Regularly cleaning your Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine and performing routine maintenance checks will help prolong the lifespan of this high-performance digital fabrication tool. If you don’t clean your machine regularly, debris can build up and potentially obstruct the limit switches (essential to the Homing process) or bridge the isolated conductivity loop used when running a material, plan, or tool touch-off probing routine.
Though most issues can be avoided or solved by thorough cleaning and routine maintenance, you may still experience probing issues in some instances. This guide outlines the steps to further troubleshoot probing issues you may encounter.
Tools You’ll Need
- Hex key that comes with your Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine
- Computer plugged into the Desktop CNC Milling Machine with the Bantam Tools software opened
- N-95 mask
- Safety glasses
- Probe, 1/4”-diameter
- Multimeter (optional)
- Canned air (optional)
A Note About Conductivity
The Desktop CNC Milling Machine uses an electrically isolated conductivity loop, which allows for conductive probing between the tool holder, T-slot bed (or pallet), and any conductive material (e.g., aluminum, brass, copper) that is fixtured to the bed. It’s this conductivity loop that gives you the ability to quickly and easily locate your machine tooling, as well as run the powerful material and plan placement probing routines available to you in the Bantam Tools Milling Machine Software.
Note: See our Material & Plan Probing Routines Overview and our Installing & Locating a Tool guides to learn more.
With this in mind, let’s start troubleshooting.
Step 1: Remove fixturing accessories.
The Bantam Tools Desktop CNC Milling Machine comes with an L-bracket and toe clamps that are used to fixture material to the T-slot bed. Begin by navigating to the Jog tab in the Bantam Tools software, and select the Load button to move the T-slot bed toward the front of the machine. Using the hex key, remove the L-bracket and toe clamps—or any other fixturing accessories you have installed.
Set these materials aside.
Step 2: Remove the T-slot bed and clean the pallet receiver.
Notice how there are six hex screws (three on either side) of your T-slot bed. Use the hex key to remove each screw and then remove the pallet from the Desktop CNC Milling Machine.
Important: Do not remove the screws that hold the pallet receiver to the pallet blocks.
Next, use your vacuum to clear out any debris. If you have canned air, you can use it to dislodge excess debris. If you do choose to blow out the chips safety glasses and a mask are a must.
Step 3: Test connection.
Now that you’ve removed excess debris that’s built up in the pallet receiver, it’s time to test your connection. There are two methods. The first method is to test the connection using a multimeter.
To do this, turn on your multimeter and put it on “Continuity” mode. Then, place the negative probe on either the top or bottom component of the pallet receiver and place the positive probe on the opposite pallet receiver component (see images below for reference). The multimeter may read some continuity; however, as long as the multimeter doesn’t beep, this means the issue has been resolved!
On the other hand, if you don’t have a multimeter, you’ll need to reinstall the T-slot bed and perform a tool touch-off. To do this, complete the following steps:
- Using the hex key, reinstall the T-slot bed onto the pallet receiver.
- Navigate to the Jog tab in the Bantam Tools software and select Install Tool.
- Install the ¼”-diameter probe and then follow the on-screen prompts to perform a tool touch-off.
- If the Bantam Tools software is able to successfully locate your tool, you’ve resolved the connectivity issue.
If you’re still experiencing issues or need additional assistance, please contact us at email@example.com.
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