Pierce counter in Mach3?

Has anyone added a pierce counter in Mach3? or is there one already there? I found an old thread on P/S where someone tells how to add a pierce counter but not sure that I am finding what he is talking about?
Just wondering if any of you have added a pierce counter?
I know that the job reports in sheetcam will tell you how many times that you have pierced but thought it would be easier to see how many pierces on the mach3 screen.

Thank you

Just for clarification, I know how to do the easy stuff, lol I just don’t know how to make it count, I believe that there should be a way to make it count every time that the “Torch On/Off” led gets the on signal. Below is what I changed and something like I would like to have.

It looked from the brief nosing around that I did that we’d need to add something to the post-processor to generate a bit of code that will do the math and create the parameter Mach3 would then display. Not sure how to make it persistent though - across jobs.

If it’s for just the single job (for customer billing purposes for example) then Sheetcam also can create a report that includes pierces, times and distances based on your toolpaths and settings

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I found a couple threads on other forums… Maybe have a look at these??
Didn’t have a chance to look them over yet but, if it looks like they might work,
I’m at least, going to install the pierce count and total cut time…



Looks like the possibilities are endless…

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Good news, we had a good night last night so I had a little time to play around and got it working. Now I can see what all we come up with now that I have a better understanding of how it works.
It is all done in mach3 and I’ll get screenshots later and post them here for those that are interested. Here is a short video of it working. I put the reset button on a different page so I won’t accidently clear it.

I feel like I’ve just completed a 10 mile marathon, I’ve never used Mach 3 until I ordered my table a couple of months ago and already customising it. Lol

Have a great day and safe cutting.


That’s great Donald… Can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with… I’m assuming you just customized your original screen set? “Plasma.set” or “1024.set” ???

Looks great to me…

Nice job. It keeps the counter between Mach3 sessions so you can reset when you swap consumables?

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Yes, I customized the Plasma.set and had to add code to the M3 macro in the Langmuir folder.

Yes, the counter is kept in the Mach3 software and it keeps the number even after a restart of the computer and next time it picks up right where it left off.

Do you usually change the shield and electrode at the same time? I haven’t cut enough to know yet but I was thinking about doing a counter for each in case I only have to change the electrode and the shield is still good?

I will work on the cut timer tonight.

This is getting fun.


Hey Donald,

Are you able to make the counter any way you want? Like could you make it turn a different color when it gets to a certain number? So say you did a consumable change, could you make it turn yellow at so many pierces and then red when it gets to a certain number? Or a certain date?

I haven’t gotten that far yet but I am thinking that you can from what i’v read on P/S here is a link that got me to thinking about it.


Some of the info in there is not accurate anymore, at least I couldn’t get it to work when I tried it like he described. The user DRO’s have to be over 1000 and another person that was helping me on the mach3 forum suggested going above 1200 I will post screenshots of how I have mine setup tonight.

I even moved the Jog, constant and inc to the front page so I don’t have to hit the tab button any more to change it.


@DWalls … I’m wondering which screen set edit/creator you found the best for your changes… I’ve tried Screen4 and it seems to like to stall for me… And, I just have to spend a little more time wtih the Klaus’ editor I guess… These are great changes… The JOG const/inc is another one I was going to do also!! Good Call!!

KX9M Yes I have the same problem with Screen4 and now the only one that I am using is Machscreen.



Worked on the electrode and shield counter some more tonight and finally got something that I think will be useful for me. I had to create a button on the bottom of the screen that I will remove later, it simulates the M3 command when you run the G code. I haven’t found a way to run the G code without my crossfire plugged in for feedback, so if there is a way then please let me know.

In the beginning of the video I show the Jog Mode that I moved to the front page that I like probably as much as the counter.

Right now for testing I have the red flashing LED Boxes set at 300 and you will see that when the number hits 300 the red will start flashing around the number and for the second warning you will see that when the Electrode count gets to 310 then the border around that section will start flashing. I also put the button that says pierces at the top so that you can make it stop flashing, but as soon as the m3 code runs again the boxes will start flashing again if the count is still above what is set.

To reset the counter after you change either the electrode or shield you simply click on the numbers and hit 0 then enter.

I believe I have actually worked longer on learning how to modify the screens and getting the counter working than I have actually cut on my crossfire, it’s all fun but this part is making my brain hurt.

As soon as I verify that it works when cutting then I’ll post the code that I used for anyone that wants to use it.

Safe cutting


@DWalls <------ Awesome work on this. I’m still struggling a bit (learning it) with MachScreen. But, I’ll get it! no doubt!! Looks great!!

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this is crazy brother - very cool. I envy those that have the ability to do things like this. crazy crazy.


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I got some more time to work on the Pierce counter and cut timer and I got it working just not exactly like I wanted but I will keep working on it as time permits. It is displaying the cut timer in seconds and I’m not sure of the code that I need to make it show in minutes and seconds so if anyone knows I would appreciate the help. I am putting a link to the 3 files that I have modified in my drop box for anyone that wants to look at it. Please back up your original if you try this, I put them on my second computer and they worked like they do on my laptop but I had stock screens and stock M3 and M5 files so if you have modded any of those then using mine will most likely lose some of your settings. The Plasma.set goes in your mail Mach3 Folder and the other 2 go into the Mach3\macros\CrossFire-v1.1 folder.

It isn’t perfect, and I already found a problem with the cut timer, it seems like sheetcam is adding a line at the bottom of my post that has another M05 and a M30 and both of these add the last cut time to the timer. I know why it is adding time again when the M05 code runs because that is the file that stops the counter but not sure about the M30? It is an easy fix, I load the code into Mach3 then I just edit it and go to the last line of my code and replace the M05 and M30 with a G30 then my torch returns back to the home positon after cutting and no extra time is added. Example below, I only have to do this once and then it saves it like I want.
Original code from Sheetcam
N10840 X4.9277 Y15.0589
N10850 G03 X4.9829 Y15.1829 I-0.0344 J0.0896
N10860 M05
N10870 M05 M30

Change to this
N10840 X4.9277 Y15.0589
N10850 G03 X4.9829 Y15.1829 I-0.0344 J0.0896
N10860 M05
N10870 G30

I also added a reset button that will clear the pierce count and the cut count both at the same time, one for the Electrode and one for the Shield.

What else do you wish that was on the front screen? I use the Jog button more than I thought I would, and I have that on the front screen so no more TAB to get to it.

Have fun

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Awesome ill try it out… Tried it, works perfectly… I see a new log book in my future :slight_smile:

That’s great, glad it worked, what else do you leave the main screen for that we may be able to bring over, the Jog was the big one for me but I haven’t cut much yet.
I will post the update when I figure out how to display the timer in Minutes.

Have fun
Safe cutting

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Jog for me from the main screen and start and stop.

Gunny0628 are you talking about the jog buttons one the page when you hit the tab key? and what start and stop? I guess that I don’t understand because I use the arrow keys on my keyboard to jog.
Let me know what exactly and maybe we can find a place to put them.

Safe cutting