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  1. #1
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    Why I switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn

    Greetings all,

    Recently i switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn for my CNC Router control. In this video, I explain a lot of details about the machine and about the controller as well as why I switched. If you have a CNC router, this video may be beneficial to you if you are looking for improvements.

    https://youtu.be/4-pMbP0K6bw

    Cheers!

    Chris D

  2. #2
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    Re: Why I switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris D View Post
    Greetings all,

    Recently i switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn for my CNC Router control. In this video, I explain a lot of details about the machine and about the controller as well as why I switched. If you have a CNC router, this video may be beneficial to you if you are looking for improvements.
    Cheers!

    Chris D
    Fine if you only need basic functionality from a 3 / 4 axis machine.
    Otherwise, this system is heavily limited.

    If you have servo's, encoders, tool changers, and the like.... Be prepared to spend well over £2000.


    UC300eth and UCCNC gets my vote.

  3. #3
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    Re: Why I switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn

    Quote Originally Posted by dazp1976 View Post
    Fine if you only need basic functionality from a 3 / 4 axis machine.
    Otherwise, this system is heavily limited.

    If you have servo's, encoders, tool changers, and the like.... Be prepared to spend well over £2000.


    UC300eth and UCCNC gets my vote.
    My first question to most that offer a strong opinion on the internet: Have you used both products so that you can offer an opinion based on your experience?

    The reason I ask is that some folks just seem to get their feelings hurt when others speak of a product they dont have. Its the "fan boy" mentality that menally converts "the one I own" or "the one I could afford" into "the best there is". No one controller can be the best for everyone.

    I will agree that the Centroid Acorn, by design, is limited to 4 axes of motion control, BUT the functionality is far beyond basic in general and UCCNC in particular. It is a full blown industrial CNC controller pared down to DIY affordability. Its limits are 4 axes of motion, nothing else.

    I am building Acorn ATC servo systems on a weekly basis and the control features are top shelf. As a commercial system builder I used your exact combination as a base for a controller line, but ran into an issue with 3 axis helical movement, that turned the machine into a jackhammer. So I stopped using them. My opinion, or actually my choice, as I am voting with my checkbook, is Centroid Acorn, based on my experience with both products.

    My current daily driver is a 40 tool ATC "bridgemill" of sorts, controlled by Centroid Acorn. There is nothing basic about the features and function to operate this machine.
    Gary Campbell CNC Technology & Training
    GCnC411 (at) gmail.com www.youtube.com/user/Islaww1/videos

  4. #4
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    Re: Why I switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn

    Quote Originally Posted by dazp1976 View Post
    Fine if you only need basic functionality from a 3 / 4 axis machine.
    Otherwise, this system is heavily limited.

    If you have servo's, encoders, tool changers, and the like.... Be prepared to spend well over £2000.


    UC300eth and UCCNC gets my vote.
    Again you don't know what you are talking about you should focus / post on things that you do know something about

    Acorn has no limitations can do anything UCCNC can do and more

    4 axis may be a limitation for some but there are ways around this as well I set up one which is using 5 axis using the standard 4 axis Acorn board
    Mactec54

  5. #5
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    Re: Why I switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn

    Last year I switched a machine from Mach 3 to an acorn. I'm now installing an acorn on a second machine and will never go back to Mach 3.

  6. #6
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    Re: Why I switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn

    I installed acorn on a router and wasn’t happy with it, it seems much more designed for milling type operations than router.

    I switched that machine to an AXBB-e and UCCNC and I’m pretty happy with it on that machine as well as on 2 plasma tables.

    I’m in process of retrofit to a dm4400 small VMC and will likely try the acorn out on it.

    Just my opinion.

    Duke

  7. #7
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    Re: Why I switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn

    Quote Originally Posted by jduke View Post
    I installed acorn on a router and wasn’t happy with it, it seems much more designed for milling type operations than router.

    I switched that machine to an AXBB-e and UCCNC and I’m pretty happy with it on that machine as well as on 2 plasma tables.

    I’m in process of retrofit to a dm4400 small VMC and will likely try the acorn out on it.

    Just my opinion.

    Duke
    I'm not sure how long it's been since you tried an acorn. They do have a router version of it now. I guess it's maybe a fault or a feature of the acorn that it is constantly evolving. For me it has been positive. I do use it on a mill though and not a router.

  8. #8
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    Re: Why I switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn

    Quote Originally Posted by mactec54 View Post
    Again you don't know what you are talking about you should focus / post on things that you do know something about

    Acorn has no limitations can do anything UCCNC can do and more

    4 axis may be a limitation for some but there are ways around this as well I set up one which is using 5 axis using the standard 4 axis Acorn board
    If I knew that before...
    Recently this year I upgraded my Planet CNC MK1 DIY Controller for MK3 because I needed that damn 5 axis, and I have looked long time before for Acorn but was limited by 4 axis.
    Now of course I am very sorry and not recommend to anyone Planet CNC.

    Maybe one day I will buy the Acorn controller.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mactec54 View Post
    Again you don't know what you are talking about you should focus / post on things that you do know something about

    Acorn has no limitations can do anything UCCNC can do and more

    4 axis may be a limitation for some but there are ways around this as well I set up one which is using 5 axis using the standard 4 axis Acorn board
    so there is a way to get a 5th axis for like a rotary axis on the acorn controller? any links for the info?

  10. #10
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    Re: Why I switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn

    Quote Originally Posted by bill4t View Post
    so there is a way to get a 5th axis for like a rotary axis on the acorn controller? any links for the info?
    I believe the Acorn is only 4axis if you want 5 different Axis of movement then you would have to use something else Centroid do have other options

    If you only have a 4-Axis machine with 2 motors on one axis you can do this without any trouble, and still have 4-Axis of simultaneous movement
    Mactec54

  11. #11
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    Re: Why I switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn

    Quote Originally Posted by bill4t View Post
    so there is a way to get a 5th axis for like a rotary axis on the acorn controller? any links for the info?
    It depends on how your turret works. My turret uses a macro and does not take up an axis. If your turret is axis driven and you need more than 4 axis to make it work there is some good news. Centroid has in the works and is soon to release a 6 axis acorn. I think it's in beta testing now. Bad news is it will cost more. I think its called the "Acorn six" if you want to google for more information.

  12. #12
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    Re: Why I switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn

    Quote Originally Posted by bill4t View Post
    so there is a way to get a 5th axis for like a rotary axis on the acorn controller? any links for the info?
    You can go to CNC4PC and get a C88 this will give you a full 4 Axis output 1 for your rotary axis and 4 axis output for your X X Y Z axis

    You can do it without this just connect the 2 X axis motor drive controls to the (1) X Board output one of your motors may need to be reversed By wiring if they don't run in the same direction
    Mactec54

  13. #13
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    Re: Why I switched from MACH 3 to Centroid Acorn

    I have a machine with mach3, another with mach4, third one has Acorn and the largest one has dynomotion kflop. They all have positives and negatives. I started out with mach3 when Art released it after mach2. Honestly Mach3 made the hobby CNc market explode. A windows software program that gave hobby machines a real control that worked.

    When Art ran the development it was amazing, but it was so successful it took over his life. Once he left and it went to mach4 the development slowed for years. Mach4 is pretty robust and Mach3 is frozen and will never have any additional development.

    Acorn by centroid was new and I was a beta tester. It just works, but initially was I/O limited, but they now have I/o expansion card. Biggest deal to swallow is their software restriction without paying more money.

    Kflop is very capable but requires some C programming. Good support network and Keith their technical support person is amazing

    Russ

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