3 Axis Automatic Zero for X-Carve

OK thanks.
I think I’ll give it a shot. I’ll try soldering to one magnet and then add another onto it and then heatshrink it all together.

After a bit of tuning.
This is the first test run.

Small 1/8" 60deg engraving bit
Speed 3 on Makita
2mm deep engraving
1mm step down
5% overlap

Using EstlCam

Pretty happy with result.
The characters o and d that is partially overlapping were like that in the drawing. Not a carwing issue.

Led strips mounted on side walls for better work light.

God Jul = Merry Christmas :slight_smile:


Hello Charley, I am getting my X-carve 1000mm within days, and I just find out about your Zero for X-Carve calibration system for all type of bits. Do you still have those available?? Kindly advise.


Alain Gauthier
Ste-Therese Que, CAN

Yes they are available and ready to ship. Order at www.triquetra-cnc.com

Thank you for your interest,

Charley Thomas
Triquetra CNC

Got my plate last week. Put some time into making it work and used it for some guitar bodies today.
Not only did it save me more than it’s cost when my shop electrical glitched but I succesfully cut a double sided piece for the first time today.
If your debating this for your machine get it. If it doesn’t save you the cost of the plate on a failed job your the luckiest cnc’r out there.

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Today is the last day to qualify for entry in the Triquetra CNC Christmas Drawings.

Here is a link to the announcement; Triquetra CNC Christmas Drawings

If you are a current owner then you are already included. If not you have until midnight tonight to place your order and be automatically included. Good Luck everyone, there are still two winners to be announced tomorrow 1/1/17.

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I would like to order one.
Please send info.

Order from www.triquetra-cnc.com and use coupon code 3corners to get $20.00 off.

Thanks for your interest,


Without starting at the beginning of this thread. Does this work with Easel or just GRBL?

Easel is a CAD-CAM program used to design and send g-code to the machine. GRBL is the software in the machine the interprets the g-code and moves the gantry accordingly so to answer your question this will work with easel and with other programs that send g-code to the machine. you will make g-code according to the dimensions of the touch plate and that is what will be sent to the machine and then GRBL will move the machine according to what you told it.

also see this for a better explanation of g-code https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-code

For some reason, I was thinking GRBL was another piece of software similar to Easel. Doh! For the record, I didn’t sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night. :wink:

I meant to ask, is there a button or ‘process’ one would follow to automagically get this configured to work with Easel? I don’t see any option to open a ‘code window’ where I could insert the g-code to zero the spindle before clicking the ‘Carve’ button in Easel.


A quick Google search of “Does Triquetra work with easel” yielded a top search result of this:


The very first FAQ is a lengthy dissertation on whether and how the Triquetra (the name of this product) works with Easel.

This is an accurate document that I wrote myself to support the Triquetra Touch Plate. To the best of my knowledge the section that addresses Easel compatibility is still current. Easel is progressing and starting to add zeroing functionality. I am hopeful that one day soon, you will be able to import the zeroing g-code to zero all three axis at one time just as you can with other G-Code sending software such as UGS and PicSender.


Hi Charley I got a triple edge finder from you and I’m not real good at computers so I’m having a problem how do I get the zero Gcode to send to the xcarve I have the older one before this last update

Here is a video I posted several months ago with Universal G-Code Sender. This should help you out.


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I’ve read through this post, have visited your site and am convinced I should buy one of those 3axis things. I was gifted an Xcarve for Christmas, I’m just awaiting its arrival as well. I want to ensure it’s all calibrated and in perfect order before I ever cut my first piece of material. If I use UGS to calibrate the axis’ as Charley demonstrated on his site, how does that calibration get ‘stored’ or ‘programmed’ into the Xcarve so when I use Easel or Mach3 or something else, the calibration is the same?


That’s a hell of a good Xmas gift if I do say so myself. Taking the time to set it up correctly the first time is a smart move and will pay off for you.

First off you must accept the fact that there will be a learning curve with CNC Machines unless you have previous experience. That said, I started with zero experience and learned by watching a few You Tube videos but mostly from reading this forum. The users here are almost always quick to answer your questions. Just remember to provide as much detail as you can when you post your questions to enable the users to give clear answers. To save time, search the forum for questions and you will usually find the answers without ever having to ask.

Next, you won’t be using Mach3 unless you completely modify your system. Mach3 uses a different circuit board to control the machine and it is not offered as an option by Inventables. You can use Easel, which is a combination of software packages all rolled into one. With Easel you can design your project, it will generate the required G-Code, and send it to you machine to carve. There are other and more powerful programs out there that you can use to design your projects and create your g-code files. The other design programs you usually generate the necessary G-Code and you can sometimes import that code to Easel for carving buy usually you will need another program to send the code to you machine to carve. Other programs for sending g-code to your machine for carving that are popular are Universal G-Code Sender, (UGS), which is free but it does suffer from some issues. For the most part it works fine but if you are going to do a large 3D carving then it will often freeze up during the carve. Then there is my personal favorite PicSender, It cost right at $20.00 but does not suffer from drawbacks of UGS and has a more user friendly layout.

As for storing the stepper calibration, there are some settings in GRBL which is basically some software that is part of your machine. The settings store several different things and among them are the stepper settings. Those are stored in a line of code that on your machine that configures how many steps are required to move your machine in a particular axis 1 mm. Your machine will come with default settings which will be very close but not always dead accurate. Stepper calibration checks this accuracy. Depending on the type of carving you are doing the default settings may be “close enough”. I personally don’t like “close enough” and much prefer my machine to be as accurate in ever aspect that I can control. There are several methods and spreadsheets available to calibrate your stepper motors. Once you have done the calibrations and determined the exact setting to use, you then update your settings and they will remain intact as you use different software programs to carve your projects. My video tutorial walks you through it step by step. It’s much easier to do than you think and once you have it done then you won’t have to fool with it again for a while. As your machine ages and belts stretch or get adjusted you may need to recalibrate. For more info and other opinions on how to do it just do a forum search for stepper calibration.



The info is much appreciated. Thanks! I’ve been reading this forum and other info for over a year. When the CNC arrives, I’m confident I can get it up and running in short order. I have a hobby in microelectronics and woodworking. This should be easy. :wink:

So in order to use a different ‘sender’ app, I need a different controller board other than the X-Controller that comes with the X-Carve? The X-Controller if I use Easel and something else if I use UGS, Mach3, PicSender, etc?

When you get your x-carve it will have a controller with it (an Arduino-G Shield combo or the X-Controller) both of which use a code (firmware like) called GRBL. this GRBL is what translates your G-Code into movement on the X-carve, there are several programs that are GRBL compatible that can be used. If you want to use something to send G-code to the machine that is not GRBL compatible then you need a different controller (Not an Arduino-G Shield combo or the X-Controller) to control the x-carve, like this 3-Axis DSP Based Digital Stepper Driver from Inventables which is Mach3 or LinuxCNC compatible. So it is up to you to decide what type of controller you want and then what programs you like to use with the controller you choose.
Edit: please note that the DSP Controller is parallel port and not USB so you need to take that into consideration as well.