A different problem with Z height and Bitsetter

Today I have a new problem with a new 2 sided job using tool changes and the bitsetter. I ran a similar job yesterday with no problems.

  1. I initialized the XXL and then set my X,Y, Z zeros manually. Not enough room to use the probe.
  2. I then actually selected “Load New Tool” and let it go to the bitsetter and checked the zero after that it was spot on.
  3. I then load my file and run it. Immediately when the XXL starts to run the job it goes up past the hard limit for the Z axis. I can hear it hit.

Then it begins the job and it is plunging way to deep! I am 99.9% sure because it went up past the hard limit on the Z top end and that threw things off.

I designed the job in Vcarve and I have actually already ran a successful job yesterday that was almost identical. I did not have this problem then.

I am attaching my Vcarve file and my Gcode and hoping that someone might have a clue what is going wrong. I have double checked my Vcarve Pro setup and re-exported the toolpaths. I am using the Shapeoko_inch_TC Post Processor.

I have attached photos of the box I did yesterday and then the deep plunge that I aborted today. I think It has to do with it hitting the Z limit at the top.

Round 4in box for Ann McKeel.zip (831.4 KB)

Here is my F/S setting for the first pocket toolpath.

I tried to open the project, but I only have VCarve v9 so it won’t open.

What you describe is very typical of setting a retract height value that is too large (compared to the available Z-travel left, once you have install your (thick) stock)
Reduce retract height to just a few mm (especially since you are using tape&glue workholding, so don’t need to care for clamp clearance or anything like that) and you should be fine.

When retract height is too high, and one reaches the hard Z limit, the motor will loose steps, the machine will think it is higher than it is, and while plunging back down will go “too far” (i.e. generate moves from a virtual point higher up than the Z limit), and that results in what you are seeing.

EDIT: the g-code shows retract height by 0.8" / 20mm, which is much more than you need, and is probably causing your issue with that thick piece of stock.


Julien, you are da bomb! Thank you!! and gee wiz… it will be so nice when I reach the point where I can carve daily without hitting a road block. Way more to learn on this stuff than I anticipated but well worth every minute of it. Thanks again for your help! Going to rerun it now.


Couldn’t have said it better :slight_smile:


You’ll gt it!

If you ain’t learnin’ you ain’t livin’!

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