Purchasing first X-Carve. How useful are the Homing Switches?

Looking at purchasing the new 750mm X-Carve. I have read some users are having issues with the Homing Switches as well as smashing a few of them. I am also curious as to how useful they are?

Very useful as they give you a consistent start point to work off of.
You don’t need to have them but they can make life easier once you learn how to use them.
The new upgraded help eliminate the smashed switch issue.


I don’t use them at all. I set my spindle and work piece where ever I want it

What are homing switches for

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I don’t tend to use homing switches often, but that’s because many of my cuts are from a point in a large sheet where I can eyeball the X and Y zero. I do use the homing switches when I use my bumpstop though, since I know the exact distance from the home to the corner of the stop. In that case, all I have to do is find Z zero.

Ultimately, I think it will come down to what kind of job you’re cutting out. If you’re doing precision work that requires you to know exactly where the lower left corner is within a few thou (say, lithophanes), then homing switches are fantastic. If you’re job will allow you to eyeball the corner with a lot of room for error (say, cutting ghosts out of lauan plywood), then they won’t provide much use.

As a suggestion, I’d recommend ordering a handful of extra homing switches. Accidents do happen, especially early in the learning curve, and it’s a good idea to have an extra switch on hand so you can replace the one you smashed when you tried to move the Z up 10 inches instead of 1.0 inches…

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I think if I could only pick one reason to use the homing switches and homing, it would be that doing so allows one to use soft limits.

Soft limits are like air bags in cars, you don’t normally think about them being there but when they are needed they are a life saver (well a machine saver - including your homing switches).

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Homing switches are used to establish MACHINE zero. This is useful for lots of reasons including calibration, soft limits, location repeatability, etc. MACHINE zero is located at extreme ends of your 3 axes - in my case front, left corner of travel and at max height of spindle.

The location of MACHINE zero is not necessarily the same as the WORK zero of your particular job.

The MACHINE zero can be anywhere within the bed of your CNC. Touch plates are very useful for establishing WORK zero. The location of WORK zero is determined by your choices in your CAM software which will typically be at a corner or center point of your work piece with the cutting bit located at its top surface. There can in fact be multiple WORK zero points depending on your MACHINE control software and how you use your CNC (but that doesn’t matter right now).

It’s just important to realize that these are similar and related but different concepts. These are long established terms that have been used by machinists, etc. for many years.

There have been lots of other posts here this is explained more clearly and with illustrations so search them out in this forum and across the internet.

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just saying

Well i believe an auto tool changer is very useful. Shame i dont have one and have never used one. Still the most useful thing i never used. HUGE time saver… mayb.:rolling_eyes:

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