Artsoft has been in the CNC business since 2001. In this time, the Mach series of CNC software has evolved into the best available PC-based CNC software on the market. Not only is it extremely affordable to the hobbyist and industry alike, it is pioneering in it’s features and continuing development. There are over 10,000 users of Mach who swear by its ease of use, great features, and outstanding support.
The Mach series of software was originally developed for the home hobbyist, but has quickly turned into one of the most versatile control packages for industrial use as well.
Here are some of the basic features and functions provided by Mach3:
- Converts a standard PC to a fully featured, 6-axis CNC controller
- Allows direct import of DXF, BMP, JPG, and HPGL files through LazyCam
- Visual Gcode display
- Generates Gcode via LazyCam or Wizards
- Fully customizable interface
- Customizable M-Codes and Macros using VBscript
- Spindle Speed control
- Multiple relay control
- Manual pulse generation
- Video display of machine
- Touch screen ability
- Full screen eligibility
Mach3 has successfully been used to control the following types of equipment:
- Gear cutting
Wizards are “mini-programs” that extend the capabilities of Mach3. Wizards can be written by anybody and are designed to allow users to quickly perform routine or convenient operations without the need to have a pre-written GCode file. Included with Mach3 are free Wizards for such things as:
- Gear cutting
- Slots and keyways
- Text engraving
- Many standard shapes
Also available, for a fee, are the Mach3 Addons for Mill – a handy collection of wizards designed to minimize the time it takes to go from “start to part”.
LazyCam is a free importer included with Mach3. It’s purpose is to import standard dxf, cmx, and other file types to allow those that do not use CAM programs to more easily generate Gcode to be run under Mach3. The free edition of LazyCam that is included with Mach3 carries no cost. However, there is an optional PRO level upgrade that turns on advanced features such as object offsetting, pocketing, primary foam functions, importation of DXF profiles for conversion to Lathe turning code, etc. It is optional, but gives one the ability to do more advanced importation of objects.
Licensing and Updating
In the past 4 years, Artsoft has freely updated all previous versions of Mach for its customers. This policy still remains today. Any current version of Mach will be free to update for the duration of its development.
Keeping with our home hobbyist roots, the minimum software requirements to run Mach are very reasonable. Below are the specifications for running Mach3 stably.
Mach3 Minimum Requirements:
- Windows 2000/XP Operating System
- 1Ghz CPU
- 512MB RAM
- Non-integrated Video Card with 32MB RAM
- Basic Computer Skills (ability to copy/rename files, browse directories, etc)
- Desktop PC if using the Mach3 Driver (Laptops are not supported because the power saving features of the chipsets disrupt the pulse stream)
The Mach website contains software manuals, training videos, and support options for this software.
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