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Things I would love to see with the XCP in the future:

I know this isn’t a typical post here, but…

Owning the machine for about a year (I was one of the first shipments), there are things I would love to see.

Being as this is toted as the “Pro” model, I would say, it’s absolutely great. However,

I would love (as an option), to be able to upgrade the machine’s size (Ex: 2x4 → 4x4 → 4x8)

Further, and probably the BIGGEST thing I would love to see is, an ATC (Automatic Tool Changer).
– I have looked around, and I would say, I have even considering replacing my XCP (Decided against it) for another machine.
The Stepcraft CNC is comparable in specs, cheaper in price (current XCP price), but has a ATC option.

I am aware a new spindle and system would probably have to be purchased, but would love that option for the XCP. Something about just setting your X/Y, then the machine pulls out the tool, hits the bit setter, and is off to the races is pretty cool to me.

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Actually I’d love to have a pendant that I could use when setting work coordinates. Using a touch screen or wireless keyboard is okay and all, but it’s hard to line things up having to go back and forth all the time.

The other thing would be the ability to use either a wired or wireless network connection to drive the machine. Having to have a machine plugged into a computer seems a little old style. Maybe the pendant could include the g-code sender and such all in one.

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Don’t get me wrong here, having them integrated and optional or included accessories would be better… But I have a few methods of achieving both of those…

UGS and OpenBuilds Control both allow the user to simply scan a QR code (or save the linked url as a button that you can put anywhere as I have done to add one to my home screen…) and you can use a smart phone or tablet as a pendant…

A Raspberry Pi ($30) can be used to send the gcode and would be controlled from a separate PC, essentially making it a hub without being wired to the host computer… you could even turn off the host computer after starting the carve, as long as the Pi stayed on, it’d keep sending.

Not saying these are perfect solutions, but they would work to accomplish those tasks with the XCP as it stands today.

Yeah, I agree with what you’ve said. Accessories might be a better alternative.

I’ve seen several people run tier machines using a PI and CNCJS, I’m just a bit concerned it might not be enough to keep up, but we are talking about serial data, not something like streaming video data.

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I never thought about a pendant, but I did try to think about adding 2 laser lines to ultimately form a cross.

I would think if they are perfectly 90º from one another, and centered with the center of the spindle, where it’d cross, would in theory be center of the bit regardless of Z height.

However, i’m no physics engineer, and would need to try out my theory to see if it’d work.

I have seen this on a few other DIY machines BUT you’re still using an eyeballing method trying to align to a laser line that actually has some thickness to it.

Instead a much more accurate method is to use a X,Y,Z corner touch probe. OR to mount a corner fence and use the G28 function for re-alignments to the same jig location after homing. Ultra Fences – PwnCNC

Like these:

Once the fences are perfectly aligned then you can save the coordinates to a G28 location which makes it repeatable by entering a specific command in… no probing or lasering for X,Y… You’d still want to probe for Z though.

@TCarter I did waste $60 on a laser site bit, but found it wasn’t worth the money I spent on it. I ended up using a tapered ball mill or v-bit to get my work coordinates.

When I was saying pendant, I meant a keyboard pendant so I could move the bit and watch it without always having to reference a separate screen to press keys.

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@SethCNC that is what I’m using now, I printed out a corner fence using my 3d printer and have the coordinates saved in CNCjs so I can easily set them via macro.

It makes repeatability so much easier, all I have to do is set the z height and I’m ready to carve, that is as long as I’m carving from the bottom left corner of the material.

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