Ramps 1.4 and Touchplate

Hey guys. I managed to successfully make some cuts in some Adams Foam Board and fly the first rc plane that was cut out. It’s actually pretty amazing at how simple and easy everything came together. I received some great advice from the forums and some amazingly helpful people including Ryan and I appreciate that.

My new question is about setting up a touchplate with the Ramps board. I haven’t found any definitive settings or tutorials on how to do this. I have just ordered some bits to start carving on some wood so I’d like to set up some consistency in the depths. This could also be useful in the foam as it’s hit or miss with me manually setting up the home.

Anyway, I couldn’t be happier with this machine as my entry into the cnc world. I’ll include a pic of the plane that I cut out. I think the best part is I’m using a Harbor Freight trim router that was on sale for $17 and their variable speed router speed controller to dial it down so it doesn’t melt the foam. The router came with a 1/8" and 1/4" collet wich was pretty cool and is amazingly quiet. I have it sitting on my kitchen table for now and it’s not overwhelming at all.

If anyone recommends a good touchplate I’d be interested in that as well.



Here’s the plane assembled and with electronics. It flies great and went together very well.


Nice work. The plane looks like fun, David almost has me convinced to build one myself.


A touch plate is actually pretty easy. It can be as easy as two wires plugged into the Z endstop, alligator clip it on to the bit and the other can be foil (or foil tape). A crude switch with pretty amazing accuracy.

Cool. Is there a way to activate it on the screen or do I need to use the laptop?


You would add the command to home only the Z axis in your gcode. G28 Z

If you have a screen you can add a pause as well.

Ok. I am going to try it when I get some free time.

Now for a more complicated question, how about homing on an touchplate and subtracting the thickness of it? Is there a setting that would remember the thickness and allow you to home with just the display? It’s possible that I’m overthinking this.


It is all the same. Crude switch of fancy switch.

Home Z -G28 Z

Reset to the new location, offsetting for thickness of the switch (Metal tape is about 0.15mm). -G92 Z0.15


Unless you are doing a tool change a Z probe isn’t really a good idea. you can surface your material to both make sure it is flat and have an exact zero point. In my opinion Probing for reasons other than a tool change is not “proper”.


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I appreciate the reply’s. Last question for ya.

If I wanted to do a tool change, would there be any benefit from setting x y and z limit switches so the machine knows where to restart from or is it easier just to align it from a zero point like I’m doing now?


Have a look at the link, you can not reliably do a tool change without the dual endstops. You really should learn all the basics and intermediate stuff before you jump into tool changes.

I am reading it now. I’m not sure how I managed to get this far without seeing that on the site. I’ll probably start gathering the stuff to do the dual stops.

Thanks for the help and patience.


We went almost 2 years without them. I highly suggest just having fun and learning CNC for a while. Getting that technical without a deeper understanding can take all of the fun out of it.