IMODELA software requests

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chevy6600
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IMODELA software requests

Post by chevy6600 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:24 pm

Hi all, i no doubt think that some of the inventive folk at roland are following these posts being that imodela is a new machine, so i have a few requests for them.

1) I find it most inconvenient that i have to have the imodela machine not only connected to the pc but it has to be switched ON if the `controller` software is even viewed. I would like to use the `controller` program unconnected to the machine while i set things up, looking through the code. This would prevent the motors from just burning up (getting pretty damn hot anyway) and time wasted waiting for the machine to keep adjusting it`self back to the beginning. It would also allow me to do set-up project work etc. on my laptop at different locations.

2) In the `controller` program, in the `setup`window the preview window is too small to show the whole width of the code, i mean what is the point of having a window showing the code if you can`t read it !. All i need is the ability to expand the window. (it`s a fixed size)

3) While browsing the code in the `setup` preview or the `cut` preview window it would be nice to be able to select a line of code and run from that point and it would be nice to be able to adjust the code here as well.

4) If the code is stopped running while in the program `controller` / `cut` /`test` what happens is when you stop the program code from running then restart it again the imodela machine starts re cutting from the beginning of the program code but not from the proper co-ordinate `origin` but from a co-ordinate position that originates from the last place it stopped at ie. middle of the last job. Can you please do something here.
Thanks in advance.

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Patrick Thorn
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Re: IMODELA software requests

Post by Patrick Thorn » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:23 pm

Hi Chevy

I will try to help here until Andy returns.

chevy6600 wrote:1) I find it most inconvenient that i have to have the imodela machine not only connected to the pc but it has to be switched ON if the `controller` software is even viewed. I would like to use the `controller` program unconnected to the machine while i set things up, looking through the code. This would prevent the motors from just burning up (getting pretty damn hot anyway) and time wasted waiting for the machine to keep adjusting it`self back to the beginning. It would also allow me to do set-up project work etc. on my laptop at different locations.


So with all Roland machines the firmware inside the machine has the positions etc. The iModela Controller is a Virtual Panel (just a window to see inside the machines brain as there is no display on the machine) that displays the information in the machine in real time ( with minor delays depending on the PC spec etc) and lets you do a few other nice things like stop start feed override etc. Hence if you want to see it working, even in test mode, it needs the machine connected as it cannot run without the machine.

chevy6600 wrote:2) In the `controller` program, in the `setup`window the preview window is too small to show the whole width of the code, i mean what is the point of having a window showing the code if you can`t read it !. All i need is the ability to expand the window. (it`s a fixed size)


This is an interesting point, however, I think it was assumed that if you made the NC Code you could have it open in a text window by the side. Most users have software, like our Modela Player, that you graphically process the model, see the simulation (Virtual Modela) and the machine just works.

chevy6600 wrote:3) While browsing the code in the `setup` preview or the `cut` preview window it would be nice to be able to select a line of code and run from that point and it would be nice to be able to adjust the code here as well.


The way the machines work is the codes go into the machine and are converted internally to a roland format, so it needs to start the program from the beginning to understand how to get to the right place. This window in iModela Controller is only there to help you see where the code is processing, however, then machine has actually read that and other lines in advance to know where to go next. Remember there is no PC controller card or large CNC controller hanging on the side like a large industrial machine at 10X + the price.

chevy6600 wrote:4) If the code is stopped running while in the program `controller` / `cut` /`test` what happens is when you stop the program code from running then restart it again the imodela machine starts re cutting from the beginning of the program code but not from the proper co-ordinate `origin` but from a co-ordinate position that originates from the last place it stopped at ie. middle of the last job. Can you please do something here.



As in the previous point, so you cannot select the line to start from.

I am sure Andy will look at these points on his return, however, this is how all our other machines work.
Patrick Thorn
Premier Consultant - 3D Technology
Roland DG UK Ltd

http://www.rolanddg.co.uk

chevy6600
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Re: IMODELA software requests

Post by chevy6600 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:46 am

Hi patrick thanks for the reply, maybe sometime in the future then.

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Andrew Dudley
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Re: IMODELA software requests

Post by Andrew Dudley » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:35 pm

Hello chevy6600 and welcome to the forum,

I think Patrick has answered your questions, but any feedback is welcomed as we continually develop our products through their life cycle. Your suggestions may come to be in a future update, but no guarantees I'm afraid.

