Bitsetter changing z height

So, I’ve had this happen more times then not…but its not every time.
I set zero using the paper method, then run job. The machine says “install the right bit guy”, I click resume because I zeroed on the end mill the job starts with.
The machine moves to the bitsetter, measures and then goes to the piece and plunges .44 into the piece. I then yell at the machine and rezero…where it goes through the whole bitsetter cycle again and then cuts as it should.
It seems as though the bitsetter is throwing off the initial z measurement. Any ideas? Tired of passing away time and materials.

Hi Jeremy,

Is it possible that before zeroing but after machine initialization, you changed from whatever endmill was installed in the router when you powered-up the machine, to another tool for the job at hand ? And if so did you use the “Change Tool” button in CM ?

This is a common pitfall (swapping the bit but not telling CM you did): even though you zero with that bit, the machine still memorized the tool length from when it performed machine initialization, and if another tool was loaded back then, the tool length reference will be wrong and CM will adjust Z depth incorrectly.

The foolproof workflow is to always, always use the “Change Tool” button every single time you need to change the tool outside of a job. Yes, it is a bit redundant in some cases with the probing that happens upon machine initialization, but it’s foolproof.

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Thank you for your reply. I am not changing the bit before the bitsetter. This is on the 1st cut, so I zero with the 1/8 end mill that my 1st cut asking for. The bit never leaves the collet after zeroing the z axis.

I’m very anxious to hear the solution for this subject. I’ve had it happen several times (but I can’t verify if it’s .44" every time).

Mine isn’t. 44 every time, but it tends to be this usually. Also, to make it even weirder, sometimes it will hover over the piece that distance instead of plunging into the piece. So strange.

Sorry to insist but from what you describe, I cannot rule out the scenario I mentioned yet.
The problem is not about changing the bit after zeroing and before the bitsetter probing that happens upon launching a job. The pitfall is about changing the bit between the time you turned on the machine and the time you zeroed. Can you confirm the steps you take (in many details, more often than not there’s a small detail there that is not quite right)

99.9% of depth-related issues here end up being due either to a slightly incorrect workflow when using the BitSetter, or a mismatch between how the project zero is setup (in Carbide Create) and where you actually zero on the machine, or a wrong way to probe Z zero (but that is irrelevant here since you use the paper method)

No worries. So, machine is on already from a previous job. Load file, change bit to 1/8 end mill, zero xyz, “start job”, CM prompts me to put the 1/8 bit that the file is calling for, click resume because I already had that bit in from my zero operation. Machine moves bit to the bitsetter, touches off twice, then moves to the piece and begins to cutting. Sometimes…not every time, it plunges pretty deep. Sometimes, not every time, it hovers over the piece. Either way, I pause rhe machine. Let the z rise to its stop position, stop the file, it homes itself, I then rezero and start all over. The 2nd time it usually works without plunging.

This, right there: let me assume that by saying “change bit to 1/8 end mill”, you are implictly saying that you had a different bit in the router from the previous job. At that very moment, you SHALL use the “change tool” button in CM before physically swapping the bit, and before you proceed to zero xyz. CM will prompt you to change the bit, then you do it, and then CM will automatically trigger a BitSetter probing, which will “refresh” the tool length reference. That’s the key part.

If you don’t (use “Change Tool”), what happens is, upon the bitsetter probing at the start of the job, CM will compute the difference between the tool length it detected, and the PREVIOUS tool length it detected the last time it went to the bitsetter…whenever that was. So if you change the bit without using “Change tool”, CM won’t have probed your new bit (before zeroing), and it will pick up the tool length from the latest bitsetter probing…which probably was the one from your earlier job.

This is why it works the 2nd time: assuming that at first you had the problem I described above, when do the workflow a second time, the BitSetter will apply the difference in tool length compared to the previous bitsetter probing…which happens to be the one you did during the 1st (failed) run with the same bit, so it will now be consistent (it will find no difference in tool length, hence will not alter Z zero)

The intermittent nature of the problem is likely due to whether or not the tool you are using was already loaded from the previous job. If it was, you won’t see the problem, if it was a different tool, you will.

Sorry if this comes out a bit complicated, I’m not the best at explaining things simply and I have a tendency to give the nerdy version…

If this sounds too complicated, just trust me and use “Change Tool” every single time you load a new tool between jobs or after machine init, and I’m pretty sure that it will solve your problem permanently.


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