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in this video we're going to talk about


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coordinate systems and homing coordinate
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systems is probably the number one
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support question from new people getting
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into the CNC hobby or for people
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starting up with a controller their
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first time there are two coordinate
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systems you need to be concerned with
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the first is this button machine
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coordinates when the red LED is lit you
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are showing what the machine thinks is
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the distance from the home switches
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you'll notice mine says zero which means
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my machine thinks it's sitting right
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beside the home switches if I turn it
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off I'm at the work offset work offsets
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are also referred to as G 54 G 55 G 56
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G 57 8 and 9 G 59 has a further
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parameter call which can turn on any of
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another 254 offset systems you have a
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grand total of 254 offsets in the system
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but for most users you're going to be
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concerned with 2 only at first as you
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get more advanced you could look at the
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third and maybe a fourth and a fifth I
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doubt that most would go beyond five
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however you do have immediate access in
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the program with a button to select up
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to six of them so first thing to be
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considered when we talk about machine
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coordinates is what do they mean in
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relation to your table well we have a
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button here called display mode which
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will switch me to look at my table
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you'll notice when I pushed it I now
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have a large red box which is no longer
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displaying the outline of my program
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extremes it's showing my table extremes
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my table is programmed into the program
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right now to be 100 millimeters wide and
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100 millimeters in the Y so this is
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showing me a distance of 100 millimeters
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across the X and 100 millimeters across
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the Y that incidentally is programmed in
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the homing and limits configuration
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right here as my soft minimum and soft
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maximum you'll see my X is programmed to
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100
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it's maximum zero as its minimum 100 and
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zero for the y and you'll see the Z is a
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little different it's maximum is zero
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its minimum is minus 200 this is because
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the Zed on this theoretical machine has
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a 200 millimeter movement starting at
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the top most people home their Zed to
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the top this is not true of plasma users
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but for everyone else it's very typical
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to home the Zed at the top of its run
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which becomes Machine coordinate 0
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because 0 in Machine coordinates means
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next to the home switch so make sure
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that when you're setting up your soft
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limits that you set a maximum of 0 for Z
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and minus 200 or whatever your throw is
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for your Z typically your minimum in the
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Z is your full stroke movement in the
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minus direction so I have set those soft
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imit minimums and maximums so my system
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when I hit display mode will toggle from
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showing me the job with the red box
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showing the minimums and maximums of the
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g-code that's currently loaded to
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showing me my mill where my item is
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sitting on the mill and my job you can
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see if i zoom in on this that there's my
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there's my G code roadrunner and it's
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sitting very small near the center of or
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very close to the home switches on my
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table most people would not want to cut
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a job at that position however they
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would want to cut a job maybe by
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throwing the material into the center of
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their Mills table because of that we
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need another coordinate system the
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machine coordinate system is not going
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to do it the Machine coordinate system
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simply cares about two things where is
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the home switch here in this position in
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the bottom left-hand corner and what is
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the size of your table these are the
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things that the Machine coordinate
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system takes care of they're very
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important that they never get changed so
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there is only one way to change machine
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0 and that is by homing
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referencing your system to the homes
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which is the only thing which will
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change the Machine coordinates so let's
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take a look at our secondary system by
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turning this off we're still on a tool
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path display showing my entire mill if
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we were to jog you can now see me
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jogging across my mill table now by
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zeroing at a particular spot by pressing
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the zero buttons and then regen the tool
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path you'll see my crosshairs are
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showing zero position is right where my
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Road Runner is now located off-center
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from the home switches and where I
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placed it on the mill this is a very
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typical way of cutting you put a piece
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of material on your mill table you jug
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until your until your tool actually
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touches your piece of material you jug
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your Z down so it touches the material
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and then you zero all of the items you
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were then when you regenerate the tool
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path you'll notice my tool path is now
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further on to my table and I'm zeroed
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right at it's right at the start point
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or the origin of that piece by hitting
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the machine coordinates button we see
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some numbers appear these numbers are
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the distance from the home switches so
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in this case my Z is seven millimeters
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down from its top of stroke and touching
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the piece my X&Y is 39 and 41
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millimeters from here to here normally
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you'll only look at Machine coordinates
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if you're trying to figure out where you
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went wrong normally that led is off
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because you know you want to be at zero
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zero when you're at the left hand corner
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of your material if I switch my display
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mode to job control you can now see my
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crosshairs are at zero and I'm ready to
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cut my piece most people will leave
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their display in this position now all
