Set an absolute depth?

This might be a silly question, but can you set a machine depth? i.e. the program says plunge 12mm but the base is 10mm, so the machine only runs to a depth of 10mm?

I’m just thinking of ways to save my baseboard…

I know there could be a bunch of issues with this idea? Alternatively I guess you could use a soft limit switch?

I believe you could program soft limits so as to throw an alarm.

Better to just set the stock size in your CAM program appropriately and ensure it doesn’t happen.

I do set my stock size but I don’t have a spoil board. There is the odd oacaion my program cuts a fraction too deep :frowning:

You could do this by futzing with your offsets and soft limits, yes. However, it’ll get confusing quickly, since (at best) you’ll cause faults when your gcode attempts to push your Z lower than the limit. And you’ll need to keep your relative Z (tip of your bit) the same across all tools, less you’ll have to reset that Z limit with every new tool.

I keep around a stock of 1/4" (~5mm) hard board that I use between my parts and my wasteboard whenever I’m cutting through parts to make things easier. 1 inch part, I just cut 1.1 inches deep. Bit cuts into the disposable middle board, no hard done.

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Just “pack” under your parts with a piece of 1/8" HDF/hardboard. Works great, very flat, totally disposable, and you never get too upset about cutting into it, especially when you really have no choice but to cut through the part you’re working on.


I’ve been using MDF to do this, however I did make a mistake. When drilling out my Ali waste board I did it by hand and there are slight differences in where the holes are - I’d need to copy all these holes over to my hardboard to make it speedy for fitting. (Live and learn I guess)

Currently I’m chopping up MDF to the size I need.

I don’t suppose anyone uses 1mm card? I figure this should work well?

Card stock or cardboard? I’d think as long as it’s dense enough to not compress when material is clamped on it you should be fine. Though 1mm is awfully narrow a margin to hit with a through cut.

I’m not sure on the difference? I was thinking the thick stuff used for craft things, not brown boxes :slight_smile:

My usual through cut is 0.3-0.5mm depending if it’s aluminium or hard wood.

I think the difference is a couple thousand miles across the ocean :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Card stock (not brown boxes) should work just fine as long as it’s uniform in thickness. I’d thought about using linoleum flooring scraps at one time too…

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Just run the holes in the hardboard oversize by a sufficient clearance to let it match up. The aluminum bedplate gives precision location, the hardboard only needs precision (actually uniform) thickness.