 is finished, and they don't feel that it is right now.
    If I had to buy right now, I'd go with EdingCNC. But I do know people that are successfully using UCCNC, and it performs much better than Mach3 does.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  6. #6
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    Re: Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?

    Quote Originally Posted by hanermo View Post
    ALL controllers have issues. All of them.
    Some are important, some are not.

    None of the issues are documented anywhere.

    Some of the issues are various faults and problems related to homing, slaving, step/dir spindles, probing, lack of css (lathe), bugs or not working with threading, not threading correctly, no rear toolpost, compensation(s) screwed.

    The best solution, at the moment, is a csmio.
    Both in terms of hardware, speed, reliabiliy, nr of issues, and plugin sw support.

    Its quite expensive for a full lathe setup, I have spent about 1500€ so far on csmio, +500 on the various bits and pieces required.
    My lathe has about 100 io atm, and its an industrial quality setup.

    I would never use any of the usb stuff again, only ethernet, for many reasons.
    Pokeys+cncaddon is good and cheap.
    Csmio is great, but frankly it costs more than most people's entire machines here and likely overkill for even some serious enthusiasts or low to mid level DIY production. And you're still using Mach. I'd save the 1200euro, get the EdingCNC (which has no known USB problems since the software is written to be fully Windows compatible) and use that money to upgrade the drives and motors, or for better CAM.

  7. #7
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?

    And you're still using Mach. I'd save the 1200euro,
    The IP/S is a little less than 1/2 that much.
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  8. #8
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    Re: Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?

    EVERYTHING - USB has problems with CNC machines.
    Short cables. Noise.Buffer. Latency. GALVANIC issues.

    I dont want to denigrate Eding ..

    Its very, very hard to do a good controller.
    There are 8 modals, and conditional coding, and and and..


    The better eding stuff is 999€, so its not so cheap.
    Its also slow, 125 khz, for advanced cpub best version below industrial.
    CSMIO is 4 Mhz.

    I need 256 kHz, or more, 512 kHz is enough, at the moment, but soon it will be 2 Mhz.
    For servos, like on all really good stuff.

    Honestly, the eding stuff is probably pretty good on basic simple stuff like 3-axis machines without (servo) spindle control.
    Even my mill, a full blown vmc scratch built, would likely run fine with the eding stuff.
    Edit: I looked at the pdfs.
    It looks pretty good, and emc compatibility is a big plus.
    Its still 999€.

    There are no docs, like everyone else.

    Step dir spindles on 6 axis machines ?
    Servo support on spindle ?
    Multi-spindle support ?
    Dual spindle lathe support ? With servos ? Sync ?
    Threading with encoder feedback ? (CRITICAL for me).
    Compensations on tool library ?

    NOTE:
    All above exist or are supported / will be supported with CSMIO / mach4.
    I need or wish for all above.

    I am extremely happy with mach3. Its tremendously reliable.
    The various quirks and bugs exist, but are stable.

    Again:
    The eding stuff is probably ok. For many users, its probably a good option.

    A pokeys solution is 240€ or so for an EXCELLENT ethernet based 4 axis controller, 125 kHz.
    With great plugin sw + support.
    And the best support for MPGs anywhere.
    Works as well as a 100k€ haas with handwheels.
    Cheap and good.

    Quote Originally Posted by louieatienza View Post
    Csmio is great, but frankly it costs more than most people's entire machines here and likely overkill for even some serious enthusiasts or low to mid level DIY production. And you're still using Mach. I'd save the 1200euro, get the EdingCNC (which has no known USB problems since the software is written to be fully Windows compatible) and use that money to upgrade the drives and motors, or for better CAM.

  9. #9
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?

    EVERYTHING - USB has problems with CNC machines.
    Find someone running a KFLOP or UC100 with Mach3 that has USB problems.
    Same for Eding.
    USB is not a problem if done correctly.



    All above exist or are supported / will be supported with CSMIO / mach4.
    A user on the Machsupport forum was told a few days ago by CS Labs that they are not providing any Mach4 support right now. Makes you want to run out and spend $600.
    Sure, if you actually knew when Mach4 would be ready, it would be one of the best options. But knowone knows when that will be.


    There are no docs, like everyone else.
    What about the 200 page manual?
    Gerry

    UCCNC 2017 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2017.html

    Mach3 2010 Screenset
    http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

    JointCAM - CNC Dovetails & Box Joints
    http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  10. #10
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    Re: Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?

    I second linuxcnc. You can, with the next release version, run Ethernet hardware. (v2.7+) it is in its final stabilizing cycles. (I have been running/testing it.) This isn't a buffered system - this is a realtime Ethernet connection between the computer and the hardware.

    It is rock solid - don't be afraid of it. it isn't your fathers emc.... (why do you think tormach moved to linuxcnc?)

    Some great things coming in 2.7
    Ethernet support
    New N-lookahead trajectory planner. (thanks again Tormach)
    Move off - Basic jog-while-paused functionality

    Mesa makes a few great Ethernet solutions - (although their pci/pci-e solutions also work great and work with the current release of linuxcnc (2.6.9))
    steppers, servos, i/o - mesa has scalability that is awesome.

    sam

  11. #11
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    Re: Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?

    You have lots of options you haven't even touched upon. For example EMC/LinuxCNC, KFlop, GRBL and its derivatives, or more elaborate controllers like Centroid. Those are quick and off the top of my head, there are many other low end controllers out there.
    I was very interested in linuxCNC particularly after I used Tormach's PathPilot. I installed LinuxCNC but I can't even log in. During installation one creates a log in, and installed it at least 3 times making sure I was writing the login correctly with no success, I read other people have had the same problem. I'll admit it wasn't a very great effort on my part but, I decided if I couldn't even boot up because of some issue like that, then the whole CNC aspect would be a headache. I looked up how to fix it and reading about command prompt this, command prompt that, dos looking screens, and I just said forget it...I would be willing to look at it again when they come out with the 2.7
    EVERYTHING - USB has problems with CNC machines.
    Short cables. Noise.Buffer. Latency. GALVANIC issues.
    The one I am particularly interested in is the CPU5A4E which is 4 axis with Ethernet which costs 335 euros which is $375 as of today. That is slightly cheaper than mach 4 with smoothstepper. Then you also need a break out board with a smooth stepper. Hardware directly supported by the software company so no worries about plugins and are much less likely to deal with problems with plugins everytime they decide to update mach 4. As far as price goes, mach 4 would only be cheaper for a hobbyist with no commercial interest who wants to outfit several machines using one license. As you said, it might not be enough for those with high requirements but I am looking for something very reliable and works well with stepper systems and has mpg support.

  12. #12
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    Re: Deciding on my new controller for my build. Mach 4, EdingCNC, flashcut UCCNC?

    I have Good success on a bridgeport 412 retrofit servos atc g33 code etc my Combo is it x Board General mechatronic and granitedevices to Run the servos i Did some pcb to Run the old Hardware for atc etc maybe it helps you

    Gesendet von meinem SM-G800F mit Tapatalk

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