Probe release info?

There have been a couple of references that lead me to think it’s more than just the LED.

From the product listing (emphasis mine): “The probe is an active probe, and when contacted to ground, communicates its position to Carbide Motion.”

And from a post that @RichCournoyer made a while ago when he was testing it: “I have seen the board [in the touch probe] and there are about 10 chips on board. Really. I was surprised too”

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I hadn’t seen that one before - the design has a clever way to zero X and Y without offsets.

The “active” part is more than just the LED. Our circuit can trigger on a much smaller current than a passive probe so that it’s potentially safer or more reliable than just hooking a block of metal to the IO pin on the GRBL IC.

The LED, while looking cool, was something we thought was important so that you could check that the probe was working before telling the machine to push a potentially expensive cutter into a block of aluminum.

We have always been against conductive probes but since everyone does it anyway, we thought this was the best possible implementation of a conductive probe. (And just to clarify, we might have more than 10 parts on the board, bot not 10 chips.)


Just to add onto @robgrz’s point on the LED. It’ really useful. Before I run a probing cycle I test the probe by taping it on the end mill to ensure contact is made. If your end mill has a painted surface or has some glue/gum on it which might stop it from making contact you really don’t want it jamming down into your work piece or probe. Don’t ask me how I know that :roll_eyes:


Sold out already …:cry:

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That’s a good tip, I just saw a video on the 2017 xcarve on the Carmichael Workshop youtube channel where he did the same thing. It was built into the macro I think based on what he said so you have to do that step to enable the button to probe. If that’s not how it works, might be a good idea for one of their competitors…

Well I tried running the GRBL updater but I get the Windows version error. I’m running a 32-bit version of Windows so I am assuming that the Carbide GRBL updater is 64-bit only? I have emailed both and, just to ask the same question. I think I can figure out a way to run another computer temporarily to do the update if I can keep my 32-bit machine after GRBL is successfully updated.

If you can’t get the Carbide 3D updater to run you could use Xloader (or any other Arduino flashing tool) and the copy of Grbl at:

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Any benefit to going with the Carbide one or detriment to using something else? I have time to wait for an answer. Its not a huge problem if the Carbide one is 64-bit only but would like to see that annotated somewhere.

Edit: Okay @WillAdams, I had a quiet evening so figured what the hell, I will try the XLoader method using the following steps:

  1. Downloaded Xloader
  2. Saved the hex into a text file and renamed accordingly as a .hex
  3. Opened CM and saved the log output of $$ command to a new text file.
  4. Setup Xloader using the hex file, Uno as the device, and after choosing the correct Com port it updated the baud rate automatically to 115200.
  5. Held down the z-axis limit switch and pressed the Upload button on Xloader.
  6. Took less than 15 seconds to transfer, although you don’t get much of an indicator that it completed so I held the Z-axis limit switch down for about 30 seconds just to be sure.
  7. Opened CM and sure enough, under settings, it showed the GRBL version as 1.1f
  8. Tried to update the machine using the MDI to match the old log settings. Immediately received some GRBL errors.
  9. Turned off machine, did a complete uninstall of CM, and installed CM 4 cleanly.
  10. Started CM 4, and before trying to home, made sure to update settings based on each line of the log file output of the previous $$ command.
  11. Hold breath, Home machine. Machine homes fine although some minor differences in Z-axis homing (I figure a new change in CM 4?)
  12. Jog machine around, no issues and verify that limit switches still work.
  13. Ran $$ command again and logged output. Everything seems fine minus some small differences that are unexplained between the old settings log and the new output of $$

So it seems that the Xloader method works with some thinking and planning. Differences between log files: Old file had a "$14=1 setting, new GRBL will not accept $14 command. New file has the following additional entries: $30=1000, $31=0, $32=0. Not sure what those do but will look them up. Any insight on the $14 setting?

Edit: I see, $14 was in a previous version of GRBL but is removed from the 1.1 spec. It was an autostart variable. $30 and $31 control max and min spindle speed, respectively (neither of which matter if not using the PWM pins). $32 is a boolean for laser mode.

Also I send a follow on email back to Carbide to ignore my previous email. I hope they clarify though if their GRBL updater is 64-bit only.


Is there any waitlist mechanism for the touch probe so we don’t miss out on the next batch?

Send in an e-mail to and we’ll add you to the list.

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Don’t feel too bad, they didn’t post it to the blog either - looks like the only place to get a notice was here. A while back they posted a picture of a table with quit a few on it (50+?), so I assume they had a pretty good batch.


if they only sold 50 for $120 that’s only about $6000 of turn over, there will be some cost for components, assuming say a 50%GM, they would only have made $3000, for a year or so of development work including a free update of carbide motion to support it. That’s why I love this company. Not greedy and hugely value adding. Can’t wait to get my probe.

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There were 50 in the picture… I’m sure some went out for test. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were slow rolling this to be sure everything is working fine before building a big batch.

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Shipped on Monday, was happy to get the tracking # after a few days. Currently scheduled for Friday delivery, hoping there’s no interruptions or delay so I can play with it this weekend.

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As you know Dan, I got mine Tuesday, I’m located pretty close to C3D. Had a little trouble, C3D is sending me a new one today :slightly_smiling_face:, they held a few in case of warranty issues.
Really looking forward to tinkering around. Going to try some two sided machining.

Yeah saw your issue about the mill continuing after contact. Will definitely be testing with one of my cheapo mills :slight_smile:

Arrrghhhh, already sold out. that is what i get for traveling for work!!!

Anyone who would like to be notified of when the probe will be released should go to the product page:

and sign up for the list there.

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What about letting us pre order so u know how many to make?

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