Sienci Labs Dust Shoe
To make dust collection easier for your LongMill, we spent the time to design it its very own dust shoe. The new Sienci Labs Magnetic Dust Shoe is a great add-on for your machine that can keep dust management easy! This dust shoe is designed specifically for the LongMill and works with 1.5″, and 2″ to 2-1/8″ hoses.
This dust shoe is a Z-axis independent style dust shoe designed to collect dust and debris efficiently.
The assembly is shown after the initial reveal in the following video:
Sienci Labs Touch Plate
This guide will help you set up and use your Sienci Labs Touch Plate with UGSPlatform. If you have a different touch plate, these steps may help you set up yours as well.
Inside the package:
- One touch plate
- Red and black wire with banana plug and magnet (1.8m)
Step 1: Wiring and plugging in your unit
Your LongMill control board (the LongBoard) comes with a detachable two pin screw terminal on the Probe/GND pins. With a small flathead screwdriver, start by screwing the two bare wires into this terminal. Ensure that the red and black wires are in the correct spot as in the photo.
When properly wired, the red wire will be on the Probe pin and the black wire will be on the GND pin.
Next, plug the banana plug into one of the two holes on the touch plate. Ensure that it is well seated. You can pick the hole you want to use that helps keep your wires out of the way.
Ensure you have an end mill firmly secured in your collet. If you are planning on doing a probe on the X and or Y axis, make sure that you have at least 15 to 20mm of your bit coming out of the collet. For other notes on end mill compatibility, please go to the end of this guide.
Attach the magnet to your end mill. You can also attach it to the collet nut or another part of your router or spindle as long as you have a conductive path through your end mill.
At this step, you are ready to start setting up your touch plate in UGSPlatform!
Step 2: Setting up Probe Module in UGSPlatform
UGSPlatform comes with a simple plugin that allows for your machine to send the commands to your machine to utilize the touch plate for finding the X, Y, and Z-axis.
Start by going to the top of your screen and clicking Window -> Plugin -> Probe Module. You will see a new tab appear on your screen.
Next, we will change a few settings. Click on the “Settings” button on the plugin.
- Units: Choose between millimeters and inches. For this guide, we will be using millimeters.
- End Mill Diameter: This is the diameter of the end mill you will be using. You can find this diameter based on your manufacturer’s specs, or you can measure it yourself.
- Fast Find Rate: This setting adjusts the speed at which the machine will move to touch off the touch plate on the first pass. Set this to 150.
- Slow Find Rate: This setting adjusts the speed at which the machine will move to touch off the touch plate on the second pass. Set this to 25.
- Retract Amount: This setting adjusts how far your end mill moves away from the touch plate on its first touch off. Keep this setting at 1.
Within the left side of the plugin, you’ll also see a few more tabs
- XYZ: Finds the origin/datum point on the corner of your material in all axes.
- XY: Finds the origin/datum point in the X and Y direction only.
- Z: Finds the Z height only.
In these sections, makes sure that these settings are changed. If your section does not have that setting available to change, you can skip it. This means that in the XYZ tab you’ll enter all these settings, in the XY tab you’ll only use the settings pertaining to the x and y-directions, and in the Z tab you’ll only use the settings pertaining to the z-direction.
- Probe X Distance: 25
- Probe Y Distance: 25
- Probe X Offset: 10
- Probe Y Offset: 10
- Probe Distance/Direction: -15 (make sure this value is negative)
- Touch Plate Thickness: 15
Step 3: Operation of your machine
We’re pretty much ready to go!
If you want to measure XYZ,
- Move your end mill to the approximate corner of the stock material.
- Place your touch block on the bottom left corner of your part and attach the magnet to the router collet, being mindful of your fingers when you’re near it. Make sure that both of the insides of the touch plate is contacting the edges of your part.
- Move your machine to position the end mill 5 to 15mm above the circular logo on the touch plate. Make sure to double-check that your touch plate and magnet are properly connected.
- Open up the probing window on UGSPlatform and in the XYZ tab press “Measure outside corner”. The LongMill will go through a cycle to home and take its measurements.
- If the probing function is successful, then the machine should return the bit back to the starting point where you initiated the probing cycle. You should notice that the digital readout (DRO) on UGSPlatform changes to reflect the measurements, the current position being offset a little in the X and Y and quite a bit offset in the Z.
