New to LinuxCNC; have a couple of questions.

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20 Feb 2011 16:41 #7328 by GARoss
Hi everyone. I'm George.

I've got a very short time to get some answers so forgive me for my lack of knowledge of LinuxCNC.

I am a contract employee who is working with a Fadal VCM16. The Fadal's on board computer, Windows NT4, occasionally crashes so it stops feeding data & the machine quits cutting.

The company uses Unigraphics NX5 for all their graphic & CNC cutter path so I wouldn't be using LinuxCNC for graphic work. The Fadal's NT 4 desktop has NC FADAL which is used to feed CNC data into the Fadal. So, CNC programs are written, then loaded into the NC FADAL software & then sent to the machine. Can LinuxCNC do the same as NC FADAL?

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20 Feb 2011 18:58 #7330 by BigJohnT
Not that I know of. What your describing is a drip feed thingy...

John

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20 Feb 2011 20:36 #7334 by GARoss
Unigraphics NX5 uses .pui files to postprocess. The created data file has a .ptp extention. NC FADAL software opens the .ptp file then feeds xxx amount of data, continuously into the machine until finished. I guess drip feed would describe it. Of course, Fadals can receive .dnc, .nc & many other CNC programs, too. I was hoping LinuxCNC might work.

Thanks

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27 Feb 2011 16:16 #7488 by andypugh
EMC2 doesn't sound like a natural fit into that chain. EMC2 takes G-code and converts it into motor movement commands, (either step/direction for steppers, or speed/direction for servos). It can do this in a bewildering variety of ways, but basically it works best as the bridge between G-code and hardware.

However, EMC2 is fairly modular, so it might be possible to use it to drip-feed your existing controller, but it would take a lot of work. You would also need to reconfigure to ensure that the Unigraphics G-code suited EMC2.

All in all, I think it would be better to either work out why the NT4 machine crashes, or to replace the whole system with something more up-to-date. (A complete EMC2-based refit would be an option, but not an easy one compared to spending money with Fadal.

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27 Feb 2011 20:08 #7498 by GARoss
I've learned a lot in the last week about these things. There are several programs that drip-feed DNC type files. Some are selling NC FADAL software even thought Fadal is out of business. We tried a Windows & Linux version of EasyDNC which has a trial period. The Linux version is free & works but crashes on occasion. The Windows version has more adjustments making it very flexible & doesn't crash but it's not free. As the saying goes; you get what you pay for.

Thanks to everyone for their help!

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01 Mar 2011 12:27 #7520 by dab77
ehmm... not always.
for example with EMC2 you get much more than what you pay for. nothing.

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01 Mar 2011 12:43 #7521 by BigJohnT
I've always thought you get what you work for...

John

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02 Mar 2011 11:31 #7535 by GARoss
dab77 wrote:

ehmm... not always.
for example with EMC2 you get much more than what you pay for. nothing.


BigJohnT wrote:

I've always thought you get what you work for...

John


Appearently you didn't read my entire post but selected only a commit in my last post. It was determined that EMC2 will not work for my company's needs. We program all cutter path with our companies CAD/CAM software & only need a drip-feed DNC program. I was told by BigJohnT, that EMC2 doesn't do drip-feed. So, even if it's free, why install it if it's not usable for us? This isn't a knock on EMC2.

EasyDNC, another Linux open source program, is offers pay versions on Windows & Mac platforms that are full featured & perform very well compared to the free Linux version that constantly crashed. Hence my commit, you get what you pay for.

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