View Full Version : Zero Z Axes

06-22-2009, 08:59 PM
Doing very small small engraving jobs, I find that I have trouble getting reliable Z axes Zero setting. If it's just starting a new engraving or changing bits. I have the Zero Plate but running fine pointing V-Carve, I'm concerned that I will damage the very fine points on the cutters.

06-22-2009, 10:53 PM
You can open the ZZero file in SBEdit and slow the plunge speeds way down, that will help. You could also zero manually in keyboard mode, using a small Fixed Distance to move in small increments. You could also zero manually using MZ commands and a piece of paper; a piece of notebook paper is around .004" thick, when you can no longer move the paper between the bit and the table or workpiece you are within .004" of the surface.

06-23-2009, 10:43 AM
Good advice from David.

I've also used aluminum foil under the zero plate make sure it has good contact. Turn on the vac and press the foil flat. Then zero onto the excess foil. I find it'll punch a small hole and get it very accurate every time. I also slow down the plunge speeds and set the plate thickness to 0. Just make sure before you start you are getting the contact. You'll have to play with it to find your tollerances but it works for me.

As for the vac, I've discovered zeroing to the table with the vac off can have different results than zeroing with the vac on even though I have my spoilboard glued. I generally zero to the table on the excess edge while my material is loaded and under vac.

Obviously you should zero to your material top with your full holddown method in force.


06-23-2009, 07:41 PM
This is probably ridiculously petty & obvious as soon as I hit send, but why does the Z , zero twice, you know that second 1 inch very slow move, could you modify the Z routine not to do that or why not?

Gary Campbell
06-23-2009, 08:43 PM
You can if you wish. I have modified most of my similar files. If you wish it to only touch off once, you may do this at the expense of accuracy. Try modifying the file to only lift 1/8 or 1/4 before the slow plunge, you can eliminate most of the "excruciating" wait time! Many have slowed the plunge speed even more to protect fine pointed tips.

Dont forget to save your copy under a new name and then modify the C2 file to FP, [your file name] instead of the OEM Zzero.

06-24-2009, 04:31 PM
Lets start off by saying thanks to everyone for your time & input.

Looking through the ShopBot Console, I stumbled across the anwser for Zeroing Z Axes. So I'm going post itt here in hopes that others might find it usefull.

With the SB Console open, looking at the tabs across the top. Click on Help tab; scan down the list of fuctions, click on Quick Start folder, go to the 2nd page and there are instructions for both w/Z plate and w/out.