but all they have is the terrible Torchmate CAM/CAD package for running posts. No one wants to learn it, and we’ve been getting away with importing our DXF’s directly into the CNC motion controller (VMC), but that’s going to be inadequate very shortly.

I brought my personal laptop in with Sheetcam on it to show them how much better it would be if bought a licence and got that going, but I can’t for the life of me figure out a post that will work with this thing.

First off, it uses M64 and M65 to turn the torch on and off, and has a totally independent height controller module (so no z-axis).

Tried all the Torchmate posts, just to see if any of them would work after I fixed the torch on/off settings to match the Torchmate 4800. Then I tried importing one of the example jobfiles that came with the machine, back into SheetCAM. It seemed to treat arcs as straight lines.

Here’s one of the job posts that creates a square with circular hole:

G90

G70

G41

M65

G00X1.058Y1.433

M64

G01X0.848Y1.377F100.

G03X0.793Y1.168CX0.881Y1.256

G03X0.793Y1.168CX1.500Y1.875

M65

G00X0.000Y0.000

M64

G01X0.000Y3.375

G01X3.000Y3.375

G01X3.000Y0.375

G01X0.000Y0.375

M65

M02

and here’s another one that’s supposed to create a rosetta pattern:

G90

G70

M06 T3

G00X0.000Y0.000

M64

G01X0.000Y26.000

G01X26.000Y26.000

G01X26.000Y0.000

G01X0.000Y0.000

G03X0.000Y26.000CX0.000Y13.000

G03X26.000Y26.000CX13.000Y26.000

G03X26.000Y0.000CX26.000Y13.000

G03X0.000Y0.000CX13.000Y0.000

G01X26.000Y26.000

M65

G00X0.000Y26.000

M64

G01X26.000Y0.000

M65

G00X13.000Y0.000

M64

G01X13.000Y26.000

M65

G00X0.000Y13.000

M64

G01X26.000Y13.000

G02X26.000Y13.000CX13.000Y13.000

M65

M02

Any clues on what’s up? I feel like the syntax surrounding the arcs is different, but beyond that I don’t know.

Here’s the Appendix from the manual for the machine controller (Virtual Machine Designer). Appendix A (pages 80-92) describes the dialect of G-code the Torchmate 4800 uses. Not sure why they felt like they needed to reinvent the wheel for something that seems like it’s been pretty figured out already.

Well at least the documentation is reasonable. Try the attached post and see how you get on.

Totally works Les! Count it done: “Torchmate 4400/4800”

Thanks for all your help!

Thanks for the help coming up with the post for the Torchmate 4800. It was running great at first, but I seem to have run into a problem with corners, especially when there’s a tight radii.

When I used your post in sheetcam to come up with a file for the attached DXF, the corners seemed to make the entire machine stutter and I lost steps like crazy, especially on the X-axis with the slaved stepper motor. If I slowed the machine way down (from 220 IPM to 100) it would come out just okay, but would sometimes still lose steps.

When I imported the DXF directly into the VMD machine controller, it worked great and there were no problems with loosing steps. I checked for squareness and out-of-level to make sure it wasn’t a mechanical issue.

Any insights?

Here’s the g-code generated by Sheetcam:

'Filename: face.tap

'Post processor: Torchmate plasma VMD.scpost

'Date: 28/11/2016

G70 'Units: Inches

G90

G40

'Part: MGBT03-03-641_Face

'Operation: Inside Offset, fce inside, T2: Steel 30A; 20 Ga [0.036"]

'115 V

G00 X7.3500 Y8.9809

M64

G01 X7.6000 F260

G01 Y2.4545

G02 X7.3750 Y2.2295 I-0.2250 J-0.0000 F260.0

G01 X2.0000 F260

G02 X1.7750 Y2.4545 I0.0000 J0.2250 F260.0

G01 Y10.8295 F260

G02 X2.0000 Y11.0545 I0.2250 J0.0000 F260.0

G01 X7.3750 F260

G02 X7.6000 Y10.8295 I0.0000 J-0.2250 F260.0

G01 Y8.9809 F260

G01 X7.3500

M65

G00 X10.6500 Y9.6826

M64

G01 X10.4000

G01 Y12.2045

G02 X10.6250 Y12.4295 I0.2250 J0.0000 F260.0

G01 X27.8750 F260

G02 X28.1000 Y12.2045 I0.0000 J-0.2250 F260.0

G01 Y6.8295 F260

G02 X27.8750 Y6.6045 I-0.2250 J-0.0000 F260.0

G01 X10.6250 F260

G02 X10.4000 Y6.8295 I0.0000 J0.2250 F260.0

G01 Y9.6826 F260

G01 X10.6500

M65

G00 X34.1786 Y2.4795

M64

G01 Y2.2295

G01 X31.1250

G02 X30.9000 Y2.4545 I0.0000 J0.2250 F260.0

G01 Y10.8295 F260

G02 X31.1250 Y11.0545 I0.2250 J0.0000 F260.0

G01 X36.5000 F260

G02 X36.7250 Y10.8295 I0.0000 J-0.2250 F260.0

G01 Y2.4545 F260

G02 X36.5000 Y2.2295 I-0.2250 J0.0000 F260.0

G01 X34.1786 F260

G01 Y2.4795

'Operation: Outside Offset, face, T2: Steel 30A; 20 Ga [0.036"]

