Monthly Archives: September 2011

Curing “Crop Circles” with Mach3 and Inkscape

Nooo, crop circles!

In a previous article, I wrote all about my ingenious method (or so I thought) of straightening lines so that Inkscape and Mach3 would play nicely together.  Although this method works fairly well, there is a much simpler way to make Mach3 interpret everything correctly.

After a brief email conversation with Mach3, the suggestion was made that I might be in the wrong “IJ mode”.  They were definitely right, and after the change the crop circles magically disappeared!  You can change the default mode (as I did) on Mach3 under Config>General config.

Alternatively, the gcode file can actually specify Read more »

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Refinements to the Dremel 200 Zen Toolworks Mount

Original mount. The Dremel sits low enough that Z-axis movement is restricted.

At some point I’ll probably get around to buying a Dremel 300 for my machine, but in the mean time, my Dremel 200 mount wasn’t working quite as well as it should have.  The Dremel was mounted too high on the ZTW bracket, meaning to do anything useful I had to set the Z-axis zero higher than it should have been.  This was extremely useful when I had to put holes in the table itself for a workholder, but for normal use, things needed to be mounted lower.

At the time, I was having some issues with the Z-axis missing some steps toward the top of it’s travel, so that was part of the motivation for this.  As it turns out, after I added some 3-in-1 oil, things worked much better.  So a little oil = good. Another motivation for this was the original mount could have been held closer to the actual cutting tool, where the accessory screw threads are on the Dremel. Read more »