PLASMAC GUI vs CommandCNC?

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20 Apr 2019 07:04 #131279 by thefabricator03
Hi Guys,

I have been watching on with great interest with the development of the PLASMAC branch,

I am getting ready to test it out on my industrial machine,

One question, I am currently using CommandCNC from CandCNC and the feature we use the most is run from line,

We cut large sheets (3000x1500) full of small parts, and as such we need to replace consumables halfway into the sheet.

We currently can select a line running into a cut and resume cutting from that position anywhere on the sheet,

Can PLASMAC do the same thing?

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20 Apr 2019 08:41 #131283 by rodw
Replied by rodw on topic PLASMAC GUI vs CommandCNC?
My knowledge, run from line is supported in Linuxcnc but needs to be enabled in the Gmoccappy GUI I believe. I have never used it. But Plasmac also comes included the Reverse run branch. (This is reverse adaptive feed) I only got plasmac installed (kinda) yesterday. So with that, you can step back through the code apparently. There is a video where its hooked up to a MPG so the guy winds it back and forward.

The guy who will know is Islander261. I'm sure he'll come along eventually. Suffice it to say, Plasmac will be the most full featured LCNC plasma config and already according to the Islander is better than Command CNC. H'e put a lot of effort to get Plasmac debugged so its a good time to adopt it.
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20 Apr 2019 14:34 #131306 by islander261
'03

CommandCNC has an improved version of the open source editor used to display the Gcode which allows line selection in both directions. I tried to talk any of the coders here into splicing it into Gmoccapy with no success. CommandCNC still has the usual LinuxCNC short coming of not tracking the modal state of the machine when jumping to a new code block.

The Plasmac branch will allow you to stop cutting and replace consumables. Typically you will do this between cuts so you are ready to go when finished. You can use the reverse run (adaptive feed) feature to back up to the last start point if I remember correctly as well.

How well all of this works in the real world is highly dependent on how your Gcode file was generated and where any required preambles are in the code. If your PP inserts a full preamble at every new part and tool change then you can do a standard run from line and everything should be fine.

The good news here is that CommandCNC is a fully installed version of LinuxCNC. This means that you can clone the Plasmac branch and do a RIP build and have it as a stand alone install that will work without interfering with CommandCNC. The big problem will be you will be on your own to work out the proprietary interface to CandCNC's proprietary THC. It can be done, you have all the information and files required on your present install but you will have to do it yourself. The big drawback with doing this is you loose the Plasmac branch's integrated THC using Mesa or other hardware. The other ways is to port Command CNC over to a 2.8.~ pre install. Command CNC is just a Gscreen skin that comes with a fancy proprietary installer and support for the proprietary hardware. I have ported CommandCNC to run using general purpose Mesa hardware under 2.8~pre. I got as far as moving the machine and controlling the plasma with THC, never any production cutting.

Needless to say if you try any of this CandCNC will not support your install anymore and likely will void your warranty and ban you from their forum.

John
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20 Apr 2019 15:35 #131312 by pl7i92
Replied by pl7i92 on topic PLASMAC GUI vs CommandCNC?
You can shure run from every line you want
and you can have a button to preload the torch bevor pressing RUN from here
so it is at the max end to be used a 2Mouse klick as run from line
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21 Apr 2019 00:43 #131348 by thefabricator03
Is that possible with the PLAMAC branch? That is what I was hoping it could do.

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21 Apr 2019 00:52 #131350 by thefabricator03
John,

Have you used the PLAMAC branch for production work? What do you do if your half way through a sheet and the machine stops for some reason- consumables - probing error- etc,

I produce sheets like this every day and I need a reliable way to recover from a error,
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21 Apr 2019 00:53 - 21 Apr 2019 03:20 #131351 by islander261
Yes, as long as you make sure that your machine is in the correct modal state you are fine to go.

The biggest problem you will have is that the Plasmac branch will not support your CandCNC hardware without significant changes. The Plasmac branch is really a way to use the plasmac hal component for doing all your torch control, probing and THC. I does not rely on Gcode subroutines for probing and Z height synchronization at the end of a cut. It also handles all of the piercing. All you need for a cut is a M3 to start and a M5 to end. The problem is the present component doesn't support the use of CandCNC hardware. It could but it would require the developer to have access to the hardware and the proprietary drivers.

I have done very little production work so far with the plasmac branch but it is very promising. My work is a corner case doing artwork mostly cutting 14GA HR and 14 & 11GA SSTL. I only cut full sheets at a time. The THC is the best I have ever used hands down, not bad for a $69 THCad card. It has been a real change for me because previously my SC PP was even more complex than the CandCNC one with lots of conditional code to decide whether to use cutting parameters from the Gcode file or the GUI (a check box on my custom Gmoccapy GUI selected what you want to use). Most of my parts use 2 to 8 different tools, combinations of cut parameters to get the effect I want, this part is still a WIP in the plasmac branch. Your parts look very easy to cut and you are using thick enough material you don't need to fuss with ohmic probing. I typically get 2K to 3K pierces out of a set of HT consumables using the copper plus electrodes, 3 nozzles per copper plus electrode with Finecuts, less with standard Duramax nozzles and shields.

Sorry I know this is clear as mud but you asked about a really big development project.

John
Last edit: 21 Apr 2019 03:20 by islander261.
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21 Apr 2019 01:22 #131355 by tommylight
@thefabricator:
my clients have several machines that do that type of work every day, some industrial retrofitted with Linuxcnc, some built by me with Linuxcnc, using an older config that has all the automation in HAL. For several years of work they had never problems on the software side, ever. That config was made to work with simple THC that output up/down/arcok signals wired to parallel port. About a month or two back i made that work with THCAD and Mesa cards, configs are uploaded to the forum.
The reason i replied is, the issues you mention are a daily occurrence here and so are power outs, but everything is very easily overcome given the provisions included in Linuxcnc and that config.
After all this i have to say, PlasmaC is much more advanced and i am sure i will be using that.
Regards,
Tom
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21 Apr 2019 01:42 #131358 by rodw
Replied by rodw on topic PLASMAC GUI vs CommandCNC?
I kinda suspect in some areas John's production environment is probably more testing than fabrication type production you have shown.

The reason for this is the thin sheet he cuts warps a lot more and cut speeds are faster. Plus he cuts lots of irregular shaped parts with many short segments that have even unearthed some obscure bugs in LinuxCNC's trajectory planner that you are unlikely to see.

Also John has migrated from commercial systems to Linux CNC Open Source and spent a couple of years getting it running sweet. For him to give Plasmac his blessing and throw out hundreds of hours of his own development time really speaks volumes for what Phill has achieved with Plasmac.

What Phill has done is package up all of the key learnings we've achieved over the last few years and include elements from John, Dewey, Tommy, Pedro, Skunkworks, Grotius, myself and a host of others into a nice easy to install package. So thats why I deleted 100's of hours of development out of my hal files the other day and adopted Plasmac. But I need a bt of time to tidy up a couple of things before I start to cut with it.
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21 Apr 2019 03:28 #131366 by islander261
Rod

I actually think it is closer to thousands of hours of development time and testing. It has been 3 1/2 years now with using LinuxCNC in production for the last year. I started from knowing the Wikipedia definition of Linux and getting a spare PC at the dump.

John
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