Used software: Mach4 18.104.22.16812.
ESS Plugin Mach4: ESS v278.1
Screen and Macros
THC-3 FIRMWARE: FF6V3
Make a backup of the configuration and file installation, we recommend creating a backup of the current installation by right-clicking in the current installation folder and zipping it.
Testing and Troubleshooting Considerations:
Test Probing with a PTS-1 or Floating head:
Note that all the position values are considering that work Z zero is the plate position and we recommend setting this before executing the gcode.
For the initial testing, make sure the plasma machine is off and you can observe the plasma relay activating and deactivating accordingly.
Do the initial testing using the G31 Z-40 F20 command in the MDI screen, and you should be able to see the torch start probing.
You can observe the probe enable LED on the screen LED and the Enable LED on the PTS-1 unit itself when it starts probing and the touch LEDs on the screen and PTS-1 unit.
Test that the Touch Relays Starts/Stops the Plasma
M62 should start the plasma and M63 should stop it. Observe action on the screen LEDs, Output pins of the breakout board, relay, and plasma cutter.
Test THC action:
Press the knob three times to enter test mode in the THC and observe the ARC OK signal activate.
Turn the knob up or down to move the axis and observe the Torch UP and Torch Down LEDs activate when moving in each direction. The Z-Axis should also move to adjust the position.
Test the complete sequence which includes probing, piercing cutting with THC.
Configure the THC parameters according to the manual:
Run this G code that does not use macros:
N0050 F20 (Set the Probing Speed 20mm/sec)
N0060 G31 Z-10 (Start probing axion on the Z-axis to a depth of up to 10mm)
N0070 G92 Z -3 (Set work zero for the z axis using an offset of the switch) N0080 G00 Z 2 (move the Z-Axis 2mm up. initial pierce )
N0090 M62 P5 (Start the Torch)
N0100 G04 P2 (Set a Pause of 2 seconds to allow the pierce time.)N0110 G00 Z 3 (move the Z-Axis 3mm up. Cut height)
N0120 G01 X5 (Cut a 5mm square.)
N0160 M63 P5 (Turn off the Plasma)
N0170 G0 Z5 (move the Z-Axis 5mm up. Z_top)
Feel free to adjust it to your units or other preferences.
Test using the macros
Keep in mind the macro will now execute the following actions when M3 (Start Cutting) and M5 (End Cutting):
If using a PTS-1 (Plasma Touch Sensor), the first section is to Enable the Probing action. You should see the ENABLE LED on the PTS-1 and also on the breakout board on the LED for the pin that you wired and configured for activating the probe. In these instructions, we are using Pin 1 on Port 2 (Output10).
The Z-axis lowers until the nozzle or sensor that you connected to the nozzle touches the plate and closes the circuit and activates the probe input. You would momentarily see action for this on the TOUCH LED on the PTS-1 unit or the switch if using a Floating Head, on the LED for the input pin you assigned on the Breakout Board, and on the Probe LED on the Mach4 screen.
As soon as probing is completed, the Probe ENABLE is disabled and the z-axis moves to the Pierce position or the Pierce Height that you configured.
The plasma starts by activating the plasma relay and stays cutting for the duration of time that you configured or set as Pierce Time in Seconds.
After pierce time the z-axis moves to the cut position that I set in the cut height
The Plasma stays on and continues to execute g-code and THC if implemented until an M5 is reached or e-stop is pressed.
Configure the operation parameters in this screen:
G code with macro:
N0090 M3 (Probes, pierces, moves to cutting position, and start the torch)
N0100 G01 X5 (Cut a 5mm square.)
N0150 M5 (Turn off the Plasma and move the z axis to Z_Top)
Q – Set the Height parameter
P - Set the Delay parameter (0 - 10)
H - Set the V Range parameter (0 - 32)
E - Set the Set Point (40 - 265)
A - 1 = Auto Setpoint parameter active.
0 = Auto Setpoint parameter disabled.
“M20300 Q2 P2 H2 E120 A1”
No need to set all parameters