There are two ways of commanding the plasma cutting sequence. You could command all the actions using gcode commands (M62/M63 as torch on/off, G31 for probing, and G4 for piercing delays) or you could set all the operating parameters and just command the plasma using the 2003/M2005 macros. These instructions will configure the system to use it both ways.
M2003 Macro performs the following actions:
M2005 Macro performs the following actions:
Used software: Mach4 188.8.131.5212.
ESS Plugin Mach4: ESS v278.1
Start by making a backup of the existing installation:
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.
Download and install the new screen and macro files:
Download the compressed file containing the macros and screen that work with the macros:
You will need to install the screen found in the download folder and place the macro in the macros directory for the profile folder.
Make a backup of the original M2003 and M2005 macros by zipping them into the same folder, just so you may have access to the original macros if you need to revert the installation later:
Apply Changes, Save Settings, and Restart MACH4 for all the changes to take effect.
On the Main Screen, you need to set the piercing parameters:
Probe pin configuration. This is the pin used to sense the probing action. This pin will go high when the probe touches the plate. If using a floating head where the z-axis will need to travel to the switch position, you need to set the Z offset.
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.
To exit test mode, press the knob once.
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 M2003 (Start Cutting) and M2005 (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 M2005 is reached or e-stop is pressed.
Configure the operation parameters in this screen:
G code with macro:
N0090 M2003 (Probes, pierces, moves to cutting position, and start the torch)
N0100 G01 X5 (Cut a 5mm square.)
N0150 M2005 (Turn off the Plasma and move the z axis to Z_Top)