Missing something

So, I think I got the end mill zeroed at the front left corner, then import/open a .nc file.
There are errors on screen. I click few them. Nomad starts up spinning the end mill, but dives to back right corner, stops, complains about hitting a limit switch. stops all motion. Hmmm?
Am I not understanding back and front?
My objective is to practice surface finishing some MDF stock.
Then I want to do the same to the spoil board.
Last thing, I don’t seem to have a flat end mill tool available to choose from in MeshCAM. I do have the physical end mills though.
I have 2 ball end mills available, and 2 flat end mills.

Thanks for your assistance.

Which meshcam version are you running to do the .nc file? I’m running version 6 build 27. It looks like to me that the .nc file is not correct but I’m new also on this.

I always zeroed on front left corner. Even I’ve made a homemade tool to reference it easily.

Tem, make sure that the Program Zero in MeshCAM is set to top left front. That’s where it defaults to but it never hurts to verify. If it is not where you need it, Set Program Zero command under the CAM menu lets you position it relative to the stock or geometry.

If you are bringing in an nc file from another source, you will need to determine where its zero point is relative to the stock and zero your tool accordingly.

In the Select Tool dialog on the Toolpath Paramters screen, there is an Add button which lets you define new tools.


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I don’t mean to seem like a complete NOOB, but I’ve seen this bit of confusion before.

Just to clarify, TOP LEFT FRONT is the corner closest to the translucent door on the NOMAD ( the left side)?

Some people think of the front as being relative to the cutter, or how the stock is presented to the CNC/printer. There doesn’t seem to be a standard way of describing that location, although its always seems obvious after some minor discussion. Thanks in advance.

Coordinate motions are always defined relative to the workpiece, and always right-handed (CNC gang-sign :slight_smile: )

No matter if a machine is moving table, moving gantry, bed mill, etc. the axes will be defined so that programmed or jogging motions will move the cutter in the direction shown relative to the stock (i.e. my hand is resting on the stock so it doesn’t matter if the stock or tool is moving). It’s convenient to put the Z zero at the top of the stock, so that whenever you see a negative Z position in the gcode, the cutter is down in the stock.

My Tormach mill homes in the minus-x, plus-y and plus-z direction. But the home position is not really important because you are zeroing the cutter relative to your current workpiece’s stock manually before you run its gcode.

I don’t have a Nomad so I don’t know where it homes. But +X should move the head to the right, +Y should move the table towards the front of the machine, and +Z should move the cutter upward. As long as you physically zero the cutter in the place as the gcode expects it, it doesn’t matter where that place is.


Hi Randy, Thanks.
That is exactly how I was taught, but many people new to 3D design and fabricating objects don’t have that background, so they end up trying their best, however it might be confusing to those with a background in these things.

The Nomad has a translucent access door “in the front”, it is what you see between the CNC working area and the exterior of the Nomad when looking at the working area, the other sides have power, usb, stop, and an opaque panel on the back.

(edit) So, the Front Left Top Corner of an 8"x8"x3" would probably be close to 0,0,3 (inches), if I’m not mistaken.

Yes, you were taught well, Tem. Normally (and I am assuming the Nomad is “normal” :slight_smile: ) X is side-to-side, Y is in-and-out and Z is up-and-down, as the operator views the machine (I won’t get into moving-gantry machine philosophy because that would just confuse folks more…) Given that, the door is indeed the “front”. And your edit is correct.

You can verify the zero position a Nomad (or in general MeshCAM) gcode expects by looking at the third line, which defines the raw stock for the CutViewer Mill program:

(FILENAME: test.nc)
(STOCK/BLOCK, 3.000, 2.500, 1.500, -0.000, -0.000, 1.500)
. . .

This stock is 3.000" wide (X), 2.500" deep (Y) and 1.500" tall (Z) and the zero point is at X=0,000 Y=0,000 Z1.500, which is the left front top corner since the zero point is expressed relative to the stock.