Easy-Z Tool Setter Problems (what is the proper steps to use it)

I’ve searched and searched but, I cannot find the proper steps, and their order, to use the Easy-Z tool setter.

I’m using Aspire. I insert the bit I’m to start with, then home, then use the touch plate for X-Y-Z positions. I star my project and I’m asked to change the bit and I do, although the bit is the one I wish to use to start. The spindle goes to the tool setter then proceeds to cut. I have a tool change scheduled in my project and the process does as it should. Everything works as expected. I load my next project an the same material with a different tool, and use the touch plate to set Z height. Again, I’m asked to change the tool and then the machine goes to auto touch and when it returns to start the next project the tool is too high above the material, by the thickness of the touch plate. What am I doing wrong? How can I stop the program from asking me to change the bit when the bit installed is my starting bit?

1 Like

Good question. I have seen that exact thing happen to me also. My workaround is to slow the feed way down to make sure it does what it is supposed to. Another thought, use the MDI to change the tool to the one that you put in. Then it will not ask for the tool change.

1 Like

It sounds like you are changing the tool (bit) without the controller’s knowledge. Once the tool setter functionality is enabled It ALWAYS remembers the last tool and even assumes it is installed on the startup homing cycle. The tool the software thinks is currently loaded is reported on the screen. This tool is what it will base its next height adjustment from on a tool change. Either A) wait until a tool change is requested before changing a bit or B) input a Txx M06 in MDI before changing the bit.

2 Likes

Thanks for the input guys. I hadn’t considered using the controller. I’ll give it a go.

I am experiencing a very similar problem. It varies depending on the steps I take. Below are the steps I believe I need to take. This would be from an initial power up…

  1. Power on the machine.
  2. Prior to Homing, I need to insert a bit because it always goes to the Tool Setter after all axis home.
    • I’ve tried different bits for this step - sometimes not the first bit I’ll carve with and sometimes the same one. I even did it without a bit. In every case it goes to the tool setter.
  3. The next thing I do is zero the work piece in X Y Z with Touch Probe using the first bit in my not yet loaded file. (I have loaded the file prior to this step as well)
  4. Then I load the file
  5. The spindle comes to my tool change position (different than tool setter position) and asks to change the tool. I just press Cycle Start since I installed the first tool I need.
    • It goes to the tool setter and then proceeds to carve, but is almost always at the wrong Z.

TBH, I’ve varied the above steps trying to determine the exact right way and end up making things worse. I am just looking for the exact sequence for an initial power up Home, and any other time I Home. If somehow, I get it to work, all subsequent bit changes in the carve work as they are supposed to. It’s just the initial getting started part.

I feel my settings are correct. I do not have a specific tool number in the setup. I tried that and then got issues with the spindle being off. Maybe that is for another day.

Thanks in advance.

The machine is functioning correctly if it goes to the tool setter on restart/homing. The controller is trying to set the correct tool height as part of the homing cycle for the tool in memory. It is key to keep in mind that the machine is always “remembering” the last tool used and its measured offset.

When a tool change is required, there is no need to re-zero for Z unless your Z datum position is changing along with your tool change. This would happen, for example, if you engrave with the datum at the top surface with a v-bit and then use a wasteboard surface datum for a subsequent profile cut with an upcut bit.

2 Likes

TY! I understand what you are saying, I think.
So to recap:
I should always have a bit installed in the spindle prior to doing a Home.
Then, after machines Homes,
a) I Load a new file
b) Change to the first bit needed in the file
c) X Y Z probe to establish the work origin
d) Press Cycle Start. What I should see happen is the spindle comes to my tool change position
e) I change the tool and press Cycle Start. - The spindle goes to the Tool Setter, then heads to the work piece and begins the carve.

Does this sound correct? I would think the order of a, b, & c may not matter…?

For the most “automatic” operation, this would match the bit in memory and be undisturbed.

No. Do not change the bit until prompted to do so.

Well, if needed. Maybe you are using the same X-Y origin as last time. And do not redo Z origin unless the datum is changing.

Only if the tool in the next NC file or at the next Txx M06 is different

Yes, if the tool needed to change.

2 Likes

After intiating cycle start, if I cycle the e-stop button then: Home, set Z with touch plate, then rewind and cycle start, I am not asked to change the initial bit and the program runs as expected, including subsequent bit changes. It seems that the bit used first is known by the controller. I’m not fluent in gcode. I see Txx M06 in your appreciated help. I’ve entered all my bits into the Masso controller. Are you trying to tell me to enter, say T14 M06 into the command line on the MDI screen, in that order; or is it M06 T14? T14 being my initial cutting tool. I also assume the gcode entry would be made prior to homeing, then follow homeing using the touch plate to set material locations X,Y and Z.

Thank you Rob - I will play around with this and see if I can see what you describe.

I have an Elite, so I’m working with the Masso G3 touch panel. Thank you Rob and Ray for helping me think this through, your thoughts helped alot. After getting beat by the Tool Setter, i found that the following works:

  1. Install the bit that will be used to start your project.
  2. Home with this bit installed.
  3. Use the touch plate to set X,Y and Z.
  4. Run the project.

To install the start bit:

  1. Mount the bit to the spindle/router.
  2. Load your file.
  3. Open MDI and enter txx m06 and select Run (txx is
    the tool number and m06 is the command to use that tool. For example t12 is tool number 12, for tool
    number 3, use t3 not t03.)
  4. After selecting Run a window will pop up asking to
    change the bit then select Cycle Run. Execute that,
    without changing the bit of course, and the tool will
    touch off on the tool setter. The starting bit will be
    displayed on the screen.

