Rezero Z after Tool Change?

(John Ellenberger) #1

I just did a simple little project (still learning) which used a ball nose for the “highlights” and then a straight bit to cut the outline. Unlike with ugs the “jog” tab is grayed out after the job starts so I couldn’t figure out how to re-zero the Z for my 2nd bit. Since there is no way to assure I put it in the collet exactly the same depth this seems to be an issue.

Did I miss something?


(William Adams) #2

Carbide Motion’s tool change support is oriented towards the Nomad which has a tool length sensor.


See for a discussion of the first option (and a repeat of the link to the second).


(John Ellenberger) #3

Well to be honest it is unclear to me why one could use motion vs. ucs. The Motion status freezes and doesn’t update. It doesn’t simulate. It doesn’t allow you to go back and forth to machine control. The set-up controls seem less flexible.

I did my first project with ucs and it seems to me (albiet a newcomer) to be a more functional solution. Maybe not as pretty but Java apps are always ugly.

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(William Adams) #4

Reasons I prefer Carbide Motion:

  • simpler
  • nicer layout / screen appearance
  • easier to access and nicer touch screen / tablet interface
  • not Java — I loathe Java with an unreasoning passion, due to having to run a couple of poorly coded ones at work, and I just don’t ever want to have to deal with it otherwise
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(Phil Thien) #5

What is UCS?

Not that I’m a fan of Java but I’m curious about alternatives for control software and thought I’d google but don’t think I’m close on my google-fu.


(William Adams) #6

I believe UCS was supposed to be UGS, Universal G-code Sender.


(John Ellenberger) #7

Or may its UGCS…whatever. After all these years in tech all those acronyms just mush together in my aging brain.


(Bill Johnes) #8

Was using UGS version 1.09 (I believe) for probing. I tried the UGS Platform but could not get the key mapping to work correctly on my wireless keypad. Didn’t see where to get support…was in a hurry and didn’t look for too long and decided the heck with it. Been thinking about using Motion again anyway and l feel it’s more stable. I’ve been having disconnect issues since upgrading to XXL. When I turn my router off after a run it disconnects…not every time but often enough to be a pain in the backside. Getting it worked out but that’s another story. Anyway with Carbide Motion I just reconnect the machine and I can go back to the correct XYZ coordinates. With UGS I got in the habit of writing the coordinates down. I would have to go through the process of Ctrl-Alt-Delete and start UGS over again. Motion will remember them after a disconnect. Would still love to see a running timer instead of the percentage timer but maybe someday.


(William Adams) #9

For the disconnect when turning off router — turning the router’s speed setting down to low may help with that. Also the standard things:

  • ground the machine
  • ferrite beads on the power cord
  • good quality USB cable w/ ferrite beads or metal sheathing for the wires (or both, which is what I run on my XL)
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(Phil Thien) #10

And stop using the power switch on the router itself, plug the router into a switched outlet and use that switch.

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(Idan) #11

Is there a way to install a similar sensor on the Shapeoko? I seem to remember seeing that but it may have been a on different machine.


(William Adams) #12

There is a probe input on the board which may be used for a touch plate or other arrangement, see: and various other bits and pages on the wiki.

Also, Carbide 3D has been working on an official touch plate — see the Carbide 3D blog.


(Idan) #13

The last update I found on the blog is from Aug 2016. Has anything changed since then?


(William Adams) #14

They announced it was being tabled (in the U.S. sense) while a big surprise project was worked on — that was just announced, Carbide Copper, so presumably it’s back on the main burner and being worked on now.


(mikep) #15

Motion’s tool change kind-of-sort-of-but-not-quite works on the shapeoko. In 4.0 it moves the carriage up, which is great, but then turns ON the spindle - looks like it stops on the wrong g-code line. If you have spindle control hooked up, that’s not so helpful. If you don’t have spindle control, you would never notice. I reported this when the beta’s were active, but never got any kind of response that it had even been received. I assume this will be working better then the touch plate gets released?


(Valentin Parks) #16

Back to the original thought: I haven’t tried this yet because my right hand is in a cast for a while (surgery, not accident). But perhaps if you collet up your bit using for example a 1x2x3 steel reference (using the 1 inch side). If the collet is tightened with the tip of the bit touching the surface of the 1 inch, then the next bit could be installed in the same way, resulting in the same Z height.

Just an idea.


(Phil Thien) #17

How about this as a feature for Carbide Motion…

Add a feature where the first tool/bit is installed in a loose collet. The router is then jogged to where the bit is pushed slightly further (.1 or so) into the collet, then you press a new screen button called “tool changed.”

After you press that, CM lifts the router .5" and you tighten the bit and confirm by pressing an “okay” button.

Your program now runs.

Okay, when it is time to change the bit during the program run, the router returns to the x/y/z+.5 where you pressed “tool changed” and turns the router off (if under CM control). You remove the bit, insert the new one (don’t tighten the socket), and press “tool changed” again. Now CM knows this is the 2nd tool change for the program you are running, so it does the plunge to zero to push the new bit to exactly the same point in the collet, and back up .5", then waits for you to snug the bit and confirm by pressing “okay” again.

Then program execution continues.

I might add some buttons that pop up during a tool change like “try that again,” or “plunge another .1” (in case the new bit is shorter). You get the idea. This would be called the tool-change control panel.

What do you think?

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(Charles Peterson) #18

I am not totally clear on your details as I am more of a visual person but it seems perfect.
Ultimately it would be great to have each tool set to z0 as soon as tightened, but that may be impossible?

could you use the motion probe for this?

  • use probe to set x0y0z0 for the project
  • move probe to a tool exchange location (engraved location or clamped down)
  • set tool exchange location using probe, which will stay there (z index #2 for the program?)
  • start program
  • eventually program asks for a tool (lets say #3)
  • moves to tool exchange location (max height above the probe)
  • stop spindle
  • change tool
  • start program
  • program uses the probe to set zero on tool based on the z difference between the project and the probe location
  • program continues to run
  • rinse and repeat…
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(Ryan Detzel) #19

Is there still no official way to do tool changes? They have a probe now, would it be easy enough to go to 0 and then probe z again before continuing?


(William Adams) #20