Is there a Bit Setter Work Flow for Carbide Motion V5

Can some one tell me what the Bit setter work flow is for the new carbide Motion V5.

Old video of Winston shows the old version of carbide motion. One thing he doesn’t discuss is when do you use the touch probe on your work. Question is what has changed in V5 with the update with the accessories. Love to see a new video on the properly work flow for all the tools from start to finish.


Hi @nixman,
The nominal workflow is to:

  • install the first tool for the job during machine initialization (when it prompts to “install a tool”), it will probe the bit length automatically at that time.
  • load job, zero using that first tool (manually or using the touch probe)
  • run job (it will probe the bit length again) then follow the prompts at each tool change (change bit, upon resume machine will probe the new tool length)

That, and always using the “Change Tool” menu if you decide to install a new tool at any other time.


awesome thanks Julien

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Julien gave you the flow but to further expand:

  1. During Power up of the cutter on the Carbide Motion (CM) you will be prompted to initialize. This starts the homing sequence. The router will go to the back right corner and hit the homing switch and stand off 6MM from the point of hitting the switch.

  2. Without prompt the router will come to the front about the center and prompt you to insert a tool. After you insert a tool and hit “Resume” the router will go over to the bit setter and measure the tool. This does not zero the machine but simply measures the offset from the last zero setting.

  3. The router will come back to the front center and wait.

  4. Then use the jog function and set your X, Y and Z zero either manually or with the touch probe.

  5. You then load a gcode file, for CM that is a *.nc file type.
    Then you will hit start job and the job screen will have three choices, “Start”, “Pause” and “Continue to Pause”.

  6. When you hit start the router will come to the front and you will be prompted to insert the tool indicated for the 1st tool path. You insert the tool and hit “Resume”. The router will travel over to the bit setter and measure the tool. At this point the zero you set earlier and the tool are set to a new zero for reference during the job with multiple tool paths.

  7. The router will return to the front and prompt you to turn on the router and set the speed. When you have turned on the router and set the speed you hit “Resume” and the router will travel and start the cutting.

  8. If you have multiple tool paths with different bits you will be prompted to turn the router off and then prompted to insert the next tool. Then the router will travel over to the bit setter and measure the tool and calculate the zero offset from the first tool. The router will return to the front and prompt you to turn the router on and the speed setting. If you have more tool paths with different tools the same prompting will occur.

9… When the last tool path has run you will be prompted to turn off the router and hit “Resume”. The router will move to the back and wait.

  1. If multiple tool paths have the same tool you will not be prompted to change tools and only prompted to turn the router off at then end of the last tool path

Well written Guy. This is exactly what I was looking for about 6 weeks ago when my Bit Setter and Bit Zero (Touch Probe) arrived together. This was just before I did my first stainless steel cut with my 201 cutter - the bit Setter button!! Not to be repeated.

The only advice I can add to yours is READ THE SCREEN PROMPTS, don’t assume that you know what you are doing from your pre-probe work.

If only the engineers at C3D could read a fine explanation like this one from Guy. We’ve all noted these items down from mistakes made without directions from C3D. Perhaps C3D will copy them, via cut-and-paste, into the products?

This item “2” of @gdon_2003’s list is the part that has confused all from the start, and caused many to scrap good parts. It is seemingly doing some kind of measurement that has nothing to do with the job that is queued up! This prompts for “a tool” as if it doesn’t matter what tool is put into the router! It does matter what tool is put into the router at this point. This step requires that you at least put in the first tool that the job will use.

This step is what has thrown many of us out of our normal workflow where we zero our XYZ with the first tool of the job before anything else, because before there was this gadget that’s what we did.

But it seems that C3D still hasn’t addressed (or seemingly even identified) this absence of documentation.

Guy - do you change the tool when you start the job as in your step 6 suggests?

