My first test cut!

I ran my Shapeoko for the first time today! My Bitzero V2 kept failing when I tried to probe the Z axis, so I think I’m doing something wrong. I just zeroed the machine manually and ran my first cut.

It’s nothing fancy, but I was so giddy when it started!

A few things I learned:

  1. MDF is so messy!
  2. I need to lower my sweepy a little bit.
  3. The entire machine shakes my table a little, it might be due to the fact it’s on wheels.
  4. I used too much double-sided tape and had a heck of a time getting the part off the wasteboard! I broke a plastic paint scraper and had to use a metal one.
  5. I used a cable tie clip to hook a bungy cord to hold the vacuum hose up, but might explore other options.
  6. This thing is going to be so much fun!


Congrats! You’ve opened the flood gates.

Did you perhaps start the Z carriage too high? I know with the V1 BitZero, you need to be within 10mm or it will fail. Which failure mode did you experience?


That is probably it. It was quite a bit higher up. Does it need to be above the black hole/circle?

Also, I’m not sure if I’m just colorblind or what… but the color is yellow when it’s stationary. It turns red when I touch the magnet to the bitzero itself. Otherwise it’s always yellow. Shouldn’t it be green?

I went to the c3d store and clicked on the v2 BitZero instructions. It took me to the v1 instructions and the instructions there tell you to have the bit within 10MM of the surface of the BitZero. So in absence of any instruction about the V2 I suppose the probe needs to be within 10MM of going into the hole for probing.

The v2 BitZero instructions are at: | Guides | Accessories:


@jmillerdesign Does it fail as soon as you start the probing sequence?

That document isn’t completely accurate, Will.

These steps on Page 10 miss the fact that the BitSetter process will kick in after you’ve installed the probing pin, if a BitSetter installed:

"Set Job Zero on the Lower-Left Corner
You can use the BitZero V2 to find job zero on the lower-left corner of your stock. To find and set zero for X, Y, Z:

  1. Connect to and home the machine.
  2. When prompted to load a tool, install a probing pin in the collet.
  3. Set the BitZero V2 on the lower-left corner of your stock with the locating edges overhanging, but pressed
    up against the sides of your stock. See Fig. 11.
  4. In Carbide Motion, click Jog in the top menu bar to open the Jog screen.
  5. Jog the machine until the tip of the probing pin is just inside the circular bore on the corner of the BitZero V2.
    See Fig. 11.
  6. Attach the magnetic grounding clip to the collet nut or the probing pin. See Fig. 11."

Correct, usage of a BitSetter is covered in the documentation for that accessory.

We have to balance how much information is included — just enough that people will actually read it and heed it, but not so much that folks will begin ignoring it.

OK, but earlier in the document it does mention the BitSetter, hence my comment.

Delete this post if you don’t like my response.

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Will please alert your internal administrators that the link in the store for the v2 documentation takes you to the v1 instructions. If you want people to read the instructions they have to find it first.


It took me to the V2 manual. It looked pretty complete and sounds like after all the installing a probe and jogging, you could have it set manually and probably more reliable.
In reading the instructions, while it “look’s” complete to me, although, one of the lines, on page 10, instruction 1 reads,
-“Connect to and home the machine.” -
Maybe I need to update, but, at that stage, my screen does not have this “home” button. Just CONNECT and INITIALIZE

From the Shop it definitely took me to the v1 page, but I’m beginning to agree manually zeroing might be more efficient. Sorry.

I do a mix of using my BitZero and manually setting. I also turn off the BitSetter if I am going to manually set the zero’s. It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. I find the BitSetter very useful for multiple tools but is useless for me for a single tool job. I would not discourage buying one but you can certainly get by without a BitZero but the BitSetter is essential in certain cases. IMO, mileage varies.

I used neither for the first year I had my Shapeoko 3 XXl but very much like now that I have it. I also have a BitRunner and find that very useful as well.