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Automatic Tool Length Measurement

Automatic Tool Length Measurement

Tool changes without automatic height measurement is a time consuming process on all CNC machines.

SourceRabbit GCode Sender 4-Axis supports semi-automatic tool changes with automatic tool height measurement.

Once installed, the user simply places the tool on the spindle and the SourceRabbit GCode Sender 4-Axis automatically measures the length of the tool on each tool change with the GCode M06 command.

Compatible Post Processors, with automatic tool height measurement can be found here.
 
 
 

How it works ?

A Tool Setter or simple Touch Plate is connected to the controller and used as a reference surface for the "Semi-automatic tool change" function of SourceRabbit GCode Sender 4-Axis.

When the GCode Cycle starts, the SourceRabbit GCode Sender 4-Axis will move the tool to the predefined tool setter position, calibrate the tool length automatically and go back to the machining position. This process will be repeated for all subsequent tool change commands (M06) in the GCode file that is cycling.

How to wire the Tool Setter ?

The following two schematics explain how to connect a Tool Setter to your GRBL Controller. In case you need help you can contact us.
 

Tool Setter wiring with 4-Axis CNC Motherboard

The following schematic explains how to connect the Tool Setter to the SourceRabbit 4-Axis CNC Motherboard. All you need is wiring the Tool Setter to the probe Pins.

The Probe pins on our 4-Axis CNC Motherboard, like the pins for the terminal switches, are opto isolated to keep away any external electromagnetic interference so you will not need anything extra to your wiring.

Note: You can use Tool Setters in NO (Normally Open) and NC (Normally Close) mode.
We recommend using NC as it has much better and safer behavior.

Tool setter wiring with SourceRabbit 4-Axis CNC Motherboard
Tool setter wiring with SourceRabbit 4-Axis CNC Motherboard

Tool Setter Wiring with Arduino Uno and CNC Shield

The following schematic explains how to connect the Tool Setter to the Arduino CNC Shield. Requires connection of Tool Setter to pins SCL and GND of the CNC shield.

IMPORTANT: In order to make the tool setter work properly with the Arduino Uno and the CNC Shield, you MUST isolate it with an opto coupler. For more information visit the GRBL Wiki (https://github.com/gnea/grbl/wiki/Wiring-Limit-Switches)

Tool setter wiring with Arduino Uno and CNC Shield
Tool setter wiring with Arduino Uno and CNC Shield

Enable Semi-automatic tool change feature

After you connect the tool setter to the controller you have to enable the “Semi Auto Tool Change” on the GCode Code Sender.

On the main menu of the software click on Machine-->Tool Change Settings and then mark the “Enable Semi Auto Tool Change” checkbox as checked.