Beginner Thread

I thought it might be a good idea to have a beginner thread that new folks can reference for the most asked questions that are either not covered by anything OneFinity puts out or they are covered but they are in multiple places or people aren’t seeing them. I put a few tips below. If you think this is a good idea feel free to add your tips and re-post. If this already exists somewhere, please let me know. If you don’t think this would be helpful or would make things more confusing, please let me know that too. There are enough things that cause frustration and I would hate to add to that,

Spoilboard - First Cut

  • This is many times the first job people do and it can be one of the toughest because it is usually testing the very limits of the size that your machine can do. If you get an over or under limit error (very common) be sure that you have measured the origin correctly (usually the very center of the board) and that the board is in the correct position under the machine. Often it just needs a gentle nudge here or there to be in the right spot. 1F has a youtube video that might help.

File naming - There is a good post in FAQs about this but put simply, keep your file names as simple as possible. Most special characters will confuse the controller and tell you that your file isn’t g-code even when it clearly is. Easiest to make sure no special characters are in your file name.

On the control panel, there is button to load from USB (3rd from the left). Right next to it (4th from the left) is the button to load permanently into the buildbotics system. If you hit there, it doesn’t affect function of the machine but it can’t be undone. That file will remain in the buildbotics memory until you re-flash, like doing a firmware upgrade. Hopefully in future versions this button will be moved or require confirmation before performing it’s action.

Feeds and Speeds - OneFinity has a couple of posts on this to get you started. There are also numerous sources all over the internet, including from the manufacturers. All of these are just suggestions and your material and shop conditions may necessitate something different. For best results, be conservative until you ae more comfortable with your machines performance.

Homing and re-zeroing - Stall homing occurs on start-up and allows the machine to home without using proximity sensors. It has it’s pros and cons but it doesn’t always rehome to the exact same spot. This can make finding your material’s zero position difficult if you have a long or multi-day carve and shut the machine off in between sessions. Despite advice found elsewhere, typing in the saved coordinates with G-code does not always get you back to your expected position. One way around this is to permanently put a block or L brace in the bottom left corner with a spot marked for your zero. Every job can be referenced off this mark so it is repeatable if you shut the machine off or have a power outage during your job.

File processing - The Buildbotics controller saves files that you use so you can go back to them quickly if needed. That can be beneficial but it can also cause problems. If the first file in your list was a big job, every time you reload something it will automatically try to reload that file. This can be frustrating. Also, saving multiple files can eventually cause memory issues.
Two ways to prevent these things. First, using whatever design software you like, create a file with a very simple carve, like a small outline of a letter, then save it as 1 or 11. Load that into the 1F and it will go to the top, Then every time it does it’s reload thing, it will go to the file, instantly process it and you can move on. Second, consider deleting those files off the system that you don’t plan to use regularly. This will free up memory and can prevent other problems down the road.

Hitting in screen buttons - hit each button only once and wait for the system to respond. Especially with start/pause and stop, if you accidentally hit it twice before it has a chance to clear out the buffer (yellowed state) it will freeze in jogging or holding mode. There is no way to fix this other than shutting down and restarting.


Great idea!!!

Thanks for doing this and please continue. YPS is delivering my machine today and I am a total newbie!

I will and I am sure others will have many questions…:thinking:

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I am also awaiting delivery. Thanks for this thread. I have no doubt you have already saved me hours of time learning the idiosyncrasies of these machines.

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as a newbee, here are a few things I have ran into lately.

  • make sure you turn on the screen before the power button on the controller. this allows the hdmi handshake to complete and you get full screen resolution. if not you will have about 3/4 sized UI on the touch screen.
  • screen flickering appears to happen if you have router and controller/screen on same circuit - especially when running. I haven’t been able to test that circuit change fixes this, but hoping it will.
  • 2nd the Spoilboard being a difficult thing to start with. Still working to get SW to generate the right paths to have a functional Spoilboard. I think I’m there, but need time to run it.

If the goal is to make it an abbreviated beginners guide, i would spell out more about what feeds, speeds & chipload is, and why its important… example:

Feed is the rate the spindle or router is moving thru material on the xyz axis. (IN/MIN or MM/MIN)
Speed is the rate the spindle is rotates your cutter head (RPM)
Chipload is the result and “cools” your cutter as it moves.
Too small a chipload your making dust
Too large a chipload your just tearing material.
The goal is to shave chips away as it moves.


Hey all,

the problem with such a thread is that it does not take into account the already existing answers to beginners’ questions, which are available in large quantities on the forum. So I would fear that it would lead to a poorer quality of information than if beginners were referred to the search function, through which one can be led to high-quality and extensive information, or to good and important existing threads in which something has been extensively discussed and described.

For example:

This answer does not take into account that there is a way to set the screen resolution to the exact one that your monitor has which makes powering it up a good while before the controller unnecessary.

This does not take into account that there is a list of remedies to this monitor intermittent issue in the forum. It only mentions putting it to a different circuit, but not e.g. these recommended remedies for this issue

This answer does not link to any of the wasteboard files that others already made and offered to the public, nor to the “Wasteboard” Playlist on the OnefinityCNC youtube Support channel.

There is a lot of info about flattening your spoilboard in this forum.

Also for a beginnger, it is crucial to understand that before flattening the wasteboard, you have to make the checks that the machine is rectangular (“squared”) and that it is coplanar (not twisted). Flattening the wasteboard cannot remedy any of both. So it would be good to link to a post like this post: What do I do first – #6 by Aiph5u.

Furthermore it is fine for beginners to share their progress with other beginners (please do not feel disturbed to proceed), but wouldn’t beginners rather be helped by information from experts than from other beginners?

