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Any Artcam users?

I’m using an ancient version of ArtCam Pro. Specifically ArtCam Pro
4.5 with an early model ModelMaster minimill. I’m wanting to cut
something on the rotary table. Done the rendering, done the math -
more than once-, set everything up same as usual, but the Y axis
locks up. Everything’s been taken apart n cleaned and reassembled.
Still, it locks on the Y axis. The motor hums, but head doesn’t
rotate. For giggles I changed the factor number thinking maybe I’m
asking it to do something outside the envelope, like using too high a
factor. Worked one direction, but not back until I plugged in a
factor below 3.

Seems what I’m wanting to cut is too small for the rotary table
stepper motors to handle. Either confirmation of my suspicion or
advice as to what I may be doing wrong would be great. What I’m
trying to cut is a 10 x 7mm bead. Anyone have any experience cutting
something this small? Upgrading the entire system is out of the

Reply either here, or direct

Hi Aufin;

Might not be a problem with the mill, could be the settings on the
computer. What operating system are you using? I had a similar
problem with a Roland mill, running Modela Player on Windows 7. The
mill uses a port and the port settings had to be adjusted. You can
usually spool the file, but you will probably need to make sure the
port is using hardware control. Give us some more info.

David L. Huffman

Hello Aufin,

I am of the opinion that if one doesn’t know the answer to a
question… “Shut Up!” But… overriding my better judgment… We
use ArtCam Jewelsmith here… a later version. We do not use the
Model Master mills at this time but I have used and taught on
several Model Master mills and I have never seen one that in the
code called the rotary as the " Y " axis. It is usually " A " or in
some cases " W ".

I point this out because X, Y, & Z axis moves are in MM when using
ArtCam Jewelsmith. The rotary… probably " A" axis actually moves
in degrees. Thus, the controller board is probably getting a command
like shown in the code snippet…below outputting degrees… the
"Y" port wouldn’t understand that as it is looking for MM so it will
not move.

Again, I know nothing of that ArtCam version…and I haven’t seen
your machine. This may or may not be correct but I just thought it
might help. A lot of the machine builders did some strange things
back when all this started and Mike was sure no exception. We write
code for a customer that has a quite ancient Model Master Machine
and the code we send him to cut looks like what is below.

Make sure you used a 4 axis post for the code output as well. I hope
this helps and that I didn’t lead you off a cliff! Good Luck.

Dan DeArmond

(Cuts GB Alden Signet)
(Use .005 15 deg tool)
(Use 32mm Ring Tube)
(Z-0 Is Center Of Rotary)
G00 Y 0.0000
G00 X 0.0000
G00 Z 34.9200
G00 A -0.0000
G00 A -180.0000 X -13.2505 Z 34.9200
G01 X 13.2805
G01 A -179.8436


I might be damed stuborn but most of my rotary work translates
circumferance to actual mm linear motion. Lots of math and gear
ratios involved, I have used angular motion once in a while but that
realy hurts my small brain. Cheat sheet on the wall gives me mm step
sizes for most ring sizes for all rotary axis I use.(don’t ask, I
only pretend to be sane :slight_smile: “A” used for angular and “W” for linear

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing

Hey Jeff,

Sane??? Ha! I gave that up many years ago… it was just too much
trouble! I use both linear and angular… I haven’t come across a
version of ArtCam Jewelsmith that outputs linear movements for a
rotary. There sure may be one but I haven’t ran across it. The code
sample was out of ACJS 2009 using a model master post. Since he was
using ArtCam, I thought that might be of better help. I write my
post to output whichever I want… depending on what CAM program I am
using. Some CAM programs internally use an algorithms that allow
only linear or angular code output. The machine control has some to
say about this as well… some will do one and not the other…some
will do both. I’m not about to sit here and convert one to the
other!!! YUK!!! You’re correct… that would be brain pain deluxe!
I’d get out one piece a month if I needed to or not trying that! HA!

Thanks. Dan.

Gee Dan,

It sounds like you know a lot more about machining than I do. I’m
just a jeweler who learned to use the tools in artcam and who is
able to output up to five pieces per day.

The trick with ArtCam is to simply let it do the work. Don’t go into
analysis paralysis.


Craig, you’re exactly right. ArtCam JS is so easy and fast that
there is no need in fighting with it. Some of the things we do…
very few but some require techniques that ArtCam doesn’t lend itself
to but for the most part, you can easily fill jewelry store cases
quickly with great pieces once you get oriented to the software and
process. We do about 60 waxes a week and that’s down some from where
we were a couple of years ago.

I don’t know about knowing more… I’ve just been at it a long time.

Again… good words… Just let ArtCam do the work. !!

Good Luck. Dan