Getting Started With your Xmotion Starter Series Plasma Machine
*Note* As of the time of writing this, work has already begun on an all-in-one control main board that will eliminate the need for an external motion control computer. When these new components are put into circulation, we will update this post with the new procedures (Which will be less steps) and keep the legacy procedures here as well.
- Power-Up Procedure
1. Press the power button the motion control computer and make sure the LCD screen is turned on
2. Once the Motion Control is booted. Double click the Icon on the desktop screen that is labeled "CNC Control"
3. Home the machine, see the following link for detailed instructions (https://www.badappleproducts.com/learn/homing-your-xmotion-machine) 4. Turn on the Plasma Cutter. *Note* If you turn on the plasma cutter before you open the CNC Control software the plasma start contact will be closed and your plasma unit will display an error. Also, if you turn the plasma cutter on before powering the Control Box via the E-Stop switch and have the CNC Control software already open you will see a single strike of the plasma arc. Please Follow the Power Up Procedure!
After you have followed the "Power-Up" Procedure you have access to each mode. There are three modes
-Jog Mode (The button that is lit up yellow in the illustration to the left). Jog mode must be active in order to manually move your machine. The left and right arrows on your keyboard will Jog the machines X axis plus and negative respectively. The Up and Down arrows on your keyboard will jog the Y axis and the Page Up and Page Down buttons will jog the Z axis.
- MDI Mode (The button just below the Jog button). This mode is used to manually enter GCode. For instance, if you want to rapid the X and Y axes to your current X0 Y0 in your WCS (Work Coordinate System) you would enter G0 X0 Y0 followed by enter. G0 means go as fast as we can, AKA Rapid Feed, and the X an Y words are the values we want to rapid too.
- Auto Mode (The button just below MDI Mode)
This mode is where we load or gcode program that is posted out from our CAM software, or possibly hand written for simple tasks. This is also where you will initiate a cycle start, cycle stop, or cycle pause.
- Setting your WCS (Work Coordinate System) Origin
*Note* Don't confuse the Work Coordinate System with the Machine Coordinate System (MCS). The machine coordinate system is only set once while homing. After the machine is homed all other offsets (Like the WCS) are in relationship to the MCS as a difference value. 1. Switch to Jog Mode and Jog your cutting head to the origin you set it your CAM Software (Like Sheetcam for example). Make sure to navigate Z, Y, and Z to the same place you set it virtually in the CAM software, this relationship is critical.
2. While still in Jog Mode, Click the button just to the right of the Homing menu button. This is your Tool Touch-off Menu. Click the X=0 button, after clicking it you should see your X DRO be set to 0.0000. Repeat the same cycle for Y and Z as well.
- Power-Down Procedure
1. Turn off the plasma cutter
2. Jog the cutting head to the rear-left corner and the z axis all the way up (This is to make homing during the Power-Up procedure go quicker) 3. Press the Red "E-Stop" button on the front of the control panel
4. Exit out of all the windows on the control, including the CNC Control Software.
5. Double Click the Icon on the desktop that is labeled "Shutdown"