- You can check that it’s now zeroed on the material corner by first taking the touch plate off the material and removing the magnet from the router collet before pressing “Return to Zero”.
- If the probing was unsuccessful, then it’ll be indicated by the cutting bit not returning to where you started the probe cycle or the machine will be put into an ‘ALARM’ state. To bring it out of the alarm state, press the “Soft Reset” button followed by the “Unlock” button and that will put the machine back into its ‘IDLE’ state. An unsuccessful probing cycle can result from an incorrectly positioned probe, the magnet not attached to the collet properly, starting too far outside the circular logo, and the probe not being plugged into the controller. Be sure to verify your setup before attempting another probing cycle.
If you want to measure XY only, follow the same steps, but your end mill will have an indeterminate Z height.
To find only the top of your material in the Z direction (Z),
- Flip your touch plate upside down.
- Place your touch plate on top of the material that you want to find the top of. Position the machine so that the end mill is above the touch plate.
- Go to the ‘Z’ tab and press “Initiate Probe”.
Remove your magnet and set your touch plate aside, and you’re done!
You may have some issues with using your touch probe if your end mill is:
- Irregularly shaped (v bits, dado bits) and the side of the widest point of the bit does not touch off on the side of the touch plate
If you get false detections when using your touch plate, double-check that the polarity of your wiring and the connector are correct.
Installing the LongMill T-Track Set
Here is a simple T-track set up that you can mount onto your work table. This is simply a basic guideline on setting up your t-tracks, but feel free to lay them out in whatever way works best for you! This layout minimizes reductions in cutting area and depth, and can be prepared in advance before your machine arrives. It uses a 48”x48”x ¾” MDF sheet, which can be purchased and cut to size at home or at your local hardware store.
- Cut a 48” x 48” x ¾” MDF sheet into five pieces of 6” wide planks, and two pieces of 5 ½ ” wide planks.
- Lay out the T-tracks and planks on the table, and fasten them down with wood screws. The machine will sit on top of the 5 ½” planks, as the 6” planks are arranged between them. They should be fastened with screws at least 1” in length. Leave about 1” of space between the screws and the ends of the MDF planks.
- To ensure your planks are flat against your table, drill counterbore holes in the middle of the 5 ½” planks. You can use the LongMill or a counterboring bit to create the holes, making sure you have removed enough material to recess the screw heads and surface the MDF planks at least 1mm deep. Then fasten them down with wood screws.
- Complete the rest of the Table Mounting process as described in the LongMill Resources page: https://resources.sienci.com/view/lm-table-mounting/
- Surface the MDF planks, as described in the LongMill Resources page: https://resources.sienci.com/view/lm-surfacing-wasteboard/
- Mount your clamps onto your newly installed T-track table, and enjoy!
Assembling and Using the LongMill T-Clamps
T-clamps are simple yet reliable workholding tools which are used with T-tracks tables. We’ve come up with T-clamps that work for various metals, plastics and woods, holding down materials from 0.1″ to 1” thick. These clamps are ideal for holding down small to medium sized pieces of material. Inside the package:
- x6 steel clamps
- x6 knobs with inserts
- x6 3D printed end caps
- x12 hex head machine screws
- x6 flat washers
- x6 T-track rails
- 100 pcs wood screws
How to Assemble T-Clamps:
- Push the plastic end cap onto the steel clamp – the end with two holes. It should have a slight wiggle but should be not easy to remove.
- Fasten a hex bolt onto the other end of the clamp. We recommend the hex head to be facing upwards so that it easily slides into the T-tracks, but you can change it if desired.
- Slide the other hex bolt through the clamp slot, with the hex head facing down. Bring the washer and knob from the top, so that the washer is contained between the clamp body and knob.
- Now you can slide the downward facing hex bolt onto the t-track and locate the clamp for mounting material
How to Use T-Clamps on T-Track Table:
- Slide the hex bolt head through the T-track, so that the entire clamp is on the table. You may need to adjust the bolt and knob to have it fit onto the table.
- Place your workpiece onto the table.
- Move and adjust the clamp to push down onto the workpiece, ensuring that the end cap side of the clamp is lower than the bolt end. Tighten both bolts until snug. Position the clamps so that there is enough space for your cutting job on your workpiece.
- Push your material to check if it is secured onto the table. If not, use more T-clamps or other workholding methods.