SuperCam CNC Machine Tool Control Operating System Program
CNC Machine Tool Control Operating Program for Stepper and Servo Motor Driven XYZ Tables

The SuperCam machine tool control operating system program is a direct approach for running three axis machines.  To use SuperCam, there is no G-code knowledge required.  It is a graphical three axis universal operating system for XYZ mechanisms, using stepper or servo motors to create linear motion.  This enables the automation of common power tools by using a Desktop PC as the machine tool controller.  The drawing objects are converted directly into "direction" and "step" pulse streams, or signals, that directly control three servo or stepper motor drivers through the parallel printer port of a DOS compatible desktop PC.  The program also offers the ability to create and edit CNC g-code files.


SuperCam and our PC CNC XYZ Motor Controller's are all you need to control the motion of an XYZ mechanism that uses stepper motors.  SuperCam also can be used with other manufactures stepper motor electronic drives.

SuperCam can be configured to run many different types of XYZ mechanisms. There are extensive configuration commands.  Each time SuperCam is loaded, a configuration file is read that configures the program for the mechanism attached.  The "SETXYSIZ" and the "SETZSIZE" commands setup the linear step distance for each axis.  It has been used to control a Plasma Torch, DeWalt Wood Router, Enco Drill/Mill, Dremel MotoTool, Scott Engraving Spindle, Sherline Mills and the TAIG CNC Desktop Micro Mill.

Aspects of machine motion control are addressed in the pull down menus.  Cut Speed, Cut Depth, Transverse Speed and Transverse Altitude are easily controlled.  Imported HPGL files can be edited for best tool path performance. The order of events to cut and the direction of the movement can be controlled. Broken poly lines can be joined.  Also items can be copied, moved, rotated, scaled or erased.

The main screen of SuperCam has a small crosshair cursor that represents the spindle location.  The mouse cursor is displayed as a full screen crosshair in the graphics display area.  Across the top is the Status showing whether the SNAP or ORTHO mode is turned on, coordinates of the mouse, filename, table status and the table XYZ location.  Pull Down Menus are displayed when the mouse is positioned at the top of the screen.  The right side of the screen is a menu of commands.  The bottom of the screen is the command line area, that displays the last two commands and the present condition.

SuperCam can be used for design of simple tool paths.  Tool paths are displayed as a vector lines, drawn either in 2D or 3D.  The "F6" function key toggles the viewing mode.  The "Shift F6" enters the 3D viewing aspect control setup screen.  CAD features include drawing commands for creating arcs, circles, lines and points. Intricate parts can be designed and then cut to close tolerances on the connected mechanisms.


Two special commands, "LINEUP" and "LINEDWN", cause 3 dimensional tool movements.  The tool will either start at the depth of cut and end at the surface or start at the surface and end at the depth of cut specified.  Curved lines imported from CorelDraw files, can be changed to these kinds of drawing items by using the "CHGLNUP" and "CHGLNDWN" commands.  This feature offers wonderful possibilities in wood carving and jewelry making.

There are seventeen engraving fonts included with SuperCam.  The "TEXT" command allows you to specify a starting point and height of text to be engraved. The "TEXTFIT" command allows the user to fit the text into a desired area by selecting the bottom, top and end point.  The "TEXTCTR" command allows the user to create text above a center point, with the text height and width ratio as variables.  The text lettering tool paths can be exported as CNC g-code files.

Designs and text created in SuperCam can be saved to the hard drive and reloaded when desired through the FILE pull-down menu commands.


Images can be transferred to wood and metal. SuperCam can read .TIF files in the uncompressed, infinite grayscale mode.  The spindle will follow the scan of the image,diving the tool deepest where it is darkest.  All the cutting parameters are controlled by setting variables.  Line width image engravings can be created using this feature with V-tipped cutting tools.  The images created have holographic viewing effects. The image becomes part of the material, it is not just on it but it is in it.

