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Leigh Sylvester
Leigh Sylvester

Learn CNC with Artsoft Mach4: Tutorials, Videos, and Resources



What is Artsoft Mach4?




If you are looking for a powerful, flexible and responsive CNC software that can handle very large files, you might want to check out Artsoft Mach4. Artsoft Mach4 is the latest version of CNC motion control software from Newfangled Solutions, the home of the popular MACH series of machine control software.




artsoft mach 4



Artsoft Mach4 was written from the ground up to be expandable, flexible, and extremely responsive for use with very large files. Unlike Mach3, which was designed for simple hobby machines, Mach4 is suitable for industrial equipment that requires high quality, speed, and reliability. Mach4 can run up to 6 axis machines and supports various types of machines, such as mills, drills, lathes, routers, plasma, laser, 3D printers, press brakes, etc.


Artsoft Mach4 is also modular and customizable. You can choose from different versions of Mach4 depending on your needs. You can also modify the user interface, create your own machine profiles, use different motion control plugins, write your own macros and scripts, etc. Artsoft Mach4 offers a platform for expansion, modification, and new features.


Why choose Artsoft Mach4?




There are many reasons why you might want to choose Artsoft Mach4 over other CNC software. Here are some of them:


  • Mach4 is faster and more responsive. Mach4 can handle very large files without lagging or crashing. It can also run multiple instances of itself on one computer. It has a faster interpreter that can execute complex G-code commands with ease.



  • Mach4 is more flexible and expandable. Mach4 can run different types of machines with different configurations. You can also add new features and functions to Mach4 by using plugins or writing your own code. You can even create your own screen sets or use third-party ones.



  • Mach4 is more reliable and stable. Mach4 has been in use on industrial equipment running constantly for over two years. It has a robust error handling system that can recover from unexpected situations. It also has a built-in watchdog timer that can detect if the motion controller stops responding.



  • Mach4 is more user-friendly and intuitive. Mach4 has a modern user interface that is easy to navigate and operate. It also has a comprehensive help system that explains every feature and function of the software. It also has a simulation mode that allows you to test your G-code before running it on your machine.



How to install and license Artsoft Mach4?




Installing and licensing Artsoft Mach4 is easy. Just follow these steps:


  • Download the latest version of Mach4 from the official website. The software is available in two versions: Hobby and Industrial. The Hobby version is suitable for most users who want to run their machines for personal or small-scale projects. The Industrial version is designed for professional users who need more advanced features and functions.



  • Install the software on your computer by running the installer file. You can choose the default installation location or change it if you want. The installer will also create a shortcut on your desktop for easy access.



  • License the software by purchasing a license from the online store. You will need to provide your PC ID code from the Help/About screen in Mach4. Once you receive your license file by email, copy it to the folder where you installed Mach4 (usually C:\\Mach4Hobby\\). Then restart Mach4 and it will be activated.



How to configure and customize Artsoft Mach4?




Screen selection and editing




One of the first things you might want to do after installing Artsoft Mach4 is to select or edit your screen set. A screen set is a collection of screens that display different information and controls for operating your machine. You can switch between different screens by using tab controls.


Mach4 comes with several screen sets that you can choose from depending on your machine type. You can find them in the Profiles folder where you installed Mach4 (usually C:\\Mach\\Profiles\\). To select a screen set, go to Configure > Select Profile in Mach4 and choose one of the profiles available.


Using MDI commands and macros




Another function of Artsoft Mach4 is to use MDI commands and macros. MDI stands for Manual Data Input and it means entering and executing manual commands in Mach4. Macros are scripts that contain a series of commands that can be executed automatically or by pressing a button.


To use MDI commands in Mach4, you need to go to the MDI tab on the screen and type the command you want to execute in the text box. Then press the Enter key or the Execute button on the screen or on your keyboard or device. The command will be executed and you will see the result on the screen. You can also use the history buttons to recall previous commands.


To use macros in Mach4, you need to first create or edit your macro files using a text editor or the Macro Editor tool that comes with Mach4. You can find your macro files in the Macros folder where you installed Mach4 (usually C:\\Mach\\Macros\\). To execute a macro in Mach4, you need to assign it to a button on your screen or device and press it. You can also use the M98 command to call a macro from another macro or G-code file.


Using probes and offsets




Another function of Artsoft Mach4 is to use probes and offsets. Probes are devices that can measure the position and orientation of your workpiece on your CNC machine. Offsets are values that can adjust the work coordinates and zero point of your workpiece relative to your machine coordinates.