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that having been said let's take a look
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at reference switches and homing I'm
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going to switch back to table display so
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that we can see the entire table and see
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what's happening
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I'm also going to make sure that I have
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my home switch is turned on under input
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signals we have an X home switch set for
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port 1 pin 10 and a Y home switch for
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port 1 pin 11 minor are set for active
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high because that's the way I have my
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switches set yours would normally set be
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set for active high as well if you're
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using a safe method of connecting your
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switches active low would mean that when
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your switch gets hit it grounds the wire
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thus active when it goes low that is a
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possible way to run it's safer to go
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with active high which means that the
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switch is always connecting the wire to
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ground except when the table hits it
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that is an active high signal it's safer
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because if one of those wires should
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break you'll immediately have a problem
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it's best to find those kind of problems
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immediately rather than waiting until a
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homes which just doesn't work and then
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axis slams into an end stop active high
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is the safest setting for a limit switch
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or for a home switch so we've got them
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turned on we're going to hit okay we've
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reconfigured so we have a nice top so we
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reset the system now we're going to do a
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reference all before I do a reference
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although and before any of you do a
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reference all go to your Diagnostics
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page and hit your home switches your
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screen should look like this with none
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of them lit at the moment until you push
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a home switch and you can see mine just
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came on I release it and it goes out
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same thing with the X m1 is motor one
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motor two motor three etc so that is the
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X 1 that is flashing here now and the Y
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which is flashing here now that we've
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confirmed that the switches work that
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when they're pressed they light up we're
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free to try a reference so let's hit
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reference all you can see that something
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is wrong my y-axis is now moving in the
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plus direction that is not proper you
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should always home to the negative
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direction so we're going to stop the
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movement by hitting the Escape key in
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this case
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and now it switches over to reference
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the X and again the X is wrong it's
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moving in the positive direction so I'm
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going to hit the Escape key to stop that
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movement now we have to correct it we
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know that both axes are moving in the
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wrong direction to home so if we go to
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configure homing in limits we can see
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that there is a checkbox for home in the
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negative direction most people would
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have this checked for x and y-axes but
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not for the exit of the z-axis as that
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axes usually homes positive direction to
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the top of the column and stops so this
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would be the normal connection and we'll
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hit okay now if we hit reference all we
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can see the y axis is moving in a
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negative direction towards its homes
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which which is down here somewhere and
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when it hits the switch it's going to
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stop movement reverse direction and move
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until it moves slowly until it comes off
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of the switch when the switch opens back
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up again the system will take that as
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its home position so we'll just wait for
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it to get down to the zero position
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needs it's safer to hit your switch
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slowly and more accurate as well now
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we're going to hit our switch the switch
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went active we change directions and it
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just moved off the switch when that
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occurs the x axis begins its movement
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towards its home switch now I have a
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simulated table here so I'm free to
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press the home switch whenever I like so
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I'm going to press the home switch now
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the axis reverses direction and the home
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switch releases and we're now home and
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you'll notice that the lights are green
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green means that you have successfully
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home the control hitting regen toolpath
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will show the toolpath at its new
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location because the home has changed
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and it shows our crosshair is away from
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zero this is because our work offset
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system was not zeroed only the Machine
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coordinates were zeroed and if we look
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we can see that they actually did not
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zero this is again my fault
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a Miss configuration and if we look at
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configure homing and limits you'll see
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there is an auto zero checkpoint these
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for most users should be checked for all
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axes that you're using this will zero
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the coordinates of the Machine
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coordinates and stop you from getting
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confused about how to zero so we say
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okay to that and let's resume our system
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the Y begins to go to the switch comes
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off of it and stops the X goes to its
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switch and when it hits it it reverses
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direction and stops and you'll notice it
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instantly flicked back to zero our
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system is now zero in Machine
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coordinates if I regenerate the tool
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path here we are zeroed again now we
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have our secondary system let's say we
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jug away from zeros we've got a piece of
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material on our table so we're going to
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jog up to it we're going to move our Z
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down now we're touching our material
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which is out here somewhere and we now
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zero our axes when I switch to machine
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coordinates you can see that we have a
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display showing how far away from the
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home switches we actually are but if we
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turn off machine coordinates we see the
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result of our g54 offset system has
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zeroed us if we regenerate the tool path
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which you must do after playing with
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referencing and zeroing you can now see
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our road runner is going to be cut
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somewhere in this area of our mill table
