Auto z plate error

Hey I have a 60x120 pro machine. All was working great until I attempted to drill a few holes in a project. Now when I use the auto z and corner finder it drives down to the z plate surface, detects contact (verified on the screen), stops for a moment then continues driving down. I have to hit the e-stop to prevent damage. I reset everything and even redesigned the project in v-carve, but it keeps doing this.

sometimes ill be able to do the entire auto z process but when I hit start, Mach 4 says the programed z is out of the soft limits of the machine. Again I checked to make sure I didn’t messing anything up and the programed z is well within the soft limits.

anyone ever seen this and if so what is the fix?

I had the exact problem on two of the touch plates. Here was the fix on both, take the 4 screws out and you will see the ground wire has come loose on the inside and one was the stacon had broken. quick fix. Let me know if that was it.

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If @Bstanga’s suggestion doesn’t work, it could be your Mach 4 profile is corrupted. See Avid’s Mach4 Users Guide – Troubleshooting for details.

Welcome to the forum.

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This can be caused by the tool table offsets. Make sure they are all zero unless you have ATC and a actual probe.

The offset used during the AvidCNC Z plate script is H1. Then when the touch-off script has set the zero, it will reset to the current tool offset (H?) and set the Z to +25mm which can be a negative number depending on the tool table entry for the current tool.

This is why everyone using a probe will not use the AvidCNC touch scripts.

I forgot about that.

The first time I used the touch plate and tool length offsets involved some head scratching and then a realization that certain offsets would cause it to drive down through the plate. I think T2 had zero offset and T1 had something like a 0.6 inch offset.

The response I got from Avid was basically that the tool table wasn’t fully supported and if you’re using tool length offsets to never use the touch plate with anything but T1 and to leave T1’s length offset at zero.

If you’re using length offsets, maybe just use a long rod for T1, or always use the touch plate with T1 selected and length offset zero and do a bit of bookkeeping to transfer offsets from T1 to other rows. Anyone have an opinion on these?

The tool length table exists for indexed tool lengths (most common=ATC)

Avid does not currently offer/support (as in technical) ATC. All Avid equipment requires manual tool installation, which means tool length is not precise. The touch plate exists to solve ‘where is the material after a tool change?’ rather than ‘how long is my cutting tool?’

Therefore, Avid does not support (to my knowledge) use of tool table feature and values should be ZERO. The Avid approach is to tell your CAM package the details of your tooling and use the touch plate to locate WCS.

If you opt for non-Avid components, you need non-Avid solutions. These are kits and meant to be tinkered with, which is refreshing.

Good to know. I was using manual tool changes with bit collars, something I picked up from an Avid Instagram story. Avid’s instructions on the tool table just say

Tool Table: This button opens a new window where you can view and edit tool information. You will not need to use this unless specifying tool lengths and offsets.

After I learned the details, it wasn’t difficult to use the length offsets in a safe and effective way. They’re just so useful! I was actually surprised to learn that tool table + touch plate wasn’t supported because as far as I know, it’s really close to working aside from the retract issue, which just has to account for the current offset when retracting. The touch plate works fine for measuring tool length differences if referencing off of a stable surface. Maybe this counts as tinkering with the kit, but before I raised the issue with Avid customer service, these all looked like Avid-supported features. Together they have saved me a ton of tool change time and probably prevented many mistakes, so I hope it gets some attention in a near-future Mach4 update.

Well, its not that the z-plate/tool table isn’t supported as much as its hardcoded to use G43 H1 before it moves and then AFTER zeroing the work offset switches back to your current tool offset and then moves to +20mm or whatever.

If your offsets are all correct then just touch off using tool #1 from now on.

Essentially your name is “Auto” and you change the tools :wink:

“Auto, tool change!”

That comma is doing a lot of work.