Avid Touch Plate bug when a tool height is set and active

Hi Everyone, and Avid Employees in particular.

I noticed that the touch plate will not work correctly if you have an active tool height set. For instance, in the Tool Table set the height for Tool 2 to -1.0. Change to that Tool with:
M6 T2 G43 H2

Then attempt to touch off with tool 2; do it holding the plate in your hand, or on foam.

If you have a positive height, the tool will dive down into the touch plate. (Ask me how I know). If you have a negative height, it will retract way above the set retract height. And the Z-zero height will not be properly set.

A work around is to “disable” tool heights, with a G49, then restore it with another G43.

The touch plate UI should really do this, or use the active tool height when setting the Z-zero.

Can Avid fix it? What’s the process to log a bug for them?


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Thanks for reporting this one. I’ve seen this one myself and I do have it logged.

Please do keep them coming.

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Awesome, thanks Eric!

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My idea for a work around:

Modify the button click script to set some variable to true. Save the settings…invoke the touch plate code…use the PLC to check my variable, and when true, see if the dialog is still open. Once it is closed, restore the state.

@Eric I thought you were looking into this? I know you are busy and everything but it could get folks hurt if they use one of these monster 8 inch foam end mills.

@corbin yeah, you moved to an ATC and as such the Avid touch off plate will not work for you. It is hardcoded to do a G43 H1

I would suggest getting a probe. You have crossed into the ATC world and that plate isn’t going to work for you going forwards.

Drewtronics.org has a nice probe. PGFUN has one for a bit cheaper on Amazon.

I had a feeling! It wouldn’t be too hard to re-write the touch plate code. I know some other people have already done it, and I could use what they started. I have an idea on how I can also make it work with a little trickery; it shouldn’t be too hard, but i haven’t done it yet.

I’ll definitely look into getting a probe at some point!

I usually use my Haimer for indicating in my workpiece, but there is something really simplistic about touching off on the Z with the touch plate. It would save me some time with some of the stuff I do (on my other machine…the Avid isn’t quite setup yet).

Avid doesn’t have the source code for that is my understanding.

I have @Eric interested in taking a look because one of these days somebody is going to add one of these monster 8 inch jobs and after that touchoff it will rapid to that end mill is about inch left sticking out of that touchoff plate :rofl:

Just type the tool number in without applying the offset. and leave the offset box blank or zero for the tool in question.

For instance just type

M6 T2 G43

See if that works for you……


Another thought is to just use

M6 T2

The G43 should not be necessary

We are using the ATC so the G43 is required. We also require the use of the offsets in the tool table.

The length of the tool is not yet known. I don’t think the offset is required for measuring the tool.
You apply the offset when you run the program with the T2 G43 H2……


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My goal is to use the touch plate to touch off the top of a workpiece, not set some tool heights. Yeah, turning off tool heights is a work around - I mentioned that in the post. I’m just trying to help prevent errors when using the touch plate; any manual process (particularly inputting GCode by hand) can be error prone.

I would assume you would only use the touch plate with a reference tool (say, tool #1, zero offset). And all other tools are offset from that reference tool in the table.

I know this is how a lot of people do it, but I don’t want to loose a tool pocket to a reference tool.

It is also is sometimes easier/faster to just touch off on the tool that is in the holder. Sure, I could do a tool change to my reference tool and then touch off. I’m just trying to make things more flexible.

I also generally use a Haimer for indicating in work which requires precision alignment, so currently that is my reference tool. I may change my process after some experimenting.

Here, try this;

  1. Set your tool #1 offset to zero in your tool table
  2. Set your tool #2 offset to +0.5 inch in your table
  3. Execute the following gcode;
T2 M6
G43 H2
  1. Use the Avid touch off plate and script to find the Z zero on your table

Please be sure to report to us what that end mill sits at in relation to Z axis you zero’d too.

ALSO: If you do not set the G43 during a probe op then the machine does not have a reference back to the master tool (aka #1).

ON SECOND THOUGHT!! Make that offset +0.5 inches to be on the safe side. When it drives that end mill back into the touch off plate we don’t want it to bottom out and damage your sensor. I use metric so I forget that. THIS is in fact the bug in the Avid scripts.

My probe is #99. My probe is also 36mm longer than the master tool (aka tool #1). Thus I touch off with #99 and not the master tool (aka #1). Since tool #1 is my reference it is actually a Mitutoyo 8mm calibration cylinder and sits on the shelf.

The height offset of tool #2 is in the tool table (+0.5 inch like you said), why do we need to touch off with it in Step 4? We touch off with tool #1 (the zero tool) and then the system already knows T2 is T1 +0.5 inch. Or T3, or T8…

I’m asking cuz I don’t know.

On YT I see operators of the big machines touch off with a reference tool then run the program, never touching off with a cutting tool. Looking at the Mach4 manual, it walks through using a Master Tool and the Tool Table, and it also mentions other available methods but does not provide additional examples.

I’m not complaining or anything, the Avid script seems to work for Avid equipment, which is all I’ve got.

  1. Paranoia
  2. Stupidity
  3. Redundancy
  4. Monkeys keep switching the tools out on you…
  5. Because I can
  6. QA testing
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IMO these are all acceptable answers and I wouldn’t take issue if that’s the case. Although I don’t condone keeping monkeys in a workshop. What if you slip on a peel?

Hah, yeah! I mainly want to do it this way because my Tool 0 is going to be my Haimer. I may want to just touch off on the top with whatever bit is in the machine, and go.

I’m also not really doing a lot of production…just artistic stuff, functional pieces (bowls), and YouTube video content.