To use probes in Mach4, you need to first make sure that your probe is connected and configured properly. Then you need to go to the Probe tab on the screen and select the type of probing you want to perform, such as edge finding, center finding, hole finding, etc. Then you need to press the Probe button on the screen or on your keyboard or device. The machine will move the probe until it touches your workpiece and sets the work coordinates accordingly.


To use offsets in Mach4, you need to first make sure that your workpiece is positioned and oriented correctly on your CNC machine. Then you need to go to the Offsets tab on the screen and select the offset type you want to use, such as G54, G55, G56, etc. Then you need to enter the offset values for each axis in the text boxes or use the buttons on the screen or device to set them automatically. The offset values will be added or subtracted from your work coordinates and zero point.


What are the benefits of Artsoft Mach4?




Using Artsoft Mach4 for CNC machining has many benefits. Here are some of them:


  • You can achieve higher quality and accuracy. Artsoft Mach4 can handle complex G-code commands and large files without compromising on speed and performance. It can also use probes and offsets to measure and adjust your workpiece position and orientation precisely.



  • You can save time and money. Artsoft Mach4 can run multiple instances of itself on one computer and control multiple machines simultaneously. It can also use simulation mode and diagnostics tools to test your G-code and machine before running it. It can also use macros and scripts to automate repetitive tasks.



  • You can have more control and creativity. Artsoft Mach4 can run different types of machines with different configurations and features. It can also be customized and modified according to your preferences and needs. You can also create your own screen sets, machine profiles, plugins, macros, etc.



Where to find more information and support for Artsoft Mach4?




If you want to learn more about Artsoft Mach4 or get help with any issues or questions, you can find various resources and links online. Here are some of them:


  • The official website. You can find more information about Artsoft Mach4 features, versions, pricing, plugins, etc. on the official website. You can also download the latest version of Mach4, purchase a license, or contact support from there.



  • The documentation. You can find detailed manuals and guides on how to install, configure, customize, and use Artsoft Mach4 in the Docs folder where you installed Mach4 (usually C:\\Mach\\Docs\\). You can also access them online from the documentation page.



  • The forum. You can find a large community of users and experts who can help you with any issues or questions related to Artsoft Mach4 on the forum. You can also share your feedback, suggestions, tips, tricks, projects, etc. with other users there.



  • The videos. You can find various videos that demonstrate how to use Artsoft Mach4 for different types of machines and applications on the YouTube channel. You can also watch tutorials, webinars, reviews, etc. from other users there.



Conclusion




Artsoft Mach4 is a powerful, flexible, and responsive CNC software that can handle very large files and run different types of machines with high quality, speed, and reliability. It is also modular and customizable, allowing you to expand, modify, and create new features according to your needs. It is easy to install, license, configure, customize, and use. It also offers various resources and support for learning more about it or getting help with any issues or questions.


If you are looking for a CNC software that can meet your personal or professional needs for CNC machining, you might want to give Artsoft Mach4 a try. You can download a free demo version from the official website and see for yourself what it can do for you.


FAQs




  • What are the system requirements for Artsoft Mach4?



Artsoft Mach4 requires a Windows operating system (XP/Vista/7/8/10) with at least 1 GB of RAM and 2 GHz processor speed. It also requires a compatible motion control plugin for your hardware device that controls your CNC machine.


  • How much does Artsoft Mach4 cost?



Artsoft Mach4 costs $200 for the Hobby version and $1400 for the Industrial version. You can purchase a license from the online store. You will also need to purchase a motion control plugin from its manufacturer separately.


  • How do I upgrade from Mach3 to Mach4?



Mach3 and Mach4 are not compatible with each other. You cannot upgrade from Mach3 to Mach4 directly. You will need to install Mach4 separately on your computer and create a new machine profile for it. You will also need to purchase a new license for Mach4 and a new motion control plugin for your device.


  • Can I run both Mach3 and Mach4 on the same computer?



Yes, you can run both Mach3 and Mach4 on the same computer as long as they are installed in different folders. However, you cannot run them simultaneously or control the same machine with them.


  • Can I use my existing G-code files with Artsoft Mach4?



However, some G-code commands may not be supported or may behave differently in Mach4. You can find a list of supported G-code commands and their descriptions in the G-code manual in the Docs folder where you installed Mach4 (usually C:\\Mach\\Docs\\). You can also access it online from the documentation page.



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