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DeskProto Tips & Tricks

Using DeskProto with the Magic 7 machine.

The Magic 7 machine by Red Technology is meant for jewelers, being very well suited for machining wax models.
We have received many questions about how to connect DeskProto to this machine, which is not straightforward. Still: once you know it, the trick it is easy !

The Magic 7 CNC milling machine
The Magic 7 by RED Technology: a small footprint machine, offering both 3-axis machining and rotation axis machining.

The machine comes with a software suite for 2D engraving, called MagicArt. For DeskProto users the magic trick is that you need not use this software suite, but instead use a program by RED Technology called NC Spooler. This program can be downloaded from the REDT website. For this download a password is needed, so please ask your reseller for this password.

Installation is not needed: the download is a file NC-Spooler.exe that you can just run. If MagicART V4.41 (or newer) is installed a download is not needed: run NC Spooler via menu Tool > "Run NC Spooler".

Important is that you need to configure the program before you can use it:
First select the correct COM port. This is only possible when the Magic USB Driver has been installed.
Next configure this port, via menu Tool > "Communication Port Configuration...". Here you need to select XON/XOFF for handshake (leave the other two options unchecked), and 115200 for Baud rate.

The Magic NC Spooler program
In order to use the NC-Spooler program, the COM port's number, baud rate and handshaking method need to have been correctly configured.

The Magic 7 machine needs NC Data files (*.dat) in the correct format, so in DeskProto you need to select the machine called "REDT - MAGIC-7" (in the Part Parameters). You then can save an NC file to be sent to the machine (in the illustration above the file testfrank.dat).

Next you need to load the correct cutter, and to set the correct zero point for that cutter on the machine (X, Y and Z). Use the instructions as supplied in the Magic 7 Instruction Manual (in chapter "Origin Setup")

And finally: in NC-Spooler use the command Add NC Data files... to add your NC file to the list on the left side of this dialog. Next click on this filename to select it (make it blue), and press button Transmit to start machining!

You can watch a DeskProto tutorial video that shows this complete process: the Magic 7 basic ring video.

Some of the questions on this machine were whether or not it is compatible with the 123WaxRing system that we offer for jewelry wax models
The answer is a clear No, sorry about that. The 123WaxRing fixture is mounted on the rotation axis, and the machine then needs to cut 3-axis (XYZ) toolpaths over this fixture. This is not possible for the Magic-7 machine, as the rotation axis is not mounted on the working table of the machine, and thus cannot move along Y.

When your PC is running Win7 or Win8 you need to take care as an incorrect USB driver may cause serious problems. Possible errors include:
  • the machine stops suddenly
  • at the end of the NC file the spindle keeps running
  • the machine's display shows error message "No Support" and the machine stops
  • the cutter makes strange movements, not present in the NC file.
These errors may even show up when all previous engraving jobs went perfectly well, because NC files from DeskProto typically are large: when larger than the machine's buffer they will need the USB driver to correctly deal with handshaking.

RED support has found that the Magic USB driver is incorrectly updated by Microsoft's automatic update service for Windows. The solution is to roll-back the USB driver to the one dated 2009. For instructions on how to do this see the video on
Important detail is that the error may again be present after connecting the machine to a different USB port on your PC !!

A new version of NC Spooler that correctly works with all versions of the USB driver will be released soon, and will end this driver confusion.