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  1. #1
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    Oct 2008
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    1928

    Path Pilot vs Mach 3

    Who's using Path Pilot over and above Mach 3.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2014
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    1476

    Re: Path Pilot vs Mach 3

    I have been running it since it became available, not one glitch or uncalled for move yet! Transition from Mach 3 was easy for a not so savvy computer guy, I really like it.........
    mike sr

  3. #3
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    Feb 2007
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    1454

    Re: Path Pilot vs Mach 3

    I have two 1100's with pathpilot on one and Mach 3 still on the other.

    Today I ran an old programme on Mach3 on my old machine and was thinking about just this subject.

    One thing to consider is will pathpilot be installed on a series 3 stepper/board set up or the old set up?

    I still have series one gear running and it is slow and noisy compared with my latest series 3 with pathpilot -

    But I am not sure how a combination of the two would run - I know they are compatible, but I mean how noisy and fast they would run etc.

    M3 is a ugly messy layout after pathpilot though.

    All that said, M3 still works fine so I should not complain.

    Keen

  4. #4
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    Re: Path Pilot vs Mach 3

    So - May I use your thread to ask a related question.

    How well does Pathpilot run on a series one machine?

    Keen

  5. #5
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    Re: Path Pilot vs Mach 3

    I'm still running Mach 3 on my 2011 Series II. It has served me well since day one, so I say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
    You can buy GOOD PARTS or you can buy CHEAP PARTS, but you can't buy GOOD CHEAP PARTS.

  6. #6
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    I went to pp and the world hasn't ended. I can use my atc and it has only crashed once which is great. I think this was due to not properly shutting pp down and my z height info was lost.
    I like the soft limits and the fact that Tormach will be trying to fix bugs quickly.

    Quote Originally Posted by popspipes View Post
    I have been running it since it became available, not one glitch or uncalled for move yet! Transition from Mach 3 was easy for a not so savvy computer guy, I really like it.........

  7. #7
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    Nov 2005
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    197

    Re: Path Pilot vs Mach 3

    Yeah i plan on getting it SOON.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2014
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    Re: Path Pilot vs Mach 3

    A few days ago we had one of our famous "power bump" outages, goes off for a second then comes back on, it did this in the middle of a 4 part machining job and it only made a slight blemish in one of the parts, I think due to the cutter travel stopping while the cutter was still coasting down. I rebooted the computer, restarted the same program after referencing and it ran fine, I am sure it was off slightly due to the referencing but it didnt show in the finished parts other than the one blemish! I did not reindicate the part, just ran it to see what would happen.

    I had forgotten the soft limits, those are invaluable to me - "wrong way Corrigan" applies here ha!
    mike sr

  9. #9
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    Re: Path Pilot vs Mach 3

    Quote Originally Posted by popspipes View Post
    I had forgotten the soft limits, those are invaluable to me - "wrong way Corrigan" applies here ha!
    I've got two machines (not Tormach) currently running Mach 3 that have homing and limit switches. I've restarted a part after rehoming with no visible indication of a problem. Well, if I go back far enough to make sure I am before the buffered commands in my SS. Anyway, Mach 3 has that capability as well and it works.

    My main reason for asking about PP vs Mach 3 was to find out if there was any huge advantage to one over the other for a new machine. Mach 3 is very configurable and I have written several of my own macros and screen sets, but if PP is rock solid, configurable, and over all better I'ld consider it. Are there any short comings to PP? G or M codes it doesn't support fully? I notice that it lists its own post processor for partnered software products. Is that absolutely necessary or will it run standard Fanuc code? I seem to recall that there were some tweaks for post processors even for Mach 3 for Tormach in the past. One had to do with tool changes. I never understood the need for that by the way since the tool change macro in Mach 3 is easily configurable.

