Mach4 Granite Devices motion plugin open beta

I’m happy to announce that have just released the first open beta version of Mach4 Granite Devices motion control plugin. All CNC users out here, welcome to test it with your IONI, ARGON and soon to be released ATOMI drives! Grab a free Mach4 plug-in download from our Wiki:

Shortly put, the plug-in makes it possible to control drives straight from PC USB port. No middle-hardware or step pulse generators needed.

If you go ahead and try it, please give feedback here how it worked out and what you would like to be improved. Thank you!

A quick poll of Mach4 plugin beta 0.9:

  • Haven’t tried it
  • Tried, couldn’t make it work
  • Tried, had some issues but works
  • Tried, worked very well

0 voters

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I have been eagerly waiting for this.
Thanks Tero!

I will get a ionicubex4 cube build done in the coming weeks and start testing.
Have you made any breakout boards so that the limits can be more easily dealt with?

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Great to hear so :slight_smile:

Do you mean some breakout boards for D15 connector limit switch routing? At least we don’t have that.


Yes the Db 15 breakout is what I was talking about.

It would be nice in future hardware designs if a header could be added to motherboard to accomplish this.

With the Ionicube x4 I could mount the board up to the edge of a case similar to Simucube if I did not have to break out the limits.
Do you have any pics of how others are handling this?

Hi Joe,

Limit switches are typically near the motor/axis where the encoder cable is going. So perhaps cleanest & easiest way is to just put multiple cables to the one D15. That’s how it was intended by design but of course it might not work for every case.

Have you considered using hard stop homing & soft limits? Those typically eliminate the need of limit switches altogether.

Nice …finally I will test this weekend

Hi Tero,

I will have to look at the schematic again.
I want to be able to use the physical limits for homing on CNC milling machine. I think Mach4 likes + and - limit switches ( 2 switches per axis)

Seperate question:
Do you have idea for using Ionicubex4 for 4 axis plus Ionicubex1 for spindle control with Mach4?

Make sense?

If I can get everything to work correctly I will start building controls for Bridgeport milling machine retrofits. :slight_smile:

Many many Bridgeports here in the USA waiting for an affordable servo control upgrade.

Following this,

I have a 1980 model Bridgeport Series1 CNC Mill and have planned to retrofit it.

IoniCube seems like a good option because i plan to keep as many old components as i can.

So my plan is to use the existing stepper motors and limit switches. In theory i could fit encoders to the motors to get a closed loop system?

Those original motors are 8-wire and if i got it correct, 8 amps max.

If you have the original steppers I would plan on replacing them.

Over the years I have had around 10 series I or series II rigid ram Bridgeports.
The original steppers seem to loose some of their magnetism from sitting around for many years. They are pretty weak.

Also plan on changing the limit on the Z, and running shielded wire for the new limit. These seemed to always have issues with line noise.

Ok so then i have to start saving for servos also :slight_smile:

The plan to keep the original steppers is mostly because of my laziness… If i change the motors, i will have to build flange adapters and maybe change the belts and pulleys. …but it has to be done anyway so maybe i do the retrofitting in steps, first to get a somehow operational mill and then use the mill to build the special parts for it :smile:

Do you have the big 42 frame motors on yours, with the great big heat sinks?

The AWESOME thing about using Granite devices products is you can easily ditch the steppers and go to servos. Most other companies servo solutions for milling machines are very expensive.
Do not be afraid to use the Chinese mige motors. These have proven to be very good quality and a fraction of the price compared to other name brands.

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So have You used IONIcube and Ioni’s on a Bridgeport? Are those & Mige servos strong enough?

I have planned to make some stainless parts also.

I think MiGe servos are to be used with Argon?

I have not done my mill conversion with Granite devices products yet. I did many conversions previously with other controls.

I am currently looking at the best interface between Ionix4 and Mach4. I picked up a smooth stepper etherner board, but to be honest I have not had much time to read what I need to do.

I have built over 100 direct drive wheels using the Argon and various Ioni boards with Mige motors. I have found the Granite products much more user friendly than the previous controls I used.

Any update to Mach Plugin ? the beta version is not working !!!

Hi Danrusu

Could you explain in a bit more detail in what way the plugin does not work? Does it work at all, or works to some extent, etc.

I’m assuming you have read our wiki page about the plugin details and configuration, but please double check all setting nevertheless.

Kind regards,

well i setup twice motion plugin and mach4 according to wiki and no movement on motors ! nothing !!!

Hi Danrusu

Do you have any flashing LED sequence readable in the drives?
Or do you have any status indicators visible in Mach4?
If you can connect to the drives with Granity, please check the Testing tab for any active fault indicators, and reply with the device statuses (button in the bottom-left corner in Granity/Testing tab).

Kind regards,

Hi Guys, Any update on the Mach4 plugin. I will be retrofitting two large machines and the Argon/Mach4 sounds like a real winner.

The plugin is in beta stage and we really would like more feedback on it. I think @Danrusu never came back with any detailed test report and what part of it does not work. We have done some limited testing on the plugin and it seems to work as expected, although improvements can always be made.