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Mach4 Axis Motor Calibration

If your machine is moving incorrect commanded distances, it might be a matter of being calibrated incorrectly. Or, maybe you're setting up a machine for the first time. In either case, follow either of these two procedures to calibrate your machine and make sure an inch is an inch! We also refer to this as "steps per unit" calibration.

First, to access either of the calibration methods, select Configure->Plugins->Machine Calibration to select your method of calibration.

Manual Calibration

In the manual calibration method, you will need a dial indicator to measure the distance moved by the machine. It's quite simple; command a distance, measure it, and put the measured distance into Mach. It will do the calibration for you!

  1. Once you have selected "Manual Calibration," select the axis you want to calibrate on the first drop-down.
  2.  Choose the "Commanded Distance" selection.
  3. Enter the units you want to move the machine (inches in the US)
  4. Set the feedrate of the of the commanded move.
  5. Click "Enable" and "Move."
  6. After the move, put the measurement of the dial indicator in the "How far..." field in the drop down.
  7. Hit "Submit."
  8. Hit "Accept."
  9. Repeat for each axis.

Once you hit accept, it will automatically save the "Steps Per Unit" value in the control configuration.

Automatic Calibration

Automatic calibration is easier. But you'll need to know some info before you dive in. Specifically, what motors you have, the teeth count on your machine gears and the pitch of your ballscrew. Once you have this information, input it into the calibration window. Once the data in put it, you can hit "Calculate" to figure out your steps per unit. You can also set your motor acceleration and velocity. Hit "Accept" to save the motor configuration. Repeat for other axes.