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The Software

Last update: 31/07/2015

Even a 'primitive' computer (128MB ram, 200MB hd, and an old cpu > 500Mhz) can be still usefully used in a cnc environment. Emc2 even works in a linux live Puppy Linux version (Rtai ofcourse). Everything is inside an image of only 50MB (downloadable here). It is a livelinux version but can be installed on an USB device or on a normal hard disk.

In an hobbystic environment the process to obtain a manufact using a milling procedure is quite simple. The shape of the manufact is drawn by a computer using a cad software. The file of the manufact is exported in a common format (dxf, hpgl) and it is converted to Gcode (a programming language for numerical control).Using a dedicated software  all instructions are sent to the the machine to start the realization of the manufact. 

It is important. Has been created a new porting of EMC2 on Debian 7 (Wheezy) platform, replacing the 'old' based on Ubuntu 8.04 or 10.04. The new porting allows the use of newer computers obtaining, for instance, a lower latence value. 

 

The program is very comprehensive, easy to set up, and has a feature that, perhaps, do not exists in any other program for the management of CNC machines: the direct control of the engines trough phases definitions, without the usual signals of step-dir. This means that the engine management is done directly by the pc, saving the purchase of interfaces, integrated circuits traslators ecc..

Usualy we do not like to talk about products that have a commercial destination but Mach3 is widely used to manage cnc machine that it is not possible omit it. At first, given the number of requests we have received about this matter, we have to say that it is not possible the use of an emulated parallel port using this software. 

During the configuration process of EMC2, we find this screen that needs a little of explaination to be understood. Probably is one of the most important screen to obtain by the machine good performances.

It is early to make a judgment about Mach4 that, in our humble opinion, is still being completed since the same manufacturer claims to be in the process of developing many plug-in (even if the parallel port is already available)

Before to set EMC2 up or during the setup process, according to the latest version of EMC-2 under Ubuntu 8.04, it is a must to test the computer we are using by running a latency test. In this way we can get the requested value to be enterd in the latency test result value used by the software to set properly the steps generation.

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