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What Benefits Does a CNC Machine Tool Length Sensor Offer Us?

Publish Date: May. 14, 2022 Author: Jackie Publisher: EagleTec CNC Modify Date: May. 14, 2022

The setup of the work origin is an essential operation step of the CNC router. In CNC machining, many workpieces are usually completed by multiple tools. After manually determining the Z coordinate of the first tool, it would take a lot of time if we continue to manually set the Z coordinate of other tools. However, suppose the CNC is equipped with a tool length sensor. In that case, we can quickly complete the measurement of the milling tools to the workpiece surface, obtain the coordinate offset value, and then automatically set the Z-axis workpiece origin of other tools, thus significantly improving the user's work efficiency. This option is vital, particularly for ATC cnc routers.

cnc machine tool length sensor set

How Does a Tool Length Sensor Work?

We operate the Z-axis of the cnc machine and make the tooltip to contact the tool length calibrator. At this time, the CNC system would get the tool setting signal, and the tool measuring action stops. The system receives the coordinates of the tool bit. After automatic calculation, the offset is automatically saved to the system.

What Benefits Can a Tool Length Sensor Offer You?

When machining a workpiece that requires multiple tools, the Z-axis is always a goofy axis because each tool is not the same length, and the distance the cutter is inserted into the collet can vary widely. Without the tool offset sensor, we would have to calculate the length difference of each router bit and manually set the offset in the CNC controller before every work cycle starts. Undoubtedly, this process would take much time.

CNC tool length sensors optimize this process. Using the sensor, you would load the first tool and operate the Z-axis, then the automatic tool changer cnc would use the sensor to capture the tool length before you touch that tool to the top of the part. This would establish the z-axis origin, and you just need to touch the top of the calibrator this time.


The CNC machine would turn off the spindle and drive it to the front of the table for easy tool changing. The ATC CNC would then travel over the tool length sensor, bounce off it, and continue the cutting process with the new compensated tool length offset. Overall, the tool length sensor makes operation easy and increases productivity.

Gentle Reminders and Wiring Guide

Here, we take the normally closed 4-wire tool length offset sensor as an example. Please remember to power off everything before installation.

• The brown and orange wires need to be connected to the tool setting signal port on the motion card.

• The green and blue cables must be wired to the tool setting overtravel protection port on the motion card.

• After the wiring is completed, test that the tool setting signal is ok, and then fix the tool length sensor to the appropriate position.


Original Post from EagleTec CNC

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