Working With Metals


Tool Length Sensor

It allows you to automatically set the Z height to your workpiece top surface or your machine’s bed surface.

To use it, you simply place the sensor on top of your work material or on top of your bed, and then move the gantry so the tip of the end mill is just about the button on the sensor.  Then you can press the Tool Length button on UCCNC and it will automatically lower the bit until it touches the sensor.  Once complete you remove the sensor and when you press “Go to zero” on UCCNC you will notice that the tip of the end mill is exactly on top of the workpiece’s surface.

Here is a video that explains how to set it up and use it:

If I order a STEPCRAFT CNC Ready To Run with a Tool Length Sensor, will the sensor be ready to use when I get the machine

When you order a Tool Length Sensor with your Ready To Run STEPCRAFT CNC, the tool length sensor will be wired and ready to use.  You will have to install the macro for the tool length sensor (see video below) into your computer to get it to work.  Depending on when you purchase your machine, the Tool Length Sensor will either be wired in directly to the machine, or there will be a headphone jack that you can plug it into coming out the back of the machine.

 

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 you press the Tool Length Sensor button 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 main board), you can wire your Tool Length Sensor directly to the main board. Strip the two wires at the end of the sensor (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. Unplug or position it only on 1 pin the jumper to enable the internal Tool Length Sensor terminals.


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.

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