Drawings created in other programs such as CorelDraw and AutoCad can be exported as HPGL plot files, and subsequently imported into SuperCam. SuperCam can be thought of as a plot file editor with direct control of a powerful plotter that has had the pen replaced with a rotating cutting tool.  The pen width is determined by the diameter of the cutting tool.  The "TOOLWDTH" command sets the size of the corresponding red dot when animating tool movements.

Import a BMP file and convert to a CAM file in SuperCam, CNC Machine Control Program Software.
Above is the tool path generated from the .BMP file (displayed at the right).  A circle was drawn to include this part of the drawing.

Then using the EDITI command, was changed to a ploy line.  It was then trimmed with the TRIM command. 

SuperCam can repeat a tool path with increasing depths of cut on each pass. This feature allows the creation of raise letter carved wood signs.

Two dimensional patterns can be created by scanning a pencil tracing of an object.  The scan can then be outline traced using CorelDraw, and exported as a ".plt" plot file.  SuperCam can then import the HPGL file and use it directly as a tool path or export it to a CNC g-code ".txt" file.  In this way you can use many different Windows graphics arts programs for creating machine tool paths. Commonly available clipart can be used to create tool paths.

Three axis CNC g-code and DXF files can be import using the "INP_CNC" or "INP_DXF" commands, and used to directly control stepper motors. If the XYZ table is not selected, imported g-code or DXF files will be graphically drawn in 2D or 3D,dependent upon the present viewing mode.  If the XYZ table is selected, the spindle will follow the tool path describe by the imported file.

SuperCam can be used as a CNC code generator for CNC machine tool control.  Graphic items are converted into coordinate points and used to create the ASCII formatted .TXT file for transfer to CNC machines.  CNC tool path G & M code files can be exported using the "EXP_CNC" command.  The "SETUPCNC" command permits custom codes to be exported.  CNC tool path code files can be imported for viewing the text with the "READCNC" command.


The parallel port pin out usage is configurable.  There are four different direct phase control port pin out configurations, including the MAXNC-10 and the TAIG motor controller setups.  The "PORTMODE" command sets the pin out SuperCam will follow.  If the "PORTMODE" command is set to "step/dir", the "SETPTYP" command will determine which of four step/direction pin outs will be followed.  XYZ mechanisms setup to run with DanCam can be controlled with no modifications necessary.

SuperCam is now available on a CD and auto-installs using the WinSetup.exe.  There are two ways to manually install the release version:  WinSetup.exe or DosSetup.exe, both create a sub-directory off of drive C:/. 
To execute the release version from a diskette media:  Create a sub-directory SuperCam off of the root directory of drive C:/.  Copy the contents of the release diskette to the "SuperCam" sub-directory.  In the "SuperCam" sub-directory, the program is compressed in the #.exe file.  The '#' is the serial number for that copy of the program.  Click or DBL-click (depending upon how your system is set up) on this file to uncompress the file.  When it is finished, close the dos window.  
Get a quick look at how the program executes a file, from the graphics window only, before connection to your mechanism. Execute the SuperCam.exe file. When the main screen comes up, click on the "PLOTBUFF" command found on the side menu and click the right mouse button for yes, asked for on the command line.  Watch the spindle cursor go through the machine moves. Corresponding motor control signals will be sent out the printer port.

Text Links to More Information on SuperCam
SuperCam Program Summary
File Commands
How To Setup XYZ Table
Edit Commands
Parallel Port Pin Assignments
Draw Commands
How To Import CNC M & G Code Files
Display Commands
How To Export CNC Coded Files
Mconfig Commands
How To Import HPGL Files
Setup Commands
How to Export CorelDraw HPGL Files
Motor Commands
CorelDraw Metric HPGL Files
Control Commands
Import CNC Files
Configuration Commands
Using Image Files
PDF Version of Users Guide
Glossary Commands & Function Keys
PDF Version of Basics Manual
Icon Links to More Information on SuperCam
Goes No Place
SuperCam How To Use SuperCam Function Keys Specifications G&M Codes Basics Manual Demo Download System Requirements Commands Pull Down Menu's Machine Setup Machine Motion LAN Networks CAM File Format


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Published 7/6/2017 4:28:09 PM
Copyright 2016 Dennis Bohlke