I have a BP S2 CNC machine I have had up and running for almost 2 years now w/ leadshine drives and Mach 3/ PC controls.
When I bought the machine it came with a 14" (IIRC) rotary table also stepper driven. The controls were originally setup to unplug the Y axis and plug in the rotary axis and still have only three axis control. I will still need a fourth drive, but other than that, I have everything to put the rotary axis back in place.
From the research I am doing, I know that the CAM software has to support rotary machining, and that most packages in reach of the average hobbiest only allow for 3 axis at one time. I don't really have anything specific in mind for the rotary table, but I would like to get it up and running over the winter. I am thinking mostly I will be using it for cylindrical milling, but I have it in the back of my head that it might be nice to be able to use it for machining multiple faces and entry points into a part. It seems to me that the latter would require all four axis to be usable at the same time.
So, my questions are, is Mach3 capable of running more than three axis simultaneously? Their software description says it can run 6, it has been a long time since I read the manual, but I was thinking it was still limited to only running three axis at one time... Then, my next question, is what am I looking at in CAM packages? I have played with the Vcarve demo, and Artcam Pro, both of which I believe will do cylindrical milling with a fixed Y, what would I need to get into to allow full 4 axis control?
Any explanations or pointers on more reading material would be great. I am not finding much info in my online searches, and CNCzone keeps locking up my browser on my work PC here...