Remote method for powering on / off

I’ve read that the e-stop should not be used for powering off the machine but I will confess that I’ve used the e-stop while changing bits. The main power switch is in a really bad spot on these machines and it’s a pain to dig through the wires.

I could hook up a remote power switch but I assume an abrupt power cut is not good for the machine and maybe why they don’t recommend using e-stop to cut power?

Anyone have a better solution?

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Are wanting to power off for bit changes?
That is not necessary.
Only one power cycle per day for me.


Yes for bit changes. I’m a rule follower but if enough people are ignoring the manufacturer recommendation then I’ll do so as well. I could see a bit change causing a good load of torque on the machine and I don’t know if that’s a good thing for all the motors holding things still or not.

I have never powered the machine down to change a bit. I would highly recommend a manual disconnect for any spindle/router being used. It’s one thing for the machine to start moving inadvertently during a bit change, but an entirely different ER visit if the spindle/router starts up while manually changing a bit. :wink:


Brandon R. Parker

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Per the X-Carve Pro’s “Safety Manual” the machine is to be completely unplugged from AC power source for EVERY bit change. . . Just relaying what the manual says.

Would I unplug or even power off, no, but the VFD is hidden away and your hands are where the sharp thing spins and relying on the VFD not activating the spinny part, soo yeah, inventables wants it unplugged… for safety…

I don’t understand how shutting off the power would work for multi-pass carvings.

Unless something’s wrong with my machine, shutting the power off means I lose my homing and previous location accuracy, so there’d be no practical way to use the CNC for anything other than the most basic carving.

Also, even if that’s not true, if I had to shut down the machine and rehome it between every bit change, I’d lose a significant amount of time on complex carves. I cut 60 handles out of walnut which required several bit changes and passes the other day, 10 or 15 at a time. It would have taken me all day if I had to stop and reset the machine between each bit change.

I do think it makes sense to have a physical switch on the spindle itself to air-gap power, which would make it a lot safer in the case of some freak accident. I’ll have to look into that.

Well yeah, that is the inventables suggested process for the X-Carve Pro is to totally unplug it for a bit swap, then it would need to be re-homed… after homing you can use the “use last X,Y” function within Easel, so the repeatability is still there, it’s just excessively time consuming you’re right about that.

Oh yeah, I wasn’t trying to disagree that they recommend that. Obviously they are going to suggest that for liability reasons, and in a production shop, you might even want to have a lockout/tagout setup for safety.

At the same time it’s kind of crazy to expect that procedure in practice for how slow it would be, especially for some of bulk projects I’ve done where I’m changing bits every 15-30 minutes.

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What would help here is for Inventables to publish a little clarification on this topic.

  1. Is the requirement to power down the machine for bit changes for user safety only? Or is the requirement because of user safety PLUS potential strain on the machine? If the machine is ‘holding position’ then a bit change will put some load on any of the three axis and could stretch belts or whatever.
  2. Is the power switch at the rear of the machine the only way to power the machine off? Flipping off the switch may give the machine a few hundred milliseconds to execute a shutdown. Versus using eStop or a switched outlet which obviously kills the power and does not allow for any shutdown routine to be executed by the controller.

Long story short - if they require us to power the machine down for bit changes than make it easy to power down the machine.

I’m a complete newbie and rube, so please take everything that I say with a grain of salt. With this disclaimer in place, here is what I was told by Tec Support while troubleshooting my myriad failures with this machine:

ALWAYS - ALWAYS Home the machine in between EVERY carve - EVERYTIME. So yes, that means between the roughing carve and the detail carve.

When you turn the machine off and power it back on, it ‘should’ lose its home, and that includes losing the work zero. Thus, you must home the machine EVERY time you power it back up (again, this is just what I was told).

Yes, my reply was the same: “WHAAA??? isn’t that a substantial loss of production time to have to home between each and every step??” the answer was simply; “it is necessary for the machine to know where it is.”

I’m an analog guy trapped in a digital world and trying desperately to learn how to use this mystery machine, so I am only passing along what the tecs told me.

As to the remote switch, I had the same question. The switch is in the wrong location. If you followed the set-up instructions - ‘to the letter’ - as I did, then you have your tower (with the switch) set at the far end of the machine. that makes zero sense to my mind.
So…I asked the other day if there would be a problem with me using a simple remote switch mounted at the front of the machine to power the tower. I was told that should be fine because the switch on the tower is a simple power switch which cuts total power to the machine, and thus it does the same job as pulling the plug (or using a remote switch).

I have not installed one yet, but plan to do so, unless this group can provide a reason why the Tecs are wrong and that it would be a bad idea.

BTW, this was at or about the same call where I was told that the green grounding wire should not be plugged into the tower, and that it causes more trouble than it solves. Instead of plugging it into the tower, ground that to another direct ground (I am not privy to what those problems that are caused by it, only that it is best to not plug it in). I have my machine connected to a central high pressure/low volume dust collector which is grounded at every input as well as at the collector itself, AND I copper wrapped the dust hose at the machine, so that green wire is redundant for me anyway.

I power down the spindle. I have the motors lock for a bit change. That doesn’t work if you power the machine down.

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How do you power down the spindle on a XCP?

By the On/Off switch on the spindle.