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Trying to install a bit probe
« on: August 29, 2019, 04:58:47 PM »
Hello all, I am still a beginner at using my CNC saw. I was helped greatly by this forum to actually now have my DIY saw up and running and having a been able to have many cuts under my belt.
I benefited from those on this forum on wiring and configuration besides helping me change some hardware.
I am using a ethernet Smoothstepper  controller board with BOB being MB3. I also have the latest build for Mach3. I am running my Mach3 software on a windows 10 version.
Back in late March and end of April is when I got the saw up and running, this issued me into learning layout and design and what to expect with different bits.
What I am trying to figure out how to configure is I want to use a bit height set plate. I will use many different bits for each project and up to now have to manually set each bits Z axis to 0. I have been lead to believe from watching some You Tubes that Mach 3 has the capability to us a Bit Plate for quick easy zero depth setting. I wrote a email to support but there response was to just use the probe connection. I understand that you can use that but no setup area for putting in the height of the plate to be able to give you zero on Z.
If anyone could steer me in the right direction on how to configure this will be mucho appreciated. I am also going to post the picture of my Z axis bit setting plate.
Thanks Tim

Offline TPS

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Re: Trying to install a bit probe
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2019, 01:51:14 PM »
hello Tim,

first of all i am a Little bit "confused", because you are talking about DIY saw and bits. i may depend on my bad bavarian english,
but by a saw i understand somithing to cut with saw blades, but i my be wrong.

if we are talking about "clasic" mill or route with bit's there are a couple of differen way's for the Z Zero hight.

i do not know how you have to Change your bits (some Pictures would be helpful).

ok short description what is possible:
if your Tools can be placed into machine reproduciable (by bitholders) you can work with different tool (T1-T255), here the toollenght
Needs to be measured one time for each tool, and the a G43 Hxx (xx is toolnumber) will set the correct height.

if you have to Change (clamp) tool each time new your tool height setter Comes into the race. with a custom M6 macro you can
measure new tool lenght after each toolchange via your Setting plate.

anything is possible, just try to do it.
if you find some mistakes, in my bad bavarian english,they are yours.
Re: Trying to install a bit probe
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2019, 12:19:45 AM »
Hello and thanks for your response, sorry for confusion but The CNC saw was build together with wife so not big name. The CNC machine is a 3 axis X Y Z unit. I have ball screws driving by Nema 34 motors. I saw back in the beginning for configuring my CNC saw that Mach 3 had a configuration setting that allowed for driving your bit down to touch probe plate to set your Z axis to zero. One was able to specify the thickness of the plate so it would subtracted from thickness to give a person zero. I have to manually switch out each bit and manually set Z axis using a slip of paper. It works well but it is time consuming see how most of my cuts are using 3 bits for 3 different toolpaths. I am attaching some pics to help you understand what I am dealing with, my bit are V120 down to V30 and several ballnose and mill. I have a 3/4 hp spindle that can handle up to a 3/8 dia shaft.
Thanks its and thanks again for your time, Tim

Offline TPS

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Re: Trying to install a bit probe
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2019, 02:21:12 AM »
ok understand now your machine. in this case it is a "clasic" Manual tool Change.

the sequence would be for example.

at the beginning of a Job you put in lets say Tool1.
then you press a button on your Screen and Tool1 (lenght) will be measured via touch plate.
then you set manualy workpiece Z to Zero at the top of your surface.

now every time your GCode reaches a tool Change (M6Txx) machine will go to a specific Position
, you Change your tool, press start and machine will measure the lenght of new tool and go ahead
with the actual Job.

therefore machine must be referenced (best via reference Switch on each axis), so that machine coordinates
are allways (after each new Startup) the same.this is necessary to be able to drive to the defined tool Change
Position and to the touch plate.
anything is possible, just try to do it.
if you find some mistakes, in my bad bavarian english,they are yours.

Online ZASto

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Re: Trying to install a bit probe
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2019, 03:58:40 AM »
TRy to find Big-Tex tool setter screenset, it is good for manual tool changes. I use it regullary when carving and do not have top of the materiall accessible after first tool.
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Re: Trying to install a bit probe
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2019, 03:35:22 PM »
Well as always so glad for suggestions and help to get me in the right direction. I had read that I needed a V script written and while doing my Big TEX search I came upon a you tube by a Charlie Sarsfield on setup Z axis probe and also shares the actual Vscript and with a few modifications /changes which he explains in great detail I now have a Z axis probe working perfectly. Now his instruction is based on a printer port controller and I have a ethernet connection so the Mach3 config was still a little bit of a challenge.
Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvV2Vmrxarc
Thanks again to those who took the time to reply and help me get this done! Tim