It’s from my understanding that this is where the issues with the BitSetter stem from, and what had me messed up. The first BitSetter operation at the beginning of a job Start (not initialization) is redundant. If you initialize Home and BitSetting at power on, then zero X, Y, and Z with the first bit of a job then just go through the redundancy of the first BitSetter operation of the job Start without changing the tool - you’re good. If you plan on using a different bit than the one used during initial Home/BitSetting/BitZero’ing then you must use the Change Tool process prior to job Start, in which, the first BitSetter operation at job Start is still redundant.

The BitSetter operation is prompted by any M6 command in the gcode. This redundancy at job Start can be removed manually by editing the gcode (removing the first M6 command), or in my case using Fusion 360, using Neil Ferreri’s post processor that allows enabling/disabling preloading a tool. When I use Carbide Create I just let it go through the motion of redundation [sic].

Feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken.

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I think what is missing is that the previous job settings are persistent over power cycled of the Shapeoko. So if your previous job was one quarter inch high and you set zero on top the z zero is one quarter inch from the spoilboard. You finish the job and power down the Shapeoko. So my next job is 3/4 inch tall and in cc I set the job to use the top again. I power on the Shapeoko and I initalize. The prompt asks for a tool. No matter if you leave the previous job tool in or insert the tool for the new job the tool in the router will be measured and an offset of the previous job tool and zero and the new tool length will be creating. This is setting zero at 1/4 inch above the spoilboard and has nothing to do with your new 3/4 inch job. This is why after initalization you set zero for all 3 axis for the new job before starting your new 3/4 inch job.

Remember that the last time you set x y and z zero the next time you power on the Shapeoko on the previous zeros are still remembered. So if you cut the same job over and over you do not need to rezero between the same job. It would be a good practice to double check zero after power cycle but it should be still set.

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Message to Carbide folks. I see a lot of great work flows, so is there works to put a actual manual, good video together to discuss. You have a wide variety of really good questions. Lots of people using vcarve way before the bit setter was made. I don’t see a disclaimer saying when you buy it, if you have XY or Z it may not work unless yada yada yada. Nice to see you guys, put a document together rather than point to a blog post. Seems there some really good steps in here but, I think from reading the post, there not enough explanation from carbide. You provide the tool and forget to include some key pieces like a good manual or good informational video beside a 3 min hay look what it can do and forget key points like, like when to XY and Z your peice. You guys seem to be putting some good hardware together but your lacking in instruction and communication to the end user. My 2 cents like everybody elses

I agree with Ivan that C3D makes some good stuff but their manuals and operator guides leave something to be desired. Most users instructions are simply on the job training.

That is an understatement if I ever heard one. :smiley:

While I fully support your opinion that better documentation is needed, I am not quite sure this statement is accurate. When I turn on my machine and it asks for me to load a tool, I always put in my “zeroing” tool which is a smooth 1/8" diameter carbide blank, and let it go through the first BitSetter process. I move the gantry all the way to the back of the machine and load and secure my stock. I then go through the probing process with said “zeroing” blank to set my x/y/z zero. I load my cut file and select run file. After pressing start CM pulls the router to the front and asks me to install the first tool that the cut file uses. I remove the “zeroing” blank and install the neccessary tool and we are off to the races. If my next cut requires a different zero point, I press “load new tool” on the run screen and load the blank back in to go through the probing process with the next piece of stock. Very early on with my BitSetter I had one z depth miscut (user error of not using the load tool button) and since then have held myself to the workflow described above and haven’t had any issues.

I could totally be missing something and be completely wrong and somehow have gotten lucky. Maybe @WillAdams or @Julien can straighten me out.


Since the BitSetter remeasures, having a different tool works fine — I use a carbide blank as a safety precaution as well, and am upgrading that to a gage pin.


Thanks for the link in a previous thread… I purchased that gage pin and have incorporated it into my workflow.


What advantage will you gain, Will?

The gage pin should be more precisely made — it was something of an impulse purchase, plus it’s a standard machinist item, as opposed to a tooling blank.