Triquetra 3-Axis Touch Plate for Shapeoko 3 Setup

(Pierre LaFromboise) #1

I recently purchased a Triquetra touch plate for use with my Shapeoko 3. I know that several people in the community are using one but I was having issues finding a good guide on how to set it up - the information was scattered across multiple posts. So, I thought I’d put one together in the hope that it will help someone in the future. Since the Triquetra touch plate is fairly generic in nature these instructions will most likely work for similar touch plates as well - it probably works with the Nomad too.

The purpose of this guide is to show how I wired the Triquetra plate to the Shapeoko controller board. Here is what I used to get started:



The gauge of wire that is in the cable included with the Triquetra probe is too large to crimp with the Molex terminals. So, I replaced this with my own cable. This also allowed me to use a better quality banana plug (I had issues with the original banana plug in that it broke after removing it from the block a few times).

I started by stripping a small amount off of each wire:

I then crimped the terminals onto the wire using a micro crimper:

The red wire in this tutorial carries the low-voltage while the black wire is for ground. The red wire should go to the touch plate and the black wire should go to the endmill. Insert the terminals into the connector housing as shown:

Note: newer versions of the controller board have a 3-pin header that is marked “Reserved” that is used for the Carbide 3D Touch Plate. This header can be used to connect the Triquetra probe. However, the Triquetra probe does not use the middle pin (red wire on the Carbide 3D Touch Plate). If you’d rather use the 3-pin header you can order a 3-pin housing instead.

For the ground connector, I removed the banana plug post from the connector and inserted a .25” neodymium magnet into the hole. Depending on your banana plug you may need to widen the hole to accept the magnet. Or, alternately, you may need some epoxy to hold the magnet in place. A friction fit was enough in my case.

The banana plug connectors are typically used with larger gauge speaker wire. So, in order to help better secure the wire in the connector I used a small amount of solder to connect the wire to the connector housing. I also used some heat shrink tubing to enlarge the wire sheathing for a snugger fit in the connector. The end results should look like this:

At this point you should be ready to connect the touch plate and test. You can connect the Molex connector to the board using the 2-pin “probe” header that is next to the Z-Limit header:

Here is the end result:

Hope that helps!

Touch Plate controller connections
(Curtis Potter) #2

Nice post. I was on the fence about this one since I missed when the shapeoko one was in stock. I’m convinced now!

(ted brantley) #3

Thanks so much for sharing this information.

(Kristy Noble) #4

This is fantastic. Were you able to use Carbide Motion 4 or are you using the software that came with the Triquetra?

(Pierre LaFromboise) #5

I haven’t used Carbide Motion, and I’m not sure that it works. I’ve actually never used. I am using CNC.js to send g-code to the Shapeoko. That software has a z-probe option that will work with this setup. I, however, use a custom macro to do 3-axis setting. Version 2 of CNC.js, which is not out yet, will natively support 3-axis probing.

As for the software that comes with the Triquetra, it just generates a text file of g-code that can be used with other software. That is what I used as my starting point for the macros that I use in CNC.js.

(Kristy Noble) #6

I finally had a moment to try out my Triquetra Touch Probe and I can report that it worked with Carbide Motion 4 and the GRBL 1.1. I didn’t need to install any additional software with it either.

I’m still learning how to set zero with it though, but that is more to do with learning Carbide Motion.


Finnally got my cheap Z probe working:
CNC Touch Plate, Z-Axis Router Tool Setting Touch Probe

(Michael I.) #8

William- thats the same kind I’m planning on setting up with my machine too. Can you share any info on your setup process? Things to look out for and basic wiring? Any advice would be great!


(Daniel Loughmiller) #9

I’m getting CNC.js setup for myself and would be interested in that macro you mentioned. Running the C3D probe though I imagine that’s irrelevant.

(Charles Bridgers) #10

I just purchased the same.

Can you give any details about it?

(Roland King) #11

miles, exactly as you, would really appreciate some more details about it too!
wmarin, please, if possible, can you help us?

(Pierre LaFromboise) #12

Sorry for the delay in response. For the macro, I just take the gcode that Triquetra Toolbox generates - based on the tool size and Triquetra block sizing - and paste that into a new macro in CNC.js. When I want to set my zero I place the block, move the mill close, and start the macro. It does the rest. I have multiple macros setup for different tool sizes. Does that help?

(Charley Thomas) #13

All new orders for the Triquetra Touch Plate are being shipped with the connectors for the controller board already soldered on. All you have to do is plug them in to the appropriate pins based on your version of the controller board. I also supply examples of the boards to guide you. As someone said in an earlier post, you can’t sell from an empty wagon… My wagon is full and they are selling for $70.00 plus shipping for the basic kit which includes the touch plate, tool box for generating gcode, and the wire with a magnet and connectors.

(Griff Carpenter) #14

Hey Dan, @neilferreri set this up for me, works well.