Does anyone else use these functions, and would they benefit from the changes described by chevy?
Andrew Dudley
Business Manager - 3D & Dental
Roland DG (UK) Ltd
Web: www.rolanddg.co.uk

chevy6600
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Re: IMODELA software requests

Post by chevy6600 » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:03 pm

Hi all, well i have been getting on great now that i have made up my own post processor and outputting Gcode this is then run in `imodela controller` but this program is in need of a few tweaks. As i mentioned before, and now after using it for a while, what this program needs is the ability to be stopped mid way through a program and powered down, and when restarted be able to carry on from the cutting position / program position it was last in. This should not be all that difficult to do, all that needs to be done is for the machine to keep track of the program line No. as they are used, then when the program is restarted, the machine starts off from it`s zero position as normal and then fast forwards to the line number that it remembered (or the line before) before it came to a stop. This facility has been needed so many times for me i can`t believe no one else has not brought this up before. For 1) power switched off for some reason. 2) need to change a cutter and not one available for some time so don`t want to keep pc + machine left on just to keep it`s last position. 3) Accidentally closing down `controller` program or pc crashes. 4) The main reason for me is that i needed to alter my settings in the gcode via my cam software and i would need to run the whole 8hrs !! before i got to the same point as where i left off before.
The only way around the lack of this facility is to make up a special cutting path starting from where the machine left off, this in it`self can have it`s own problems / hazards trying to identify path levels/ line N0. etc.

O.K. next i would like to be able to `minimise` the `imodela controller` program to the bottom of the screen without the program shutting down in the middle of cutting! (this also put me in the situation of the above first request).

The ability to see roughly (i`m only asking for a rough guess) the program time and how much left to do.....similar to windows progress bars.

The ability to see the program progress while the machine is running through the Gcode line No. ....i know you can see SOME of the Gcode line No. in the setting up screen and running the `test mode` BUT you can`t change from this `setting` screen and going to the `main` screen and vis a versa without switching off the program!!
Thats all for now, i guess non of it will come to anythink but at least you know my thoughts.

chevy6600
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Re: IMODELA software requests

Post by chevy6600 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:32 am

Hi all, i have another software idea that i think would enhance the viability of the imodela. While tinkering around with my machine i have been using the `imodela control` program more than any other of the software, when i say `using more` i mean that i have operated the machine manually by using the joggle facility that it has, unfortunately you cannot slow down the feed rates, you only have the option to move the length of each spurt of movement, what i want to do is move the cutter as though i was moving the cutter by a hand wheel as though i was manually milling on a standard miller, i think this could easily be done by using the mouse as the input, the further you moved the mouse in a direction the faster the feed would be, the `Z` axis could be from the mouse wheel or some other key function. or another way, the cutter moved to the position of the mouse and when it is the same it then stops, the further the cutter was from the mouse the faster the feed rate, this allows a slow feed speed by dragging the mouse slowly in front of the cutter direction.
This facility would allow you to do small operations without having to make up a program, or to do some correction machine work eg.if the surfacing operation did not finish off it`s job!! ;) . So what do you think the chances are?. Are the programers at roland interested enough in the imodela to make these adjustments. As yet, i have no idea if they even read this forum. :|

chevy6600
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Re: IMODELA software requests

Post by chevy6600 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:48 pm

...just requesting another software alteration i would like you to make. As per my other post i have made relating to this, i would like to have the abillity to adjust a `backlash setting`, this is a standard requirement especialy when using leadscrews, come on now you software guys, this machine could be so much better if you gave the software a little more effort. It is as though you "gave up at the 11th hour" as the saying goes.
over a week since my last post here and no feed back from the software guys :roll:
You can`t exactly say "you only get what you pay for" as i have already payed £600. :roll:

chevy6600
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Re: IMODELA software requests

Post by chevy6600 » Sat May 12, 2012 1:16 pm

I have another request, and i believe you will find that michaelhobbyson would get my vote as well. While cutting out tool paths, the `Z` axis slowly cuts lower levels as dictated by the gcode that is inputted but some situations would require the imodela to go further down than the machine is capable of this apparently causes the imodela to rise in the `Z` axis and continue the rest of the tool paths (of which could be several hours :!: ) cutting thin air :!: . So our request is....and i`m sure their are other imodela owners that have been foold as well.....Can you please make the machine stop automatically and give a reason to why it has stopped in a pop up window in the software.....or even pause the machine this would leave the cutter in a position that the operator can identify?
Better yet, how about the software doing a quick run through the gcode and identify any axis numbering that is out of range first! 8-)

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Re: IMODELA software requests

Post by michaelhobbyson » Sat May 12, 2012 10:41 pm

I agree with Chevy and if I have two votes only, then the following two would get my vote:

1. Display in Controller the progress and elapsed time since start of cutting

2. Pop up message in case of axis overtravel

For the first one, cheapest way doing this is a % value of processed NC lines. This is good enough

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Andrew Dudley
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Re: IMODELA software requests

Post by Andrew Dudley » Mon May 28, 2012 1:03 pm

Hi Guys,

I'll pass these onto the developers to see what they can do. I agree a % completed would be useful.
Andrew Dudley
Business Manager - 3D & Dental
Roland DG (UK) Ltd
Web: www.rolanddg.co.uk

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