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Personalizing Mach3: The CNCCookbook Mach3 Screen Set for the Mill

I really liked CNCZone member ger21's Aqua screen set, both because it looks a lot crisper and more modern than the default 1024.set screens, and also because I think the real estate is better organized and better suited to a touch screen I'll eventually start using. Gerry's out of the box screen set is pretty darned good, but was missing a couple of my favorite features, so I set about making a few mods to it for my own purposes. BTW, it is particularly nice not to have to create a screen design from scratch. Modifying gerry's is much easier! Also, don't hesitate to watch the excellent tutorial videos on the Artsoft support site. Thanks Gerry for doing all the heavy lifting!

Latest Version

I'll keep my latest version available here for your downloading pleasure:

Latest Version

Since my "latest version" may not correspond to Gerry's, you should take my whole set from the link above. I'm not going to deal with keeping my changes separate from what I started from or trying to make it possible to add my changes to arbitrary versions of the Aqua set. For that reason, mine is accessed by loading "CNCCookbook.set" from the Mach3 View menu.

To install:

1. Unzip the files to a temporary directory.

2. Go into that directory to the Mach3 folder. Inside is the CNCCookbook.set file. Copy that to your working Mach3 folder.

3. Go to the bitmaps folder and copy the "Aqua" folder to your working Mach 3 bitmaps folder. Grab the folder and it's contents so you will have an Aqua folder in your Mach3 Bitmaps folder.

4. Start up Mach3, go to the View menu, select "Load Screens" and load CNCCookbook.set. That's all there is to it. If you ever want to go back to the defaults, go back to this menu and pick 1024.set.

Give it a whirl, you'll like it!

Jog Increment Button

I get a lot of mileage out of jogging by steps and being able to cycle through the step sizes. This is especially true since I got the idea from Hoss to set up Mach3 to include a half thou (0.0005") step size. Changing the list of jog step increments is easy. Just go to the Config menu and select "General Config". The list is right on that screen. I had no use for the larger increments, so my list looks like this:

0.1

0.01

0.001

0.0005

0.0001

And I repeat the same values a second time. Most of the time I like to use 0.0005, so it's convenient that Mach3 remembers which one you selected last. The original Aqua screen set lacked a way to step through the jog increments (it's on the <Tab> jog fly-out, which is missing), so I added a button to do this.

Wish List

Things I want to do to the screen set but haven't figured out how to yet:

  • MRU List for Wizards: The existing Wizard menu is just a scrolling list in alphabetical order. Unfortunately, the Wizard I want is often "below the fold" and requires scrolling. I'd love to either control the order, or better yet, have it show me the last 3 Wizards I used at the top. This looks hard to do without some rude hacks because I can't see a way to get the list of Wizards into the VB script language Mach 3 uses.

Things to Know About Customizing Mach3 Screens

These are notes on little things I've learned along the way:

Attaching VB Script to a Button

To edit or see the VB code associated with a button, click Operator | Edit Button Script.

Setting the Description and Author of a Wizard

This is done by creating two labels on Screen 1 of the Wizard. Note that Wizards are just screen sets. Create an "Author" label and a "Desc" label.

 

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