DIY touch probe

I want to be able to very accurately machine multiple sides of aluminum pieces. I think it should be easy to create my own x/y/z probe that would take care of 99% of my needs but I’m neither positive about the wiring of the bitzero port on the control board nor am I positive about my understanding of how this all works.

I have replaced my mdf wasteboard with a SMW aluminum fixture plate and I will be using a (metal) vice attached to the plate. The vice will be holding a piece of aluminum. I think I can use the outer 2 pins of the bitzero port to connect:

pin 1: Permanently connect it to a corner of my fixture plate with a wire and a crimp terminal.
pin 3: Attach a magnet to the end of a wire and when I want to probe attach this to the collet nut.

and having done so would have a working x/y/z probe for my aluminum stock. Is that correct?

If I got all of this right to here then I believe that this gets me to a point where I have to leave Carbide Motion and switch to so other sender. Is that correct?

As long as you are certain there is no continuity between your job & the spindle, that will work.
I presume that’s why the bitzero (and bitsetter) have plastic bases, to ensure no connection.

If I understand correctly (someone will correct me if I don’t :slight_smile: )… Carbide Motion has builtin routines to do the probing, and uses a hole for the X, Y, and considers the height of the bitzero for Z.
If you set a piece of conductive metal on top of your job the same height as the bitzero, then you could use Carbide Motion to set your Z. Add a couple flanges & a hole & you could set X & Y as well.

I believe the heights are 22mm (for setting X, Y, & Z) and 25mm (Z only). i.e. the flange is 3mm high.

Confirming the exact wiring aside, but I think you are correct, the BitSetter or a ‘self made’ alternative wired to the same pins on the controller will work with CC, UGS and GSender - I know because I have used my BitSetter with all 3 and it works.
The only issues you will have are;

  • Whether the spindle/collet is grounded already, if it isn’t - bingo. If it is, you are stuck with BitSetter (or a self-made, removable ‘puck’).
  • CC has a fixed, non editable size for the BitSetter (25mm Z, 22mm XYZ) so your replacement will have to mimic this - either that or you will have to subtract your dimensions from the 25mm standard in CC to get a correct zero, which is a little inconvenient. UGS and GSender (and I believe CNCJS) allow you to edit the dimensions of your puck.
1 Like

In case it wasn’t clear, I am not trying to replicate a bitzero. I want to touch off of previous cut faces to establish a new x/y zero when moving a different side of a piece. I definitely don’t want to touch off the corner of the stock since they are most likely not yet machined and therefore not an accurate reference to the previous side.

Assuming that you are not removing the piece from the vise, or fixture, You shouldn’t need to re zero your coordinates for the next operation. The CAM program should be taking care of that.

You just need to ground the probe input. Typically you attach ground to your endmill and the probe input to your plate. Leave the 5v out of it.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.