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  1. #1
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    Surface probing

    Hi All,

    I think a lot of you are familiar with 3D printing, and likely know that in GRBL there are options to probe the surface of the printer bed to detect and compensate for uneven or not flat surfaces.

    I'm wondering if there is any software available for us on pathpilot/tormach systems that would provide a similar capability?

    Sometime face milling in not an option, such as when engraving a finished surface, and with engraving especially, a small variation in cutting depth can really mess up the appearance of the finished work.

    If anyone knows of anything along these lines, I'd sure like to learn about it

    Thanks
    Terry

  2. #2
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    Apr 2013
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    Re: Surface probing

    The material at Auto Probing With G-Code Ripper | Scorch Works Blog may be of interest.

  3. #3
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    Re: Surface probing

    I’ve never seen anything from Tormach on this, but LinuxCNC has attempted doing this. Here is a link to the wiki:

    Probekins: Z correction by probing the workpiece or machine surface

    This thread discusses the subject and presents some other attempts:

    probekins - where can I find it?

    At this point it looks possible to do but would require effort to make it happen in our environment.

  4. #4

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    Jun 2018
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    341

    Re: Surface probing

    I can highly recommend a spring loaded cutting tool holder for engraving.

    Recently acquired the one from F.E.T. is the Ultimate and Most Affordable "Floating Engraving Tool" kit available! and can highly recommend it.

    It has changed my engraving from mediocre to perfect just by using it :-)

    Cheers,

  5. #5
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    Re: Surface probing

    Have you used the Tormach drag engraver? How does it compare to the F.E.T.?

  6. #6
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    Re: Surface probing

    Take a look at Autoleveller, this is what I use for engraving and PCB milling. I have Mach3, but Autoleveller should work with pretty much any machine controller that supports G-code and probing commands.

  7. #7
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    Re: Surface probing

    Quote Originally Posted by kstrauss View Post
    The material at Auto Probing With G-Code Ripper | Scorch Works Blog may be of interest.
    I use G-Code Ripper, sometimes by itself and sometimes importing data from the probe routine in the linuxcnc sample directory.
    Autoleveller works much the same I believe.
    Anyone who says "It only goes together one way" has no imagination.

  8. #8
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    Re: Surface probing

    Thanks to all of you for your suggestions, I'm going to checkout all the software that was mentioned, something will surely work. LoL

    I do have a spring loaded tool that works pretty well, but I've always had trouble getting the depth set properly, especially if it's an unknown material or alloy. I generally need to make a test cut in some scrap, but I don't always have any identical material on hand, especially when it's an already finished surface.

    The F.E.T. sounds interesting and they kind of say on their website that you can calibrate the spring rate, does that work for you?

    Terry

  9. #9
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    Re: Surface probing

    Quote Originally Posted by MFchief View Post


    I'm wondering if there is any software available for us on pathpilot/tormach systems that would provide a similar capability?
    Now that Tormach sells a large surface area router. Surface probe / mapping would be a very useful addition to PP software.

  10. #10
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    Re: Surface probing

    Excellent point!

  11. #11

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    Re: Surface probing

    Quote Originally Posted by MFchief View Post
    Thanks to all of you for your suggestions, I'm going to checkout all the software that was mentioned, something will surely work. LoL

    I do have a spring loaded tool that works pretty well, but I've always had trouble getting the depth set properly, especially if it's an unknown material or alloy. I generally need to make a test cut in some scrap, but I don't always have any identical material on hand, especially when it's an already finished surface.

    The F.E.T. sounds interesting and they kind of say on their website that you can calibrate the spring rate, does that work for you?

    Terry

    Terry,

    Only just started using it for some simple engraving on acrylics/composites. What I have found is that multiple passes (2 to 3) provide a very clean etch. The first just penetrates the surface and subsequent cuts clean up the edges. So far I've used a maximum DoC of -0.7 mm with an increment of 0.025 mm (3 passes) and the results are excellent. Prior to this with the same cutting tool rigid mounted I've had quite noticeable DoC differences across as short a distance of only 300-400 mm (or less) (multiple parts from a sheet). From zero cut to way too much.

    Even at -0.02mm I can get quite a nice consistent finish with 2-3 passes at the same depth. This is what I tried first and with such a shallow cut I also had to use some paper to raise one corner of a 100 mm square part as a test.

    Still in the big learning curve ATM.


    Cheers,

  12. #12
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    Re: Surface probing

    Thanks for the update on the spring tool, I'm hopeful one of the software recommendations will work for me, but if not, your technique makes a lot of sense and I'm go to give it a try.

    Terry

  13. #13

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    Jun 2018
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    Re: Surface probing

    Ooops...

    "So far I've used a maximum DoC of -0.7 mm with an increment of 0.025 mm (3 passes)"

    That is meant to say 0.07 mm maximum DoC!



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