How to Use Delcam Powermill Mach3 Post Processor for CNC Milling
Delcam Powermill is a powerful CAM software that can generate toolpaths for complex 3D models and CNC machines. However, to use Powermill with Mach3, a popular machine controller software, you need a post processor that can convert the Powermill output into Mach3 compatible G-code.
A post processor is a file that defines the syntax and format of the G-code that the machine controller can understand. Powermill comes with many default post processors, but they may not work well with Mach3. Fortunately, you can create your own post processor or modify an existing one using Delcam's PM Post Processor utility.
In this article, we will show you how to use Delcam Powermill Mach3 post processor for CNC milling. We will assume that you have already installed Powermill and Mach3 on your computer and that you have a 4-axis CNC mill with the fourth axis mounted on the table facing the right.
Step 1: Download and install PM Post Processor
PM Post Processor is a free utility that comes with Powermill. You can download it from here. After downloading, run the installer and follow the instructions to install it on your computer.
Step 2: Find a suitable post processor option file
A post processor option file (.pmopt) is a text file that contains the settings and rules for the post processor. You can find many post processor option files for different machines and controllers on the internet. For example, you can check out this forum thread where some users have shared their post processor option files for Mach3.
Alternatively, you can use one of the default post processor option files that come with Powermill. For example, you can use fanuc6m.pmopt which is a generic post processor for Fanuc controllers. You can find this file in C:\\Program Files\\Delcam\\PowerMILL2010\\posts folder.
Step 3: Modify the post processor option file
If you use a custom post processor option file from the internet, you may not need to modify it much. However, if you use a default post processor option file, you may need to make some changes to make it work with Mach3 and your machine. To do this, you need to use PM Post Processor utility.
Open PM Post Processor and click on File > Open. Browse to the location of the post processor option file and open it. You will see a window with several tabs and sections where you can edit various parameters of the post processor.
Some of the important parameters that you may need to change are:
Output units: Set this to MM or INCH depending on your preference.
Output WP: Set this to World or Local depending on how you want to define your work coordinate system.
G-code format: Set this to match the syntax and format of Mach3 G-code. For example, you may need to change the decimal point character, the number of decimal places, the prefix and suffix characters for words and numbers, etc.
G-code commands: Set this to match the commands and codes that Mach3 supports. For example, you may need to change the codes for spindle speed, feed rate, tool change, coolant, etc.
Canned cycles: Set this to match the canned cycles that Mach3 supports. For example, you may need to change the codes for drilling, tapping, boring, etc.
Arcs: Set this to match how Mach3 handles arcs. For example, you may need to change the codes for arc center mode (IJK or R), arc plane selection (G17-G19), arc direction (G2-G3), etc.
4th axis: Set this to match how Mach3 handles 4th axis. For example, you may need to change the code for 4th axis selection (G54-G59), 4th axis rotation (A or B), 4th axis offset (G92), etc. 061ffe29dd