Set up for marker drawing

I am OK in carving and cutting on my Shapeoko 3. On thing I would like to be able to due is transfer a cutting pattern onto my stock to be able to see where the cutting will be and to make sure my fixture or hold downs are in the right places. How do I set up the machine and code to be able to draw draw the line at just the top depth? I am not worried about mounting the pencil. I assume I calibrate the pencil just like I do the router bit but not sure what to do from there.

Should be a technique similar to what is used for “Hello World”:

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G1Z-0.254F1524.0 G1X40.860Y104.856F5080.0

  • Plunge: 1524mm/min.
  • Feed: 5080mm/min.
  • Depth: -0.254mm
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most people use some sort of a pencil/pen holder which is usually in front of the router bit. Be sure your router is turned off. Zero on the pen tip at your origin and trace away. You will want to set zero and make a tool path that makes only one pass that is deep enough to get the marker to mark. Running your cutting gcode will try to drive the pen/pencil deeper and deeper each pass. When done remove your pen and rezero with the router bit and run a toolpath/toolpaths for the cutting.

Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it. Leave yourself enough stock outside your piece so there’s no doubt that you won’t hit a clamp etc.

If you really need to work to the edge of a piece, then blue tape / glue the piece down to your waste board.

Eventually, you’ll trim the edge off a clamp anyway. :smiley:.

PS. Some gcode senders will calculate the outline of your code and move the router around (air cut) to show where the cut will be. CM doesn’t.

I bought a Vinyl Cutter attachment from Bones Woodshop (Vinyl Cutter Drag Knife Mount Attachment for Shapeoko CNC Machine — Bones Woodshop) and use it for pens and other items. Plus, I get the bonus of being able to cut vinyl now. If the pen is too skinny wrap some blue tape around it. It works great. When I set up the zero I have it barely touch the paper and then use .01 for the depth. its easy to pause the machine and push it down a little if you need more force. Works great on a blank canvas. Can make a video if anyone is interested.

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