Mach3 turns a typical computer into a CNC machine controller. It is very rich in features and provides a great value to those needing a CNC control package. Mach3 works on most Windows PC’s to control the motion of motors (stepper & servo) by processing G-Code. While comprising many advanced features, it is the most intuitive CNC control software available. Mach3 is customizable and has been used for many applications with numerous types of hardware.
The Mach series of software is one of the most versatile CNC control packages.
Here are some of the basic features and functions provided by Mach3:
- Converts a standard PC to a fully featured, 6-axis CNC controller
- Allows direct import of DXF, BMP, JPG, and HPGL files through LazyCam
- Visual Gcode display
- Generates Gcode via LazyCam or Wizards
- Fully customizable interface
- Customizable M-Codes and Macros using VBscript
- Spindle Speed control
- Multiple relay control
- Manual pulse generation
- Video display of machine
- Touch screen ability
- Full screen eligibility
Mach3 has successfully been used to control the following types of equipment:
- Gear cutting
Wizards are “mini-programs” that extend the capabilities of Mach3. Wizards can be written by anyone and are designed to allow users to quickly perform routine or convenient operations without the need to have a pre-written G-Code file. Included with Mach3 are some free Wizards that were contributed by users. These short-cuts should not be confused with the Add-on’s for Mill or the new Mill Wizard software, which are more advanced wizard packages with integrated operations. Some typical wizard operations:
- Gear cutting
- Slots and keyways
- Text engraving
- Many standard shapes
- MANY MORE
Without a license, Mach3 will operate in Demo mode. While in Demo mode, the software has the following limitations:
- Mill & Plasma: 500 line gcode limit (10,000,000 limit after licensing)
- Turn: 50 line gcode limit (10,000,000 limit after licensing)
- Kernel Frequency locked at 25kHz (only applicable if using the parallel port driver)
- Set Next Line function disabled
- Run From Here function disabled
- Turn: Threading disabled
- Plasma: THC functions disabled
Non-commercial users (aka hobbyists) are permitted to use one Mach license for as many machines as they require. For commercial users (anybody who uses the software to generate profit), we require a separate license purchase for each machine. Mach1, Mach2, and Mach3 may all be used on one computer, but only one version of each will co-exist on a single computer.
A license is only required on the computer actually running a machine. If a computer not connected to a machine is used to test code, please use Mach3 in Simulation mode – it will remove the 500 line limit. Simulation mode can be accessed by uninstalling (or not installing) the Parallel Port Driver. The Add-ons for Mill will only work with a licensed copy of Mach3 as this software is an Add-on, and not a stand-alone product.
Hard Copies (a disk) of the downloadable content are available directly from a 3rd party.
Mach3 Minimum Recommended Requirements:
Requirements if using the parallel port for machine control:
- Desktop PC (Laptops are not supported) with at least one parallel port
- 32-bit version of Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 (64-bit versions will not work)
- 1Ghz CPU
- 512MB RAM
- Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM(Large G-code files, especially 3D files will require a video card with 512MB RAM or higher)
Requirements if using an external motion device for machine control:
- An appropriate external motion controller (options can be found on the Plugins page)
- Desktop or Laptop with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8
- 1Ghz CPU
- 512MB RAM
- Video Card with 32MB RAM(Large G-code files, especially 3D files will require a video card with 512MB RAM or higher)
When available, updates for Mach3 and the Add-ons are posted on the Downloads & Update page. To update to the newest version, follow the procedure below:
1) Backup the following to the desktop, or even better, a USB drive:
- XML(Profile) – This stores you’re settings for Mach3, if you lose it you will need to re-setup you’re ports and pins, motor tuning, etc.
2) Download the current version of Mach3 from the Downloads & Update page.
3) Install the downloaded version; allow the install path to default to where Mach3 is installed.
WARNING: If you do not backup the files in Step 1, you will lose ALL settings and configurations.
PDF manuals and training videos are available. Technical support is available via the Forum or though our Yahoo users group, allowing the entire community to contribute to, and benefit from, the solutions. Phone support is not directly offered by Artsoft for Mach3.