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Moving zero point

771 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  sreilly
I have constructed a 3D router measuring 1000mm x 500mm, using stepper motors lead-screws and aluminium extrusions generally as used in 3D printers. It is controlled by an Arduino board and drivers. It all seems to work OK.
My problem is that when a workpiece is clamped in position; the zero point (and hence the cutting operation) seems to migrate in all axes by up to 50mm even though I am testing the machine on polystyrene insulation board.
My process is:
1) Create a 3D model in Pro Engineer and then export it in STEP format.
2) Open the STEP file in Fusion 360, create a toolpath, simulate and export .nc file and copy it to a memory stick.
3) Take the memory stick to the garden shed (where the router lives) and try the cut using bCNC or preferably Universal G-Code Sender.
If anyone else has experienced this phenomenon please let me know if you have any solutions. Indeed any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you.


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Hi Reg and welcome. I've moved your thread into the CNC sub forum where you will be more likely to get an answer to your query.
Welcome to the forum, Reg! Add your first name to your profile to clear the N/a in the side panel and so we'll know what to call you - Reg or Reginald. Add your location, as well.

Are you saying that you move an axis and when you return to zero it is 50mm off? Or that you move an axis by xx amount and it is 50mm off from where it should be?

Have you calibrated the axes?


We do like photos so show us your shop, tools, projects, etc. whenever you're ready. What sort of woodworking are you planning or doing?

Here are some photo posting tips if you’re using your phone or iPad – the best way for proper orientation is to shoot landscape (widescreen). Rotate your phone or iPad CCW for proper orientation. If you want your photos to be portrait then open the photo in a viewer on your computer, rotate it to the orientation you want, then save it in that orientation. It will be correct when you upload it to the servers here. If you’re shooting video please shoot widescreen like our monitors, not portrait.

The best way to post photos in line with your text is to use Go Advanced below the Quick Reply window. If you’re starting a new thread then you’re automatically in the Advanced editor. Click on the Paper Clip on the ribbon bar and that will bring up a dialogue box where you can browse to your photos. Upload them and then put your cursor where you want a photo, hit the dropdown beside the Paper Clip, and choose the photo you want inserted. If you have several photos and just want them at the end of your text then put your cursor at the end and hit the Insert All on the dropdown list of photos.

Always post a photo rather than a link; most folks won't click on a link.

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Like David, I'm a bit lost by your question, but I have a question to maybe clear things up a bit. When you create the original CAD drawing, where is your origin point for the project - centre, lower left, etc. Then, when you create the toolpaths, is it in the same place?

I had some problems early on because I was setting zero to the middle of my work piece to do the drawing, then moving it to the lower left to create toolpaths. I would forget to re-run the toolpaths before writing the Gcode, so when I ran the project, it was off. This may well not be your issue, but it's a starting point.
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