Touch Probe vs Bitsetter the why ofs

Hello, As will soon be evident I am new to CNC routing. Have had my XXL for 3 weeks and have cut a few projects. When I ordered my Shapeoko, knew that I needed to order all the accessories now. So I ordered the z-plus, touch probe and bit setter. I understand the touch probe locates the stock edge and the bit setter sets zero. When I use the touch probe I have always set all three axis. Where I am lost is when using the touch probe setting X,Y and Z why does the software send the cutter to the bit setter. I have not found a tutorial on these two items. It would be great if someone would create a tutorial when starting a project
What I need is a explanation on when to use. I save the toolpaths most of the time in one G-code being sure when a tool change is needed I will be prompted and the tool zeroed.
As I said I am new to this and can say without a doubt addicted.
Any suggestions education are welcomed. Feel like a school kid first day of school. I am sure there will be many more questions.

The BitSetter is used as a tool offset probe. Basically, it ensures that your Z height will adjust as you use multiple tools with inherently different lengths.
Your Z limit switch “knows” where the top of your Z axis is. When you set zero with your probe, the machine “knows” where the bottom of your end mill is. When you change tools, that changes. The BitSetter adjusts for that.


@neilferreri Clear and concise, your teacher is showing :grin: :laughing: :rofl:


I’m also new to CNC, my Shapeoko XXL should arrive on Monday. I was thinking about purchasing a bit setter and/or touch probe. My question is why can’t you place the touch probe at a known height and use it to measure tool length?

That’s how I used to “BitSet”.

This post may answer your question more directly.


I have both the bit setter and the touch probe. These tools make the Shapeoko at another level above not having them. The touch probe can set the edges for X&Y and then the Z zero but you can also use the touch probe to just set zero. I use the center of material more than the lower left corner. The reason I use the center is so I can recycle designs and not care about changing the size of the material. By using the center instead of the edge my settings in CC about the material is not very important. The bit setter is primarily used when you have multiple tools. So if you start with a Vee bit you still set zero for the carving. If you then cut the part out and use a 1/4’ (201) the machine pauses and prompts you to change tools and then the tool is sent to the bit setter to set an offset from the original zero you set with the vee bit. However in the 4.x and 5.x versions of CM they prompt you to put a tool in after initialization and the machine moves to the bit setter. This is part of the work flow in CM but that does not mean your zero is set after power up. If you last project was 1/4 inch high and the new project is 3/4 inches high the zero is still set from the 1/4 inch project and the new bit is only off set from the 1/4 inch zero. So when you start a new project the Shapeoko goes through initialization and then prompts for a bit and then goes to the bit setter. So for a new project after that procedure you still need to set zero for the new project for X,Y and Z.


In other words, C3D says “… its my way or the highway!” You’ll get used to it. Go ahead and buy the stuff.

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