Correct 'z' zero method?

Chad, If I understand your question, The length of bit doesn’t matter, the ‘zero point’ is what is critical. Also assuming you are using a ‘flat’ end mill bit why would you change to a ball end mill bit? A flat end mill leaves just that, a flat carved surface while a ball end mill bit leaves you a surface with small grooves in it.

I am still wondering how do you set up a ‘touch plate’ with easel? I understand that inventables is considering coming out with a touch plate but until then I don’t know how to set one up.

to physically set the plate up you run a wire to the A5 pin on the arduino for the positive and another wire to a ground source on either the arduino or gshield. run the positive wire to a plate and the ground wire to an alligator clip

the problem is easel doesnt have a way to issue the commands needed to actually run the probing sequece

IF it is possible to enter the command into the machine inspector portion of easel, that may be a solution. As far i know nobody has tried this

the command needed is G38.2 Z-.5 F1;G92 Z(touchplatethickness);G0 z.5

G38.2 Z-.5 F1 starts the sequence and lowers the bit down up to 0.5" in a very slow speed (Z1). when the bit touches the plate the machine will stop

G92 command sets the Z axis at the number you tell it by entering the thickness of your touch plate. if your plate is 0.25" you would have G92 Z.25 and your Z height would now be set to Z = 0.25

lastly you can add another command to raise the bit back up away from the plate G0 z .5 will raise the bit to Z = 0.5"

at that point if you remove your plate and type G0 Z0 the bit will lower to the surface of your material and be at Z=0


I am assuming from what you tell me this is through some other software other than easel?

Normally yes, however easel has a section they call machine inspector under the advanced machine options. It may be possible to enter the above command into the command prompt portion. I havent tested this though

It’s not working. Unrecognized parameters.
So far touch probe works any other G-Code sender programs not Easel.

The method that Sketch described up page is the way that manual milling machine machinists have been doing it for over 100 years. They use cigarette papers that are much thinner than standard paper.
I use this method on my manual mill.
The plate that RobertA build does not rely on any control software to set your Z0. You need to know the exact thickness of the plate and once the LED comes on you set Z0 then lift remove plate move back down to Z0 then move down the thickness of the plate and reset Z0. DONE

It takes longer to type this than it would to do the setting of Z0 on your machine.


Alan, As I have said, inventables is coming out with a touch pad of it’s own design shortly. I am waiting for that to occur before I go the ‘touch plate’ route. Also I tried the loosen collet and let the bit drop. Didn’t work for me as I tightened up the bit it was pulled back up off the table so the zero was off. Went back to my paper method until above mentioned item is released.

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Hey! Now I know that to do with all the cigarette paper I have lying around!

  1. Stopped smoking
  2. Better Z0
  3. Win!



LOL= laugh out loud

Beats the heck outa smoking!

I was referring to 3D carving. I start with end mill to rough out, then ball to finish. I’m fairly new, so I think I’m describing right.

Chad, I must not understand what you are doing, but to my knowledge you cannot do 3D carving with the X-Carve. 2D and 2.5D, but unless you have some way to rotate your piece x-carve don’t do true 3D. Not to put you down, that’s not my intent, but x-carve is basically a 2D - 2.5D machine.

I think you are confusing four-axis machining with 3D. :wink: The x-carve can do 3D. You just need the correct software to generate the g-code.

I guess it depends on your definition of “3D”!

I was referring to clipart and modeling with vcarve pro.

That’s fine Chad, I’m a easel user and I assumed you were talking about easel.

OK. I use the paper method and it works for me. Here are my cost saving tips. The paper I use are 3x3 sticky notes. 4 pads for a dollar at Dollar Tree and for sacrificial waste board I use foam board also from Dollar Tree or Dollar store or 99 cent store or whatever is in your town. I lower the Z until the paper won’t move and then raise it .05mm.

Does that have to do with the exchange rate. :smile:

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Here is my new surface method upgrade.

I can now Home the machine, change my bit, then have the machine auto zero.

It works great so far, and i will upload the docs once i get a feel if anyone wants to try this.

let me know.

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