STEPCRAFT Attachments and Accessories
We have a special post processor that you need to use for the laser. You can download that file [here]
You need to place the file in the correct folder in your Vectric Program.
Do do this, open your program (V Carve, Cut 2D, etc)
In the FILE Menu, select OPEN APPLICATION DATA FOLDER
Look for a “PostP” or “My_PostP” folder
Copy the laser post processor file (downloaded above) Into both of these folders.
NOTE: if you copy the file into the My_PostP folder then when you open your Vectric Program, only the post processors in this folder will show. So I always recommend copying the post processors for my CNC into this folder so when you go to create a G Code file, you will not have to scan though a ton of files for other machines. If you do not want to use the My_PostP folder then simply copy the above Laser profile into the PostP folder and you will see it in the list of post processors.
ALSO, you will need to restart the program for the post processor to be visible in the list
What software is recommended to run the Touch Probe?
STEPCRAFT customers can use UCCNC for the Touch Probe. We have a special screenset and macros to control it for various functions (DOWNLOAD HERE). For 3D object scanning with the Touch Probe, you will need a CAD/CAM program like Vectric Cut2D or VCarve to be able to draw a box and create a simple tool path for the scanning area. Once a point cloud file is created, you can download Meshlab (www.meshlab.net) for free, which will convert the point cloud file into a STL 3D file that you can CNC machine.
Non-STEPCRAFT customers will need to setup a macro for their machine control software to allow it to work. You would need to reference your software’s manufacturer to obtain information on this.
The videos below will give you much more information the setup and use of the STEPCRAFT TOUCH PROBE
What is “MPG” on the STEPCRAFT RMC 100 Wireless Controller?
The term “MPG” stands for Manual Pulse Generator and is basically and electronic hand wheel. Selecting “MPG Mode” will allow you to rotate the wheel and move the axis on the machine in steps based on the indents in the wheel. This is a great way to move the spindle around, specifically when setting the starting position for each job.
What collet sizes come with the HF-500 spindle?
The HF-500 Spindle comes with 1/8″ and 1/4″ collets. It uses standard ER11 collets and you can get them in metric sizes as well. The 1/4″ is the largest that they make for ER11 and 8mm is the largest metric size.
My Q-Series will turn on while pressing the green button, but will not stay energized.
Your E-Stop could be active. Check to make sure the E-Stop in the front face of your machine is not engaged. Also, the US 110 volt edition of Q-Series machine has an additional spindle safety circuit to check – Make sure your 110 volt plug from the back of the machine is connected to a live power source, or, your spindle safety override switch (located on the top of the machine) is engaged.
I have a HF-500 Spindle and I want to add an Engraving Point, how can I do this?
To use the engraving point you have a couple options
1) you can get an 8mm collet and then simply put the engraving point into the collet like you would an end mill – just make sure the HF500 is powered off – link to collet: https://www.stepcraft.us/shop/product/10040-008-er11-collet-8mm-for-hf-500-spindle-and-mm-1000-automatic-tool-changer-291?search=8mm
2) If you want to remove the HF500 then you will need two tool adapters: Links: https://www.stepcraft.us/shop/product/10120-mini-tool-adapter-from-20-mm-to-8-mm-29?search=mini AND https://www.stepcraft.us/shop/product/10107-tool-adapter-from-43-mm-to-20mm-proxxon-28?search=proxxon
How do I setup and install the Tool Length Sensor on my STEPCRAFT CNC?
The Tool Length sensor is a great addition to your Stepcraft 2 machine, saving time in zeroing the Z axis. There are two ways to connect your Tool Length Sensor to your machine.
1. Using the Quick Connect 3.5mm Jack:
Your Tool Length Sensor comes with a 3.5mm male headphone jack. Most are already installed, but if you find your jack is not installed, refer to the soldering instructions included with the sensor. Simply plug the male jack into the female jack on the back of the main board. To check to make sure your sensor is functioning, under the UCCNC Diagnostics page, your “Probe” indicator should light up green when pressed and go away when disengaged.
2. Wiring Directly to the Main Board:
If you do not have a 3.5mm male or female jack (not included on older versions of the mainboard), you can wire your Tool Length Sensor directly to the main board. Strip the two wires at the end of the snesor (brown and white are the two most common) and install directly to the board terminals. The correct terminals are listed on the board itself and in your machine manual.
Using the sensor:
After homing your machine setup your machine with some test material and place the sensor on top. Move the axis over the sensor and zero all. Now press the tool probe button from the main screen. The Z axis will lower slowly until it contacts the sensor. It will then retract and calculate the Z zero taking into account the height of the sensor. Move the sensor out of the way and you can now click Go to Zero. The Z axis will lower to the calculated height for the work material.
Does the Laser DL445 use the same port on the STEPCRAFT as the 3D Printer and HF500 spindle?
Yes, they both use the same serial port on the back of the machine. You would need to disconnect the cable and reconnect the attachment that you wish to use. STEPCRAFT also offers a Switchbox which allows you to connect everything and simply turn the dial to select the attachment you wish to use. This is very handy if you are constantly changing attachments.
Can I cut carbon fiber on the STEPCRAFT CNC?
Yes, you can. In fact, carbon fiber cuts very easily on the STEPCRAFT. The main issue with cutting carbon is the dust that is created is very hazardous to your health if you breathe it in. To combat this, STEPCRAFT has a Milling Bath in three separate sizes for the 420, 600 and 840 machines. You can find information on the Milling Baths here: https://stepcraft.us/product-category/accessories/system-accessories-accessories/cnc-accessories/
Additionally here are a couple videos that you can watch containing more information on using a STEPCRAFT CNC for carbon fiber.
Can I connect my HF500 spindle and 3D printer to the STEPCRAFT at the same time?
Yes you can with the use of the of the STEPCRAFT System Attachment Switch Box. To use the Switch Box, you simply plug a serial cable from the Switch Box to the serial port on the CNC and then you plug the 3D Printer and the HF500 Spindle into the respective ports on the back of the box. Then you can just rotate the dial to select the attachment that you would like to use and mount that attachment into the tool holder on the STEPCRAFT.
Can I buy the STEPCRAFT Touch Probe for use with a non-STEPCRAFT CNC machine?
Yes, you can purchase the Touch Probe and it will most likely work with just about any CNC. However, you be responsible for the correct software setup, macros and configuration for your system. STEPCRAFT will NOT support the operation or configuration of the Touch Probe for non-STEPCRAFT machines. The unit will, however, be warranted for mechanical defects.