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It has come up several times in the forums and G+ that it seems that quite a few Handibot owners don't fully understand all the ways you can manually index the handibot so I thought I'd do a little instructable.

This may be helpful to other cnc router owners as well.

Step 1: Understanding XY Datum Position

The default way to use most any cnc router is to have X and Y zero points at the lower left-hand side of your cut envelope and always work in positive numbers. In the case of the handibot, this would be 0-6" for X and 0-8" for Y but you don't have to work this way. I Vcarve Pro you can choose any of five places for your zero datum, and each has its advantage.

  • The first figure shows the center of your work selected as the XY zero as selected in job setup of Vcarve Pro
  • The second figure shows how this looks on our drawing, notice the numbers go both positive and negative just like graphing back in High School.
  • The third figure shows the Zero datum moved to the upper right.

Step 2: Using Alternate Datum Zero Points and Laser Alinmet to Your Advantage.

So, at this point you may be asking how does this help anything?

Okay, as a handibot owner/user you know you can take the machine to your work.

  • Suppose we want to put a three-inch round hole in the floor
    • This would be the time to use the centered datum
    • Move the router to the middle of it's cut window
    • Set the handibot over the place you want to cut your circle
    • You can now get the router directly over the spot either by jogging the X and Y axis or by lightly tapping the handibot.
      • Alignment is easiest if you have a laser alignment jig but can be done just by "eyeballing" if the position is not critical.
    • If the job is not round, you will need to align the handibot rotationally as well, this done by laying down some pencil lines parallel to your work piece.
      • You can align one laser line or the other to be parallel to the handibots x or y axis, this can make alignment much easier.
    • If you need to start a job a certain distance from an edge, this is where alternate zero's comes in handy.
      • Say we need to put an inlay in a bench top three inches in from the front edge and four inches from the right edge.
        • Here we would choose the lower right for our zero.
        • We moved the router over near the bottom right of our cutting window and aligned over where we have marked
        • Again, this is much easier with a laser jig but can be done fairly well with eyeballing. All a matter of how close you need to be.

Here is a video by the fine folks at shopbot, not much explanation with it but is a demonstration of using the laser alignment jig. Youtube video


Step 3: Closing

As always, I welcome questions and suggested edits for clarity or style.

Thanx for looking.

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More by mevans12:Using alternate zero and alignment lasers with the handibot Cutting large items on the Handibot 
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