How to Input Drawings Into Mach3
By Ryan Crooks
Mach3 is a computer-aided manufacturing application and mill that produces objects from workable materials, such as wood and foam. The automated mill reads instructions, composed of lines of machine code and dimensions, from the Mach3 Machine Controller application. Although you can construct simple shapes from the Mach3 Machine Controller "Wizard," drawings must be imported from text-based DXFs. Autodesk developed the DXF file format, but most computer-aided design applications use the format. Mach3 Machine Controller converts the DXF drawing to machine code with the application's import feature.
Open the Mach3 Machine Controller application and select "DXF" under "Import" in the "File" menu.
Enter the "Feed and Coolant" values in the field on the "Filter" menu.
Press the "Import" button and select the save location for the new Mach3 Machine Controller file in the TAP file format.
Press "Program Run" to mill your imported drawing.
Use Wizards to Input Simple Drawing
Select "Load Wizards" on the "Mach3 Machine Controller" screen; a list of pre-configured milling functions and designs, such as "Cut Arc," "Cut Circle" and "Cut Spline or Gear," appears.
Select the pre-configured wizard you would like to use and press the "Run" button.
Edit the wizard-specific dimensions and values in the "Mach3 CNC Control Application" window and press the "Save Settings" or "Save on Exit" button.
Return to the "Mach3 Machine Controller" window and press the "Program Run" button to mill your drawing.
Ryan Crooks is a licensed architect with 15 years experience in residential, institutional, healthcare and commercial design. Crooks is also an instructor, teaching architecture to high school and college students. He has written hundreds of articles for various websites.