This worked for me on a project with a tool change. I will do this for every project even if i don’t turn off the controller.

Thank You,
Richard

Ray/Richard. I hope you are having more success with tool changes.

Richard. - It sounds like you have a workflow in mind that requires the installation of the bit as part of the machine startup. You even have a name for it - the “start bit”. Perhaps think of this from the controller’s point-of-view instead. The controller knows what your last tool change was and therefore what tool should still be in the collet. It knows this whether or not you have turned off the machine and whether or not you are starting a new job. It even shows you this on the screen. It doesn’t need for you to change the bit before it asks you to. It will tell you when this is required.

So you don’t need to install a “start bit”. Instead, wait until the machine asks for a tool change.

2 Likes

Rob,

I understand the controllers point of view which is why I’m installing the start bit. Homeing is the problem because homeing includes the tool setter. It seems that Z home point should be referenced to the bit that is used with the touch plate for locating the material height. When the controller asks for that initial tool change it doesn’t allow you the opportunity to restablish the Z height, it continues to start cutting. I suppose that I could install my start bit before homeing less the MDI input. If I do, then I have to do a tool change step. If I use the MDI input the tool change step is eliminated and I am confident my Z height is correct. This process will be used unless my project starts with the last bit used. I’m new to CNC work. I may have missed something in the Masso workflow but, I’m still learning and I’ve learned that my approach solved my problem. I hope the information and our discussion helps others who seem to have the same issue.

Richard.

I see what you mean if you need to establish a different Z height due to having a different Z datum. With the tool setter fully enabled, it is always assuming you want the same Z datum. Perhaps I can offer a work-around.

One of the features of a “proper” commercial controller like the Masso is the ability to do things like “jog-off-path” during a job. This is a powerful feature when compared with a grbl machine which doesn’t really have a separate jog mode. After starting a job you can pause (Cycle Stop) and then basically do whatever axis positioning you want before resuming. For example, during a pause you could jog the machine to conveniently re-attach a vacuum hose or check the tightness of a collet nut before resuming the job with Cycle Start.

I’m pretty sure you can also re-set a datum in this mode. So after the machine touches off the tool setter, pause the job, jog Z to the new datum position and re-zero Z. I don’t think the automate 3-axis touch plate function is available without re-starting the job (I don’t use this - perhaps someone else can chime in on this one) but you should be able to manually set the Z datum and the job will carry on with the new datum. IIRC, two presses of Cycle Start are required to resume.

If you try this, let us know if it works for you.

Rob,

There’s some good information here. The Cycle Stop has potential. I learned something new here, thanks. What I’m noticing here is what I call the Microsoft Quirk, there are many entries that can be made to accomplish a task. How many ways are there to open a file in any program, or open another window…and keyboard shortcuts, whew. There seems to be many ways to accomplish a solution to my original problem. I couldn’t find any information posted anywhere which is why I came to this Forum. I put some steps together, executed them, achieved my goal and posted them.

This an interesting topic. I’m looking to solve a few things myself, and maybe help someone else in the process. I’m sort of having some of the same issues, but not, and different.

I have the Elite Woodworker (Masso G3 Firmwear 5.07), Vectric 12 Pro, the MPG Pendant, Tool Setter, and Touch Probe.

Last week, everything was working fine. This week, I started using VCarve 12 Pro, I updated the Firmwear on the controller…. And…. Some stuff works, and some stuff doesn’t.

The Tool Setter appears to work great. However, I was getting random depth cuts when I changed tools. Turns out some of the tools had the same tool number in VCarve 11.5 but as long as I used the touch probe for each tool change, no problem. But when the Tool Setter is in the mix, odd things happen. I was able to go back into VCarve 12 and assign a different “tool number” to every tool I use.

So, the Tool Setter works, each tool change does what it’s supposed to do when I load a new file…

Now the Touch Probe doesn’t work and the Pendant is behaving wonky. I have to manually set my Z0 at the beginning of the project. Then the tool setter does it’s thing from there. The controller is telling me there is no tool number assigned to the Probe, and I haven’t figured that part out yet. I’m going to guess I did something I shouldn’t have in the Settings ….

Any thoughts would be appreciated!

Yeah, telling the machine where it is is challenging, at least for me. I’ve upgrade the Masso to v5.07, I think that’s right…the latest version. I haven’t experience any abnormal behavior from my probe or pendant. I think I read that you haven’t used the tools tab on top of the Masso screen. The tools window will alow you to put your bits, by tool no., into memory. Be sure they’re numbers match whats listed in your design programs tool list. Enjoy the challenge

1 Like

Update… found an example of the settings here on the forum… had the Probe set on the wrong input… Now the Tool Setter and the Probe work fine… The Pendant is still wonky… but 2 out of 3 ain’t bad… Ha ha!

1 Like

I think those are good rules:

Never change a bit when the CNC is powered off, always leave the bit in the collet.
The CNC will remember XY and Z when powered off and on.

Ideally use the wasteboard surface as Z0, that way you do not even have to probe for Z between jobs, you also reduce the risk of accidentally cutting into the wastboard.

Never change the bit unprompted.

If you want to change the bit without being prompted by the Masso the correct procedure is:

Open the MDI tab, type in (Edit:) Txx M06 being the tool number you want to insert.
The spindle will jog to the tool change position (if set) and display the prompt for a tool change, display tool number and ask to press cycle start after bit is changed, then proceed to the tool setter and measure the offset. No need to probe for Z again.

Ideally you use a fence or dowel system, that way you do not even have to probe for XY between jobs.

2 Likes

One slight correction it should be TxxM06…

1 Like