Introduction: Automatic Axis Calibration Using Mach 3
For your Industrial CNC Router to cut accurately, the motors need to be tuned. Basically this means that every pulse sent from the computer to the machine needs to translate correctly to produce the units you measure with (inches or millimeters.) When motors are tuned properly the machine will cut the distance your job requires. If not, your measurements and jobs will be the wrong size.
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You will start out with your X and Y axis at around 2,000 steps per unit. And your Z axis at around 4,000 steps per unit. These are ballpark numbers, so some tuning is required. Fortunately Mach has an automated motor tuning feature that will make this easy. Go to the "SETTINGS" tab and you'll find "Axis Calibration" right over the "RESET" button.
Note: You will need either a digital movement gauge or a tape measure before going further.
Click on the SET STEPS PER UNIT button, and a pop up window will appear asking which axis you would like to calibrate.
Select an axis
Another window will then pop up asking how far you would like each axis to move.
Enter a number (inches)
Be advised that when you enter a number it will then move the spindle that distance (or what it thinks is that distance.)
As soon as the movement is done, another window will appear to ask you how far the machine actually moved.
Enter in the actual distance it moved.
Mach will then suggest a number for your steps per unit. Accept it and Mach will automatically calibrate the axis to that setting.
You can also change the setting manually by going to Config/Motor Tuning