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Getting Started: Safety Information
Any machine tool is potentially dangerous. Computer controlled machines are potentially more dangerous than manual ones.
Warp 9 Tech Design, Inc. does not accept responsibility for the performance of any machine or any damage or injury caused by its use. It is your responsibility to ensure that you understand the implications of what you design and build and to comply with any legislation and codes of practice applicable to your country or state.
Warp9 Tech Design assumes no responsibility for damage to you, your computer or the SmoothStepper device if a damaging voltage is applied to the power input or to the I/O of the SmoothStepper. The use of a breakout board is recommended to protect you, the computer, and the SmoothStepper. A breakout board is a device that connects to the SmoothStepper’s I/O connectors, and connects each I/O line to buffer ICs or terminal blocks.
If you are in any doubt you must seek guidance from a professionally qualified expert rather than risk injury to yourself or to others.
This website is intended to give details about how to set-up the Ethernet SmoothStepper and USB SmoothStepper for use with Mach3 or Mach4. It assumes that you are familiar with the contents of Artsoft’s documentation for Mach3 or Mach4 as applicable.
Also, it is critically important that you use EStop Button(s) with your system. The EStop button is an Emergency Stop button. The EStop button is there so it can be pressed during an emergency so it can stop your equipment, and hopefully prevent injuries and damage.
Software is not a reliable way to stop motors in an Emergency situation, since something can go wrong with software. You need to rely on a hardware approach to disable motors and other outputs in an Emergency situation. The EStop button should disable your motors and other output devices (spindles, plasma cutters, lasers, etc...), but it shouldn't reset the SmoothStepper or remove its power. Instead, the SmoothStepper's EStop input signal should be used as a courtesy signal to inform the SmoothStepper and Mach that the EStop button has been pressed. Technically the EStop input of the SmoothStepper does not need to be used. The EStop courtesy signal can be connected to another I/O device since that device will inform Mach, which in turn will inform the SmoothStepper that an EStop occurred. Mach will halt execution of the current program and place the system in a safe state.
It is important that your EStop functions in a manner that complies with your local regulations.
In addition you may create wood dust or use potentially flammable or explosive liquids or gasses, which can lead to potentially explosive atmospheric conditions. This may be addressed by connecting your table/machinery to earth ground, but make sure you know what your local regulations require first. Here are a couple of useful links regarding the Safe Collection of Wood Waste and another one on Explosive Atmospheres, but again make sure you know what your local regulations require.
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