Posted on

Touch plate and probing functionality

I finally got around to connecting a touch-off plate and setting up LinuxCNC with a probe screen and a Z touch-off button.

Until now, I’ve always set up the workpiece coordinates on the machine manually. I usually used the “piece of paper method”, jogging the tool to the edges of the stock and sliding a piece of paper between the tool and the stock. Then I would click the Touch Off button and enter the proper offset to where the center point of my cutting tool was.

A probe routine can be used to detect the X, Y, and Z zero coordinates after you mount a part or piece of raw stock material on the CNC router bed. This sets the work offsets (e.g. G54) so the machine knows where the part is mounted on the bed and can command all the moves in the G code program relative to the zero point of the part, as was defined in the CAM programming.

If you’d like the details, here is the article on how to setup a touch plate and probing functionality in LinuxCNC.

Posted on

Electronics Box Completed

Carbon Fiber Electronics Box with Acrylic Cover

This electronics box was designed to accommodate the electronics components used for the recent upgrade. In the past, there was no electronics cabinet used. All of the components were just sitting on a shelf below the CNC router and all of the wiring was run directly from the machine to each component. With this new setup, there are disconnects on all of the wiring to allow easier service and upgrades to components.

The box layout was designed to separate the signal wiring and power wiring to minimize electromagnetic interference (EMI). The VFD is kept outside of the cabinet since it is a major EMI producer and I want easy access in case I would like to control it manually. All of the I/O and stepper signal wiring is on the top part of the enclosure, and exits the box through the top group of connectors. The power wiring and supplies are all located in the bottom part of the enclosure and run through the lower group of connectors. There is a buffer of more than 4 inches (10 cm) between signal and power wiring.

The layout also accounts for cooling and airflow. Cool air enters through a filter at the bottom of the front panel. Heat will rise off the heat sinks on the motor drivers, generating vertical airflow, leading to the exhaust fan that pulls air out of the top of the rear panel. The box will stand up in a vertical orientation.

The carbon fiber was made in-house, then the panels were machined with the Torsion CNC router, including engraving the text and graphics on the back panel.