M65

G00 X38.6850 Y5.7802

M64

G02 X38.5250 Y5.9402 I0.0000 J0.1600 F260.0

G01 Y12.7953 F260

G03 X38.5000 Y12.8203 I-0.0250 J0.0000 F260.0

G01 X0.0000 F260

G03 X-0.0250 Y12.7953 I0.0000 J-0.0250 F260.0

G01 Y0.1592 F260

G03 X0.0000 Y0.1342 I0.0250 J0.0000 F260.0

G01 X8.2500 F260

G03 X8.2750 Y0.1592 I0.0000 J0.0250 F260.0

G01 Y2.9760 F260

G02 X8.3409 Y3.1351 I0.2250 J0.0000 F260.0

G01 X11.1945 Y5.9886 F260

G02 X11.3536 Y6.0545 I0.1591 J-0.1591 F260.0

G01 X27.1464 F260

G02 X27.3055 Y5.9886 I0.0000 J-0.2250 F260.0

G01 X30.1591 Y3.1351 F260

G02 X30.2250 Y2.9760 I-0.1591 J-0.1591 F260.0

G01 Y0.1592 F260

G03 X30.2500 Y0.1342 I0.0250 J0.0000 F260.0

G01 X38.5000 F260

G03 X38.5250 Y0.1592 I0.0000 J0.0250 F260.0

G01 Y5.9402 F260

G02 X38.6850 Y6.1002 I0.1600 J0.0000 F260.0

M65

M65

M02

And here’s the g-code generated by the included DXF importer:

'-----------------------------+

’ Lincoln Global.

’ MVT - DXF to G&M

'-----------------------------+

G70

G90

G01 F200.000000

M65

M06 T1

G41

M65

G00 X10.3750 Y6.6703

M64

G03 X10.6250 Y6.4203 CX10.6250 Y6.6704

G01 X27.8750 Y6.4203

G03 X28.1250 Y6.6703 CX27.8750 Y6.6704

G01 X28.1250 Y12.0453

G03 X27.8750 Y12.2953 CX27.8750 Y12.0454

G01 X10.6250 Y12.2953

G03 X10.3750 Y12.0453 CX10.6250 Y12.0454

G01 X10.3750 Y6.6703

G41

M65

G00 X1.7500 Y2.2953

M64

G03 X2.0000 Y2.0453 CX2.0000 Y2.2954

G01 X7.3750 Y2.0453

G03 X7.6250 Y2.2953 CX7.3750 Y2.2954

G01 X7.6250 Y10.6703

G03 X7.3750 Y10.9203 CX7.3750 Y10.6704

G01 X2.0000 Y10.9203

G03 X1.7500 Y10.6703 CX2.0000 Y10.6704

G01 X1.7500 Y2.2953

G41

M65

G00 X30.8750 Y2.2953

M64

G03 X31.1250 Y2.0453 CX31.1250 Y2.2954

G01 X36.5000 Y2.0453

G03 X36.7500 Y2.2953 CX36.5000 Y2.2954

G01 X36.7500 Y10.6703

G03 X36.5000 Y10.9203 CX36.5000 Y10.6704

G01 X31.1250 Y10.9203

G03 X30.8750 Y10.6703 CX31.1250 Y10.6704

G01 X30.8750 Y2.2953

G41

M65

G00 X0.0000 Y12.6361

M64

G01 X38.5000 Y12.6361

G01 X38.5000 Y-0.0000

G01 X30.2500 Y-0.0000

G01 X30.2500 Y2.8168

G03 X30.1768 Y2.9935 CX30.0000 Y2.8168

G01 X27.3232 Y5.8471

G03 X27.1464 Y5.9203 CX27.1464 Y5.6704

G01 X11.3536 Y5.9203

G03 X11.1768 Y5.8471 CX11.3536 Y5.6704

G01 X8.3232 Y2.9935

G03 X8.2500 Y2.8168 CX8.5000 Y2.8168

G01 X8.2500 Y-0.0000

G01 X0.0000 Y-0.0000

G01 X0.0000 Y12.6361

M65

M02

Hmm, that’s odd. I can’t see any really significant differences. Their code is different as it uses G41 kerf width compensation but that should not make a difference. It also cuts in the opposite direction but again that shouldn’t matter.

Just a thought - try manually deleting the F260.0 from the end of each line apart from the very first one.

It seemed to help a little, but I think it may have just been my imagination.

I think I’m going to have to just keep the speeds below 200 ipm even though it advertises 500 ipm.

I’m suspicious that the issue is the high feed rate combined with a short arc in between two linear moves. When I ran the rosetta program described in an earlier post at 500 ipm, it had no problems at all. That program had radial moves, but they were long, and not part of a radiused corner. I think what I might try in the future is to remove radiused corners less than .25" when I have to go over 200 ipm.

I’m actually starting to hate this machine.

Give this post a try. I tried to get it to produce code as similar to your dxf importer sample as possible.

Thanks Les! This totally works. I’m still running into problems with it losing position, but I’m pretty sure the blame there lays with the machine.

Just so you know, the drill routine as it’s defined in the post works great too. Thanks for your help!

Just wanted to follow up and see how this was working out?

The post itself is totally doing the job!

The Torchmate on the other hand has been a disappointment. Losing position has been an issue that will not go away unless I keep the speed below 120 ipm. Even then, I’ve had problems.

Bummer! I usually run around 150 or so on a TM3 and don’t loose steps.

The 4800 is supposed to be the new hotrod too.