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CNC Touch Probe

by scorch Mar 13, 2015
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I also have a dumb question, could this be used with the gcode software to digitise an existing object or only make existing gcode work on the uneven surface?

If you are talking about G-Code Rippee when you say "the gcode software" the answer is no. You can probe an object and get the points but to it will just be points not a model.

Yes i was, and thanks for the quick reply.

I'm near the bottom end of the learning curve with cnc touch probes and the subject of digitising objects suddenly fascinated me.

I will build your probe and in the mean time search for an open source program that will overlook my lack of ability.

Thanks Scorch for this design. I modified it a little bit for probing the Z of a tool within the spindle but I kept mostly your original design. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3498168


Palpeur d'outil - Tool probe - CNC - GRBL - bCNC
by pinatl

Great tool, I had it printed and it works fantastic!Thank you!!!

I have a dumb question..
Does this only works on Z axis or can do edges too?


Yes, it will trigger on edges.

I dont need the inverted circuit. Will this jack still work as closed when plug is in jack.

thx for reply which legs would get soldered? or would it matter

You can choose which to use.

I like your basic design... I'm going to build one, then see if I can figure out how to make it a bit smaller... the goal would be to get it down to about 20-25mm diameter if at all possible to fit my Frankenlab Mill. I'll be doing a video on probes shortly... and feature your design if i can.


What's holding the spring in place? The taper on the top of the CNC probe cover? I'm not from the states, so I can't use McMaster-Carr easily to get exactly the same parts you used.

Also, what is the washer for? I don't see it anywhere.

For those trying to find a spring, it has to be at least 18.58mm tall, have a small diameter be less than 9.5mm and a large diameter less than 22.18mm. The distance from the end of the collet/chuck to the bottom of the printed part is 43mm.

Yes, the pocket in the cover keeps the spring in place. The only part of the cover that would ever touche the spring is right where the spring seats on the cover, the rest is just clearance.

The washers go between the wire and the nuts. Definitely not required to make it work.

The probe is so elegant in design. Thanks, scorch!

How accurate us the probe? You show the mouse, how did it do on this and then taking the gcode to CNC a part?

Thanks, building one now.

I have never tried to measure the accuracy. I probed the mouse then engraved on the curved surface of the mous. The probing and cutting was done with g-code generated from G-Code Ripper.

Thank you. Look good. Do you happen to know the diameter of the tip of the probe?

I ground the tip on mine to a point.

OK, thanks. Appreciate the fast reponse.


what a wonderful object!
I'm looking for a solution for my cnc because the tray is not quite flat ...
Can it work with mach3? What is precision?
thanks again!

Thanks. Yes, you can use it with Mach3. I have never tried to measure the precision.

Thanks this works great... I was able to use 3mm cap screws everywhere without any tapping... Just force the first thread in and the screw will tap itself.

So in total, I used 15 M3x12 cap screws. These can be found in Assortment Kits on amazon and ebay.

1/4-20x1 cone screw and nut for the shaft. Drilled the shaft out to 1/4 and installed the screw

10-32x1 shoulder screw and nut for the 3/16" probe. Cut the head off and Super glue the probe in.

Home made spring wound on a 3/8 shaft.

I had all of this stuff as left overs,,, Thus this probe only cost me the plastic to print it.. Thanks again.

Did you print you're in and and just allow for shrinkage? 6-32 corresponds to a 3.5mm hole diameter. I'm planing to make on myself and I have plenty of metric screws.

I just printed it in PLA... and screwed in 3mm screws. No adjustments or tapping required. Once the screws are adjusted, the probe will self center.

That's awesome. Thanks, paintballmagic. I'll post mine when I'm done.

Will this work for Zeroing all three axis? Or is this just for the Z axis?

It will probe in all three axes.

Umm. the instructions tab now doesnt work. There isn't anything in there when I click on "Instructions".

So still need a BOM for this.

Thanks for letting me know. I am pretty disappointed that Thingiverse deleted the BOM somehow. I found the text from the Instructions in the Wayback Machine (https://web.archive.org/) and put the text right in the thing details so it is easier for people to find.

Oh Awesome!!! I actually tried making one of these on my lathe ages ago but forgot it until now, Now I have a 3d printer, I can print yours! thank you ;)

Erm, any chance of a BOM and build instructions??

The parts are listed in the instructions tab. Along with some assembly instructions. Let me know if something is not clear.

Gah - so it is, sorry mate! It's this damn new site layout that makes it near impossible to find anything :) Cheers

I am going to build and try your thing. excellent !

I think I'm going to have to try this and your g-code ripper.. Nice!