You can automate the zeroing of the z-axis if you want to. It makes it a lot more precise and convenient.
Solder pins on AUX4 on the motor shield. While you’ve got your soldering gear out, attach pins to aux1 as well, it can automatically start and stop the router. Never mind about the others, they aren’t used yet.
Attach a wire (2m should be fine) to the AUX4 and one to the GND output
Attach a piece of sheet metal, I like to use a ruler, to the AUX4 wire
Use the Z axis panel to move the bit so that it is just above the ruler but not quite touching - within .15" of touching.
Press the macro button
Now your z-axis will lower till it touches the metal ruler and automatically zero, or the Maslow will ‘Stop’ if the bit hasn’t touched down yet. If that is the case, click the ‘Stop’ button to acknowledge the alarm and run the macro again - the bit will lower another time trying to touch down on the ruler connected to AUX4
Et voila, workflow improved
For the connector, here is a cable that could be made to work. It includes a 3-pin male connector you could solder onto the board and the mating 3-pin connector wired to 24" leads. That’s certainly not long enough to get from the board to your sled, you’ll need to cut one of the connectors off and solder on pieces of wire to make up the difference. Note that the middle pin is VCC (i.e. +5 volts), so not needed for the Z axis zeroing.
Really nice guide! I will do this very soon! Maybe you could add it to the garden as well? I think a lot of people would want this.
Just a quick question (and may be some clarification)
I’m guessing that you’re using inches on your machine?
I haven’t tried the G38 command but I would suspect that it gives an error if it doesn’t find the zero after 0.15inch of travel? is that correct?
If the machine is set to mm this would not be very much (coming in from +20 mm maximum) so by simply changing the value to something larger would make it probe deeper.
Is the feedrate set as low as possible to increase the precision? My z-axis is pretty slow already so I usually just max it out
@Dag83 I see you have three wires on pins, one is to ruler and ground to clamp. Wheres the third wire going to? Also does the top wire go to ruler or second one down? My X-Carve has a probing feature where you put clamp on collet and set puck on work piece (2wires setup) and hit probe button and it automatically probes puck and raises to automatic hight. Also do you have a link to where we can get pins and black wire clip to go on pin?
Thank you very much for this post.
I usually don’t put a wire on the VCC pin unless it is needed, and in this case I would leave it off.
For the connector, here is a cable that could be made to work. It includes a 3-pin male connector you could solder onto the board and the mating 3-pin connector wired to 24" leads. That’s certainly not long enough to get from the board to your sled, you’ll need to cut one of the connectors off and solder on pieces of wire to make up the difference. Note that the middle pin is VCC, so not needed for the Z axis zeroing.
@blurfl what does VCC stand for? Sorry for probably silly question to you. I haven’t had time to see if new laptop fixes my USB lost problem but I for sure wanna do this feature when i do get it going properly. Thanks for replying bud!
If you are in the middle of a cut using metric and it stops for a tool change, will this macro cause a problem? If you set it to inches mode and never set it back to metric, would the firmware misinterpret the gcode as inches from that point on? If so, perhaps a better solution is to have code for macro for metric and macro for inches.
That’s a PCB layout trick that aids in assembling the board. The holes are just enough offset that the pins of the header touch the sides of the holes so that the part stays in place by friction before is is soldered, and will stand perpendicular to the board on its own.