A friend got me a Tastplatte (probing plate) as a gift that is in a lot of youtube Videos around the MPCNC (there is also a Video from UnclePhil on how to make this plate) from someone selling it on eBay. It seems to make it very easy to probe also for orientation of squared stock by probying X and Y as well as Z.
What I wonder: since ESTLCam seems to be oviously capable of using this, is it also compatible when I generate the code with ESTLCam but use a Jackpot board to run it on my LowRider? The FluidNC documation does not mention any X/Y functionality of touchplates, but I am yet to discover about how the exact interaction from estlcam with the later running LowRider is, since I can not (yet) try it on my own running machine.
You can only probe for square if you hit at least two points on the same side. I think EStlcam control does but I am not sure of any other “hobby” software that does.
I also don’t think it is a very common thing to do do is why it is not integrated more. Most jobs cut their own true sides, so why bother getting the material on perfectly, or skewing the gcode to make it happen.
Good advice from Ryan. I think an easier approach would be either a fixture to mount the pre-cut material to, or at least some type of a fence system using either dowels or PVC pipes inserted into pre-drilled holes on your spoil board or a fence board mounted to your spoil board, even if only temporarily, to position the pre-cut stock against.
I saw a YouTube video in which a maker using FluidNC firmware, had a probe script that would touch off of the top of one of those, and then touch off against the X side, and against the Y side of one of those. I will try to link it.
It’s one thing to find out the location of the corner in XYZ and another thing to find out the angle of X and Y with, as Ryan said, probing the X side at least twice, and probing the Y side at least twice.
Writing a script to probe twice on the X and twice on the Y, is not hard. However, having control software that can interpret that information and angle your G code file ever so slightly to account for that… is a whole other thing. I’ve seen it done, but I don’t remember now what software it was that was doing it.
Ha Talking to people generates insights each time. Yeah. Funny thing: I do at least run an instance of this software apparently… without previously knowing it and just using it intuitively So, at least part (or the idea) of that software lives inside my Shaper Origin…
Every time I work with it my workflow is to touch exactly like mentioned above: 2 times on X and 1 times on Y - with an 8mm rod against the edge, not a touchplate - and afterwards there is a whole grid laid out over the workpiece, and the workspace that is afterwards saved is adapted to the ground grid now established and all coordinates are relative to these X/Y axes… I really use it all the time. Having used it so much made me just assume that is built into lots of other software as well. Makes me all the more eager to one day figure out how to use it with my LowRider.
My thoughts on that… There are at least two ways to skin this cat. (Sorry for the violent sounding American colloquialism). Maybe I should say, at least two ways to accomplish what is needed.
One way is to learn where the machine’s axes are as per the real world, and get your pre-cut material aligned with that. The other way is for your machine to learn where your pre-cut material is in the real world, and get itself aligned with that.
The Shaper origin is apparently built around the latter, while much of the CNC world is built around some adaption of the former.
The prospect of using the LowRider to draw a grid on the spoil board with either a pen or a laser, allows us to know where the LowRider’s axes are in the real world, and align our material to that.
This is common with laser also, in which a “frame” button causes the laser machine to move around the proposed cut job’s boundaries, with the “red, harmless, making, laser light” tracing that path, and it allows positioning the material where it needs to be.
In the same way, having the LowRider drill some holes in the spoil board along an axis, and putting (temporary) pegs or dowels in those holes, would provide a “fence” of sorts, that allow aligning the material with the already reveal axis of the machine.
Quick and simple alignment. You want something physical and aligned for your machine. All you need is some scrap mdf and a couple screws. Screw the MDF to your table surface with extra material in both the x and the Y axis. Have the machine start at machine 0,0 for origin and cut a rectangle larger than the material on your board. You now have a physical stop perfectly aligned with both axis of your machine with the corner at 0,0 (machine).
So you have a perfect edge to align with and then clamp your material down without worry it’s askew.