Introduction: Using Alternate Zero and Alignment Lasers With the Handibot

Picture of Using Alternate Zero and Alignment Lasers With the Handibot

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

Picture of 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.

Picture of 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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