So a few months ago I was perusing the Inventables forums and saw this post for a 3 axis zero touch plate. The touch plate allows you to run a g-code program that you are provided and then moves slowly to touch the X axis of the touch plate, then the Y axis of the touch plate and then the Z axis of the touch late. It then zeros out all the XYZ settings and you have effectively zeroed your machine in a matter of seconds.
It was getting awesome reviews from the X-carve crowd so I decided to contact the maker to see if it would work on the Shapeoko 3 XXL.
The gentlemen I exchanged emails with (Charley Thomas) told me he was unsure if it would work with the Shapeoko but didnt see any reason why it wouldn't.
So I took a chance, after all, what could be better than automatic zeroing of your machine, not only on the Z axis but all axis. So I read the forum post again and realized he was offering a $20 discount for Inventables forum members who requested the discount code. WOW now I knew I had to order one. If it didnt work I wasnt out alot of money and if it did work it would be a great asset to my machine. The price is $55 for the block, alligator clip and banana plug. You have to supply the wire. And with $20 off it made it $35 plus shipping of $6.80 for a total of $41.80.
Now for the results.
1 - Customer service with Charlie is superb. I had a few questions before I bought the block and he answered within 4 hours every time i emailed him. His communications were concise and clear
2- The block was very simple to setup once I purchased the wire and connector to do so. You can go much cheaper ways than I did but I always do things correctly to avoid problems down the road. So I bought the following to make for a clean install.
Wires with Pre-crimped Terminals 2-Pack F-F 60" Black
Wires with Pre-crimped Terminals 2-Pack F-F 60" Red
0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp Connector Housing: 1x2-Pin 25-Pack
3 - The connection is very easy. You simply put one color pre-crimped terminal into a pin hole on the crimp connector housing and plug the housing onto your controller board. Mine looks like this and i plugged it into the "probe" two pins on the top right side of the controller board.
4- The other red end goes into the provided banana plug and secures with a small screw in the plug. The other black end goes into the alligator clip. You will have to mash the prongs over the wire. You can leave the pin on this if you so desire to make for a better connection.
5 - The block works perfectly and gets you a very fine zero on all axes when following the makers directions.
I have left a link below to Charley's website. Make sure to check out the Inventables forum to get the discount information for the $20 off. This won't last much longer so if you want to save 20 bucks you better hurry.
Is this device worth $35 plus shipping. NO DOUBT. To me it is worth alot more than that. Before I was straining my eyes to see if the X, Y and Z were zeroed and wasnt very accurate. Now it is AUTOMAGIC (yes I know i misspelled it)
Do yourself a favor and buy this block. It will save you a ton of time and make your machining a lot more pleasurable.
Here is the information on where you can purchase the Triquetra and the Inventables forum URL.