When it comes to learning how to use a CNC milling machine to mill wood, which is essentially machining technology, here specifically the so-called cutting with a geometrically defined cutting edge (in contrast to machining with geometrically undetermined cutting edge, aka sanding), which includes, among other things, milling parameters such as the mentioned cutting speed, the feed rate, the plunge rate, the width of cut, the chip load, and much more. In my opinion, it would be nonsense to start the thousandth manual for this here in this forum, because first this is a forum about a specific CNC machine and controller, but this topic applies to all CNC routers and milling machines, and secondly, there exists already an uncountable amount of such instructions, many of excellent quality, both in the technical literature and, of course, even more so on the WWW. I would say that one should rather work on a collection of links to good pages, pointing to both pages in the forum and pages in the WWW.

PS: David @brknlnk, I took your post just as an example, I may have taken any of the posts of the others above :wink:

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Hey Dave,

you are right, this forum would need a collection of dense information, especially useful for beginners (specific to the machines and controllers offered by the Onefinity CNC manufacturer and the issues you encounter when assembling and using them). And there would be much to offer, this forum is already full of information, but it is spread around all over the forum. What this forum needs is a FAQ that points to good information, both in the forum and in the WWW. It would need a structure, but this is easy since this forum uses Markdown:


Heading Level 2

Heading Level 3

Heading Level 4

  1. Ordered list item
  2. Ordered list item
  • Unordered list item
  • Unordered list item

( forums like this one use CommonMark)

@AndyP and I already stated nearly two years ago that we would (and should) contribute to a User’s FAQ but yet there exist none here.

I plan to make a HOWTO on building and wiring your own VFD control cabinet but I will publish it on my own webspace rather than here, since it is not Onefinity-specific.


Hey Chris,

A glossary of technical terms! Excellent. That’s what the forum would need too.


Sorry for being off topic, but I am interested in seeing your howto. I am not able to see any reference to your website, can you either provide that url or point me to where I can find it?

Hey David,

thanks for your interest! But I said, I plan to do it. It’s not yet there. But I already reserved the webspace and of course I already own all the parts, including beautiful spindle and VFD. When I will start to build my VFD cabinet, I will make a lot of photos of the parts and tools needed and the process to put it together, to fill the HOWTO (I have professional photo equipement)

No need to reinvent the wheel. There’s resources out there, but you know know what to look for if you don’t know the verbiage that is used.

Aside from feeds, speeds, chiploads, other verbiage i can think of include tram, controller, CAD vs CAM, X/Y/Z then rotary A/B depending on orientation to X/Y axis, DOC, Endmill/TBN/V-Bit and what each is best for… ect

Truth be told it already exists, Here’s one example

Hey Chris,

I agree, but it would be nice to have a glossary right here, and some terms could refer to either some Onefinity-specific things, or to relevant threads that cover the term explained.

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I appreciate the feedback. I have been on many forums - searching is always encouraged. But, it is really tough as a beginner to find the right answers on the forums especially when you first receive the device and don’t know the correct terms to search for and when there are many threads on the same topics.

I would love to know where this is as it is better than the solutions I found when I first turned on my device and it just seemed not to work. my searches pointed that the screen needed turned on first - I didn’t see anything about setting the screen resolution.

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Hey David,

it’s here: Display resolution hack :slight_smile: You first need to find out what the native resolution of your monitor is, and then you find the corresponding mode number in the list on the link provided, and put it into your Onefinity Controller’s boot config text file.

Feel free to ask if you need assistance. However now I got to leave for a while because I was called to eat :slight_smile: (it’s 21:17 in Central Europe)


I’m not the one to compile a list of onefinity terminology, because:

  1. i still have have my shapeoko xxl, as I’m patiently waiting for my foreman shipment notification.
  2. Things like jerk setting… I’ve seen the term, but i have no idea what it is, nor do i care for reasons listed above.

I can work on something with universal terminology if you want me to dm you the list i come up with

“Jerk” doesn’t apply to the foreman.

Exactly why i don’t care to learn it.

Hey Chris,

regarding the example term “jerk”, the users of the Standard Series Controller or the interested forum reader got to know that the Onefinity Controller Manual only describes the functions of the user interface, but the detailed manual that includes all technical details, and in the most aspects applies to the buildbotics-derived Onefinity Controller, is the Buildbotics Manual v1.0. It’s an older Buildbotics manual (Buildbotics evolved a bit further [1], [2]), but it corresponds to the state of the Buildbotics controller when Onefinity forked it. “Jerk” is explained there:

The maximum-jerk entry box sets the amount of jerk that the axis will experience when changing from one velocity to another. Jerk is the rate of change of acceleration. The Buildbotics Controller provides smooth S-curve acceleration and this value sets the rate of change of acceleration. Higher jerk values will cause acceleration to change more abruptly and potentially cause the axis to jerk at the beginning and end of acceleration periods. These jerks can cause the machine to move. The jerk entry box allows users to maximize acceleration rates while minimizing jerks. Metric units for jerk are given in kilometers per minute3 (km/min3). Imperial units for jerk are given in g’s per minute (g/min).

:uk: :us: Jerk, :de: Ruck, :fr: À-coup

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I was just saying, i don’t know what i don’t know for 1f propietary speak, that was one example of terminology I’ve seen, but lack the need to know/ understand it.

You’ll also see when i send it to you that i don’t know the universal target chipload… i know my so3 is .001"-.02", but didn’t see it clearly defined when searching here

Look for a pm from me in a few hours… I’m in the zone!!

Hey Chris, hey all,

I would provide links to these: