When to raise the bit?

Hi, new to CNC and got my temporary frame configured yesterday. I don’t have the Z-axis kit so I’m having to manually raise and lower the bit. I’m struggling to identify/understand when to raise and lower the bit? I’m trying to cut one of the pieces for the permanent frame a rectangle with a circle cutout in the middle. The Maslow starts with the circle, it does about 8 rotations of the circle and then moves to the next cutting location without warning that it’s doing so (so I could raise the bit). Is there a way in GroundControl to have it pause or notify me to raise the bit before it moves?

To be clear I do know that the dotted lines in Ground Control are the “move” lines and not intended for cutting I’m just not able to know when they are going to happen so I can pause the machine and raise it before it cuts somewhere I don’t want it to.

A software issue prevents the z-axis message from appearing :open_mouth:. @Bar has found the fix has been found and will be in the next release, due this Wednesday.
Here is a description of how to update your firmware before Wednesday, if like me you’re anxious to get cutting :wink:.

Also, the fact that it’s doing 8 rotations of the circle means it thinks it’s doing each one at a different depth. You either need to adjust the bit out a little each rotation (more work), or set your GC code up to just do one rotation at full cutting depth (more error prone). I’m also pretty new to CNC, but I’ll tell you that the amount of work the z-axis saves is absolutely worth it!

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Awesome looking forward to the software update, is it GroundControl update or firmware etc? Yes I assumed I did something incorrectly with the 8 rotations and was looking into the MakerCam settings.

just buy the z axsis IMHO, worth the extra $$$$. should of been mandatory purchase to begin with, not really a cnc withoutit.


Totally agree, tried to buy it yesterday but it’s “Sold Out” and you can’t purchase to get on a wait list from what I can tell.

It’s a firmware update. You can get the development version today, here. The Wednesday update will probably be the same as that version.

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Huh tried that firmware say 0.83 but I didn’t see anything, where should I be looking for the message? Just part of the running log on the side?

Latest Firmware fixed it thanks.

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I’m not an owner of a Maslow, I’m excited to participate and get one. does it use standard G code? do you have an opportunity to see it as a .txt file before running? does it use absolute or relative positioning?

you could use BK Replace to batch edit the G-Code to add a M00 a when a Z- is detected. if the control software is set up for this… I can’t wait to learn more about this.

M00 ( note about why you want the machine to stop to remind yourself if the control software displays code )

Thanks! this likely won’t work but I’m just talking out loud. :slight_smile:

@fawwal take a look at the Wiki.

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Good questions, all.

Yes, a subset of the many gcode commands.

Yes. You can’t edit in GroundControl but you can view the file.

Both are implemented.

There is a software switch to indicate whether a z-axis motor is installed. If not, the software pauses at each z-axis change and prompts the user to make the change manually. M00 is not needed for this (can’t remember if it is implemented).