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at a zero coordinate on our g54 system
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nd that coordinates 32 37 16 in our
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machine coordinate system now I can
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switch with the display mode button to
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go back to show us our work a coordinate
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system only so the red box now indicates
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the size of our drawing and not the size
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of our table so we're cutting it there
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and this is what we're cutting now
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you'll notice that even though I said
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raffle I have a green light on my Z this
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is because I have not programmed a home
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switch for Zed if you don't have a home
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switch programmed into your system
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pressing raffle will reference where it
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is at any axis without a home switch
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this means that the Machine coordinates
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for that axis will immediately go to
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switches they almost never have to push
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the zero buttons unless they just want a
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zero one axis pressing graph all will
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zero their axes on the spot so if we jog
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to a new location and we say this is
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actually where we want to cut our piece
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we can do so just by zeroing the axes
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and hitting regen and there we are
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you'll notice it looks the same as
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before we hit regen but there's an
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important difference if we look at our
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table control it has now moved slightly
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to the right and slightly upwards the
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system to cut safely should always know
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where you're cutting what you're cutting
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so sometimes it's a good idea to take a
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look at your display mode and make sure
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that that square look the job that
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you're cutting actually looks like it is
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in that location on your table again to
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get this screen to be accurate and to
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display this way make sure that your
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soft limits are set properly that you
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have hold your system and after changing
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any soft limit settings restart the
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software if you don't this display will
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not work properly it needs to start up
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the program with valid soft limits
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you'll see the soft limits light here is
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on you don't have to use soft limit
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safeties I like to if I am to if I was
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at this point to jog because the system
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knows where my home switches are if I
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was to jog towards a home switch my axes
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will slow down as I approach zero and
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you can see that the system just stopped
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telling me that the movement was aborted
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because I hit the zero point if I look
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at my machine coordinates I jugged it to
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zero but the system will not let me jug
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past zero it just simply stops me that's
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stopping is automatic and works on all
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home limit
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all axes that have a soft limit enabled
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and as long as your soft limits are
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hooked up properly you'll know it by
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being able to select your display mode
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button otherwise your display mode
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button will show you a nonsense image
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which really doesn't mean much so let's
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look at what other fixture offsets could
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be used for if you look at your offsets
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table you can see the current work
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offset is g54 this is normal at startup
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and will always be g54 unless you
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specify a different fixture offset let's
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say for example that you wanted to put
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something into the g55 offset there is a
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work offset table here and if we go to
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g55 let's for the heck of it type 50/50
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and 0 in the Z and save that you'll
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notice that now my g55 shows what I've
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got entered in the table 50/50 and zero
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we're not going to use it yet however
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we're going to go back to our g54 which
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we have used for jogging about and
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zeroing the system to our table at this
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position currently because I just
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rewrote it at a different location we
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just moved our job again but let's say
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that you always wanted to cut this road
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runner at 50/50 on your table because
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you have maybe a jig here which holds
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your board securely to do that would be
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pretty easy all we'd have to do is home
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our system so that we know that we're
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accurately at home and again I'm going
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to cheat the system by telling it there
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we hit our switch and now the X has hit
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its switch and now everything is zeroed
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I'm going to regen this and you can see
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that our machine coordinates are zero
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because we've honed but our Road Runner
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is being cut up here but our jig is at
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50/50 that's no problem we can go to the
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offsets page say that we wish to use our
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g55 offsets which we have permanently
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stored 55
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d we go back to program run and we say
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regenerate the toolpath our roadrunner
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has just appeared at that 50:50 jig now
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as long as you never press the zero
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buttons while in this g55 offset system
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you'll know it will never change
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therefore any time you start your table
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you could home your system it'll go to
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its switches you then go to offsets and
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select g55 you go to program run and say
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regenerate and your job will always
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appear right on top of that fixture
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you're ready to cut anytime and you'll
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notice we save minus 50 and minus 50 on
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our dr OS that's telling us that
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currently this job which is being
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displayed is 50 away from our home
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switches so we're free to start cutting
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even even though we're currently at zero
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zero so we're currently here but because
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we selected our g55 system which has a
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50 offset the system already knows that
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I don't need to zero to the corner of
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this board it already knows where it is
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so if I were to hit cycle start at this
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point the system could move and cut that
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piece you'll notice we just got an error
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soft limit system movement aborted well
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if we look at the G code it's telling
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the Z to go to plus 0.2 well right now
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our machine coordinate Zed is zero as
