Don't estop on probe fail

Very frustrating to have the e-stop happen during a probe fail, since this wipes out your zero positions.

I had a big cut which I split in to two files, a roughing cut with a flat end mill and a finish cut with a v-bit. I completed the long roughing cut, raised the Z to have room to swap the bits, then ran a probe. I must have been a few mm outside the range because it stopped just shy of the plate and faulted out. Now that I have lost my zero position I have to toss this piece of wood and start all over. I know settings can be adjsted and that I could have zeroed off of a corner of the wood instead of the other spot I selected, but this situation will still pop up from time to time and it seems like a simple warning box popping up is a lot easier to deal with than e-stopping and losing your position.

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What a lot of people don’t seem to realize is that with the OneFinity Touch Plate you can run multiple tool paths and easily recover your XYZ zero location even if you were to cycle your power on and off. You should almost NEVER have to throw out a partially completed project simply due to zeroing.

The fact is, you could start a project that has multiple tool paths. Run one or more of them and then stop for the night and turn your machine off. Then the next day you simply re-zero with your touch plate and just like that your ready for the next tool path.

Even more incredible… You can start a job with multiple tool paths. Stop after one or more and then remove the work piece from your machine before it is completed and put it on a shelf to finish later. Then a week later you have time to work on it again. You clamp it to your machine bed any where you like. It does not have to be in the same location! It only has to be square with the machine travel in the beginning and when re mounting. Set your X Y Z zero with the touch plate and carve away.

What about a carving that was interrupted before the tool path finished? Yes you can recover from that too and save your stock. It is more complicated and a little difficult to explain here but if you run into a situation like that let me iow and I will guide you through it.

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I do realize this, however, I chose to set my X and Y zero points based on where I wanted to cut on the wood (to capture a particular grain pattern I liked and to avoid a knot). If I would have known the Onefinity would prevent me from cutting again I would have dragged out my table saw to cut a nice corner on the wood, then zero with the touch probe, then measure where I needed to start relative to the corner, etc. But it would be nice if the machine would just not lose the zero position in the first place. I use the touch probe a lot of the time, but not all the time.

There is an answer for that as well. The Triquetra Tool Box Companion for OneFinity allows you to zero your machine based on the left front corner but have the origin set to any offset distance from that corner you like. So if you want your X Y zero to be 3 inches over on the X and 8 inches back in the Y you just plug that in and generate the file. Then you have a repeatable 3 axis zeroing file for that project.

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I see that also as a solution in the future, but I also see this as an opportunity for Onefinitry to improve the functionality of their product, so extra software doesn’t have to band-aid their CNC.

The functionality that the companion software provides is not something that you would typically find in a cnc controller by default until you start getting into more of a professional grade machine. I haven’t seen any cnc machine in this price range that has a controller that provides much more than a Z only probe functionality and the Shapeoko is the only one I have seen that makes 3 axis probing available in its OEM software. I am not certain but even with the Shapeoko I think you are limited to the left front corner.

So I wouldn’t necessarily say the the OF controller is on the cutting edge by offering a 3 axis touch plate and built in 3 axis zeroing in addition to Z only zeroing, they are among the very few that do. I am sure that if they chose to, they could include all of the options that the companion software makes available, however, that involves paying for additional programing of their software and most software programmers don’t come cheap.

So I suppose you could call it a band-aide, but it is a band-aide that just about every other controller could make use of.

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The touch probe and its accompanying software is great, I am not questioning that. But the Onefinity software needs some work.

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Something I’ve noticed with the probe is that should you forget to attach the magnet and the machine eStops the Z won’t home properly without shutting the machine down and restarting. Kind of a pain as you could just rehome Z and not have to rehome and reset XY0

I will probably catch some flack for this but here is the truth according to me. The truth is that you it is not an absolute requirement or a necessity to home your machine before use. When you boot up you can decline to home and then probe X Y and Z to set your origin and go about your merry way carving. Not homing saves time but does make some other functions unavailable such as soft limits. As long as you have a good carving file and never get close to the limits of the machine then soft limits don’t really come into play. The goto zero buttons will return your machine to the origin set by probing if you home first or not. I’m not sure what happens when you have to estop for what ever reason but I believe that you can re run the zeroing process and still be ok. You just won’t have a valid machine home but you will have a valid origin.

For those that are not aware, there are at least two sets of coordinates. They are Machine Coordinates and Origin Coordinates. There are many variations of the Origin know as work offsets that can be defined but for now just understand the first two. When you machine is carving and a work origin has been defined by either manually positioning the bit and zeroing it out or with probing, the only thing that your machine cares about primarily is the origin also known as your work offset. If you home your machine first and then set the origin, you machine will also keep sight of Machine positions and has the ability to negate collisions with the limits you travel to some extent. Without homing it can’t. So if for no other reason, that is one valid argument in favor of homing. However, if you are carving ou8t batches of the same part over and over such as a bunch of Coasters, then you will know if your machine is going to be approaching the limits and if it isn’t then you can save yourself the time of Homing and just zero and go.

At least that is my opinion anyway. There are some other people that swear by homing and I am not calling them wrong. But for me, 99% of the time I don’t find it necessary.

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I also generally don’t home. However more than once using the joystick to move the router out of the way I accidentally banged into one of the stops and that causes the machine to skip and lose the zero location. I have a Machinist and I often push the cut boundaries and I have found homing sometimes gets in the way.