    I am very aware of many of Mach 3's shortcomings by the way. That being said I routinely run several hundred thousand lines of code, have run a couple code files right at 1 million lines, and one that was 1.3 million.
    Bob La Londe
    http://www.YumaBassMan.com

  10. #10
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    Jun 2014
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    1476

    Re: Path Pilot vs Mach 3

    The main thing I like about Path pilot is its ability to run unattended, I couldnt do that with Mach as I never knew when it would make an uncalled for move.......some users dont have this problem but I sure did..

    There are a few things in the user interface that could stand some attention, but I think over time that will be cleared up.
    mike sr

  11. #11
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    1476

    Re: Path Pilot vs Mach 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob La Londe View Post
    I've got two machines (not Tormach) currently running Mach 3 that have homing and limit switches. I've restarted a part after rehoming with no visible indication of a problem. Well, if I go back far enough to make sure I am before the buffered commands in my SS. Anyway, Mach 3 has that capability as well and it works.

    My main reason for asking about PP vs Mach 3 was to find out if there was any huge advantage to one over the other for a new machine. Mach 3 is very configurable and I have written several of my own macros and screen sets, but if PP is rock solid, configurable, and over all better I'ld consider it. Are there any short comings to PP? G or M codes it doesn't support fully? I notice that it lists its own post processor for partnered software products. Is that absolutely necessary or will it run standard Fanuc code? I seem to recall that there were some tweaks for post processors even for Mach 3 for Tormach in the past. One had to do with tool changes. I never understood the need for that by the way since the tool change macro in Mach 3 is easily configurable.

    I am very aware of many of Mach 3's shortcomings by the way. That being said I routinely run several hundred thousand lines of code, have run a couple code files right at 1 million lines, and one that was 1.3 million.
    Those are some large programs! My parts take a max of 20 minutes and thats a large contour op.

    So far its rock solid.......
    One main screen does it all.....
    It doesnt recognize a P code before a G81 or 83, it throws a warning that it doesnt recognize them and they will be ignored, the program runs fine though and the tapping cycles retain the delay in them, I usually set .5 to 1 second delay at the spindle reverse in my tapping cycles, it uses the delay in those cycles.The only other problem I had was if I set up a tapping op and used the transformation function it would throw an error on that, selecting all the holes in all the parts it works fine. This was right at the start and it may be fixed now with the newer releases.
    mike sr

  12. #12
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    Dec 2012
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    Re: Path Pilot vs Mach 3

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob La Londe View Post
    My main reason for asking about PP vs Mach 3 was to find out if there was any huge advantage to one over the other for a new machine. Mach 3 is very configurable and I have written several of my own macros and screen sets, but if PP is rock solid, configurable, and over all better I'ld consider it. Are there any short comings to PP? G or M codes it doesn't support fully?
    PP has a couple really big one ups over mach 3, in my mind.

    • Soft limits; this saves me so much time during setup of large parts. No more bumping into the limit switches and having to reref!
    • Work envelope checks; you'll get a warning if a program will exceed travel limits, again a blessing for large parts.
    • Much nicer looking and designed interface. It could use more work, but it's a big step up from mach.
    • The tool table and work offset screens are simpler and easier to work with.


    There are also, supposedly, a litany of improvements in the motion control scheme over mach3. I couldn't speak to that, and I can't honestly say I notice any difference, but there you are. Like you I never had any any real bad behavior from mach3. But enough people did/do that I know those were genuine complaints and it's nice knowing that PP is built on a more stable code base. I have very high confidence in the software not trashing my parts or machine.

    I haven't noticed any real negative qualities from PP. I know some have complained that they can't use dropbox or whatever without getting a little hacky in order to access the linux desktop. I have no intention of connecting my controller to the internet for any reason, or using it for anything other then controlling the mill, so that's not a problem for me.

    I think the interface and usability features are worth the cost of the upgrade alone. The technical improvements the MESA board and linux back end provide are probably worth it too even if you never see the difference. The perhaps more practical reason for upgrading is simply staying on Tormachs support; I don't know how much meaningful support they can provide for mach3, but they know PP inside and out.

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