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well as our work offset system so Zed
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cannot move to plus two we've told the
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soft limit system Zed will never go
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above machine coordinate zero which is
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its home switch so the reason we got
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this error is that when we set our
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offsets we set a zero in the Zed and
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when you set a fixture offset because
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you have a jig attached to your table
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you're also going to know the height of
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your material so you would have set a
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value in here telling the system how far
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down to move the Zed so let's move the Z
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down to minus 20 so now in terms of
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Machine coordinates and you always look
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at your settings of these fixtures in
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terms of machine coordinates we are 50
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away from the home switch in the X 50
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and the Y and 20 down in the Z from the
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home switch to this particular jig that
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you have on the table and whenever you
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change something like this you can see
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that it just appeared in my work offsets
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table but I have to select this to save
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it to be safe
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so now if I regenerate my tool path
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nothing changes we're still at the same
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location but you'll notice that my Z now
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says that I met plus 20 but I'm at zero
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in my machine coordinates let's
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reference everything so we're starting
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fresh because I'm sure at this point you
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may be getting a little bit confused
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we're going to 0 our y 0 are x and our z
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automatically 0 is because we don't have
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a home switch hooked up this means that
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now in relation to our fixture that we
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have set were 50 away from home 50 away
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from home and 20 higher than what we
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need to be so when we when it hits the
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first line in G code telling it goes
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zero zero and point two it's going to go
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down to the proper level so let's rewind
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this file and let's see what happens
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when we tell it to start as you can see
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the Zed is now moving down to get to the
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top of the material and now the job cuts
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normally even though it started from the
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home switch so that's what an offset
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system is handy for you can program
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different fixtures on your table which
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hold material program them for the
22:02
absolute coordinates the only rule to
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remember is once selecting offsets to a
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non-word do not push the zero button or
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you invalidate those offsets because
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pressing the zero button changes
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whichever fixture offset is in effect
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when you start the system you're in g54
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so let's stop this job I'll show you the
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you cannot change the display mode while
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a job is running so you can't really see
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what's going on here so let's stop it
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rewind the program regenerate the tool
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path
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flick to the display now we can see that
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it had cut a little bit of this
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Roadrunner when we stopped it but let's
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take a look at what happens when we
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press zero on something let's go to our
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offsets page and select G 54 because
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again we don't want to affect what we
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have entered for this fixture so
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whenever we're going to play around with
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zeroing let's use G 54 for now our G 54
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offset currently is fifteen point nine
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58 and minus sixteen if I jog to a
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position on the screen and zero my
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controls and go back to the offsets page
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you'll find that these numbers have
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changed we're now 56 56 and minus 20
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that's because what you store in a
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fixture offset is always the distance
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from your home switches that's what all
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of these fixture offsets are is distance
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from home switches so in G 54 the
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distance from the homes which is what
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we're telling it dynamically when we jog
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around our table and tell it that we
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want to zero at that position we zero
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and we have just changed our offsets to
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reflect the distance from the home
23:50
switch and we can see that easily by
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pushing machine coordinates the numbers
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here are identical to the numbers here
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because machine coordinates is telling
24:01
you the exact same information as a
24:03
fixture offset it is telling you the
24:05
distance from a home switch at all times
24:09
and again the Machine coordinates are
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inviolable you cannot change them except
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expressly referencing the system is
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careful about two things in particular
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one is the value of your machine
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coordinates the other is the value of a
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dro the Dro s are kept separate from
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mach3 and code of their own when you see
24:31
a count in a Dro
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it means the system has put out that
24:35
number of pulses it's a very important
24:38
debugging and troubleshooting tool for
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me when someone tells me that their dro
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indicates they have moved one inch but
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they have only moved half an inch
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I know what the error must be because I
24:49
know that
24:50
DRO is always accurate it's code is not
24:54
attached to Mach 3 in any way in terms
24:57
of how it changes add ero changes only
25:00
if pulses have gone out the printer port
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unless you have referenced that is the
25:08
only thing which will change a machine
25:10
coordinate so with that having been said
25:13
I think you understand a bit more about
25:15
home switches how to activate them when
25:19
they should be active high and low and
25:21
what all of it means when you select an
25:24
offset system and remember the most
25:27
important rule of all if you set a
25:30
fixture offset because you have a jig
25:32
attached to your table or you know that
25:34
at 50 50 minus 20 will be the top part
25:38
of a piece of material you're going to
25:39
cut a thousand times never press the
25:42
zero buttons once you're in those
25:44
fixtures always go back to fixture
25:47
offset number one if you're going to jog
25:49
around and do jobs at an indiscriminate
25:52
point simply by hitting zero and
25:56
recutting the job this display mode tool
26:00
can be a valuable way to see where you
26:03
are in a particular offset system here
26:06
in g54 we know that we're going to cut
26:09
this job at this location and this
26:13
location can be seen by checking the
26:15
Machine coordinates button if we select
26:18
a different offset system g55 which we
26:22
programmed to be 50/50 from the home
26:24
switches we can go back hit regen tool
26:27
path and we can see that the job is now
26:30
going to be cut 50 and 50 away from the
26:33
home switches it's that simple it does
26:36
take a little while to wrap your head
26:38
around this and because of that I'm not
26:41
going to go any more complicated in this
26:43
video there are several things that you
26:45
can do with offset systems and there is
26:48
a third offset system which can be
26:50
applied to the previous two and that's
26:53
the G 92 system one of the reasons I
26:56
don't recommend using G 92 is simply
27:00
because it can cause confusion
27:02
to newer users users that know what
27:06
they're doing can use G 92 I heartily
27:08
recommend that they to so but it is not
27:11
something I'm going to explain to your
27:13
average user as yet I think there's
27:15
enough power in the knowledge of how
27:19
Machine coordinates work how the offset
27:22
systems work and how they can use them
27:24
that I think that that will do pretty
27:27
much everything everyone needs to do at
27:30
this point in time for homing
27:40
you