Nomad Level Calibration

(Jose Miguel Atala) #1

Is there any possibility of implementing this calibration method in the Nomad (leveling based on Multiples zero points in Z)?
Maybe in future versions of Carbide Motion or Using UGCS Macro.
It seems very useful; in particular to improve the accuracy when making PCBs.

Pls, see video (0:00-0:40):


(mikep) #2

There’s not supposed to be a way for the nomad bed to be out of perfectly level, so not sure what you’re trying to work around here. Are you having a problem?


(Jose Miguel Atala) #3

Not in particular; But the wasteboard may be unlevel by millimeter decimals. I want to make sure I have references in zero as accurate as possible. And I think that this is a simple option, using a multimeter as a probe and generating a GCode to automate it. To make PCBs every tenth of a millimeter counts. But I do not know how to do it.


(mikep) #4

It’s not going to be out of level enough to make a difference. I’ve done plenty of material cutouts on my nomad that don’t touch the underlying table (I use a metal, threaded table).

Yes, it can be automated, but the probe setup on nomad is designed for tool length only, and you would have to really mess around to do all that…for pretty much zero gain. I’ve done circuit boards on both my shapeoko 3 and nomad, and the nomad was a lot easier because it’s so square out of the box. The shapeoko took a lot of time to get level/square enough to do things like this, and I would still likely use a leveling feature in the sender (which generally do exactly this). Really, with the nomad it’s not productive to chase sub .001"

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(Jose Miguel Atala) #5

Ok I understand. Thank you for your comments!


(Jose Miguel Atala) #6

Hi; This is the answer to my own question :smile:
In case it is useful for someone else.

In this video he uses software developed by James Hawthorne (@Daedelus1982), called “Autoleveller”.
It’s Open Source.
It looks interesting …!

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(William Adams) #7

Usually this sort of thing is done in the context of PCBs — list (including the app you mentioned) at: — I believe bCNC has this as a native option, but it converts G2/G3 arcs into short line segments.

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(Sean) #8

I’ve used AutoLeveler with the Nomad to compensate for minor imperfections in the PCB stock prior to milling circuit boards. It works very well, but I had to develop my own workflow.

AutoLeveler does not support grbl-based machines like the Nomad directly. To work around this I chuck a dial test indicator in the spindle, zero it at program zero, then measure the height of each probe point from AutoLeveler’s probe gcode relative to that. With those values I then create a csv file to feed back into AutoLeveler along with my board gcode, which results in a gcode file that has been compensated for board thickness variation.

It’s quite fiddly and is a lot of work, but it does improve the result of my milled circuit boards.

Some notes:

  1. Level your wasteboard. This makes a big difference.
  2. Mill a pair of registration holes into the wasteboard and put short dowel pins in them. This will give you a place to align PCB stock with your machine’s travel and also give you a fighting chance at producing two-layer boards.
  3. If your PCB job is small and you have leveled your wasteboard, you’ll probably get acceptable results without indicating out the board.

I use kicad to do schematic capture/board layout and flatcam to do the CAM processing.


(Jose Miguel Atala) #9

Ohhhh, excellent information!
I understand; you enter the zeros value mesh manually (on cvs file).
At the moment I do not have a dial test indicator; but I think I can do it with a multimeter, measuring continuity between the board and the bit, to take the most accurate heights possible at each point of the grid.
I will check.

Thank you…!!


(Sean) #10

Good luck! I did that a few times too – it does work quite well, but it takes a lot longer because you have to sneak up on each probe point to avoid crashing your tool into the work. With the indicator, you can put together gcode that moves to each location and just pauses until you take the measurement.

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