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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.

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LinuxCNC Setup and Connecting I/O

After getting the Raspberry Pi 4 running with LinuxCNC and talking to the Mesa 7i76e board, it was time to wire up the inputs and outputs and configure LinuxCNC for them.

I added disconnects to all the wiring coming from the CNC machine. These will mate with either the new electronics box or the previous Gecko G540 and PC setup. Then I ran wiring internally from the electronics box disconnects to the Mesa 7i76e inputs and outputs. I am documenting all of the connections and will publish it soon.

I am currently using inputs for combination home/limit switches on each axis and the emergency stop switch. Outputs are setup for controlling compressed air and the solid state laser. Compressed air is used for laser assist, chip evacuation, and mist coolant. More inputs and outputs will be wired up later.

For now, I’ve written up the steps I took to configure LinuxCNC 2.8 for the Torsion CNC Router, using Leadshine Drivers and Mesa 7i76e board.