ATC Router Information

ATC Router Information

Setup Check list

Check your tooling: 

  • Is the nut on the tool holder tight? 
  • Is the pull stud on the tool holder tight? 

Check your table:

  • Do you have 110 PSI shop air at your table?
  • Is your air clean or is your compressor full of water / rust ?    

Inserting a tool holder into the spindle

Ensure that your control box is on and the Pcnc software is open and connected. Additionally, verify that you have a clean supply of shop air at 100 psi going to the machine.

If there is a tool holder in the spindle:

  1. Press the tool release button on the screen or the flood coolant button on the handwheel.
  2. Be prepared to catch the tool as it will fall out of the spindle.

If there is no tool holder in the spindle:

  1. Hold an ISO30 tool holder in the spindle.
  2. Click the tool release button or the flood coolant button on the handwheel.
  3. Ensure the draw bar is open; if not, press the button again.
  4. Insert the tool holder into the spindle. You should feel the tool being pulled up into the spindle, which will take about 0.25 to 0.5 seconds. The spindle should hold the tool firmly.

Trouble shooting -

If there's no tool in the spindle, you should hear a definitive click noise every other time you press the button, if you don't hear the click you may have :

  • The 2 air lines going to the wrong fittings
  • Not enough air pressure 
  • E Stop enabled /not connected 
  • If all of these are verified and you are still not hearing the draw bar click / call us

I Believe the left fitting  (if your facing the front of the spindle) should be switched air for the draw bar and the right fitting should be static shop air. You can test this by pressing the tool release button on the screen or pressing the flood Coolant button on the handwheel but make sure you are able to catch the tool (if one is in the spindle) Because it will fall out.

Setting up a new tool in your tool table / tool library in Planet CNC TNG

Setting Up a New Tool in Your Tool Table / Tool Library

(Read fully before proceeding)

Insert the Tool:

  • Use the previously provided instructions to insert the tool into the spindle.

Open the Tool Table:

  • Access the tool table in the software.

Enter Tool Information:

You need to input specific information about the tool. The 'Add' button will be inactive until at least one piece of information is entered. While you can add extensive details, there are three essential pieces of information required:

Tool Number (Tab 1: General):

  • The tool number is crucial. It’s not the same as the position. You can have tool numbers ranging from 1 to 1000, stored in any tool fork you set up.
  • For simplicity, initially, match the tool number with the tool fork position (e.g., Tool No. 1 in Position 1, Tool No. 2 in Position 2) But for example: Tool No. 9 can be stored in Tool Fork 2, avoiding this helps avoid confusion initially, especially when you have more tools in your library than tool forks.
  • Pro Tip: The tool name doesn’t affect functionality, so use it for additional details (e.g., "Tool No. 2 - ¼ Amana Straight Cut in Position 2").
  • Ensure the tool number matches the one in your CAM software.

Z Offset (Tab 2: Offset):

  • The Z offset is not set manually; it is determined by the tool setter. Leave it blank as it represents the tool’s length from a specific point, allowing the software to adjust work coordinates based on this length.

Tool Change Position (Tab 3: Tool Change):

  • This is the location where the tool holder is stored in the tool fork. While typically set up by us, it's crucial to verify these positions after final installation in your shop, as transport and setup might slightly alter these numbers. The next section will guide you on how to check this.

By following these steps, you'll ensure your tool table is accurately configured for efficient and precise operation.

(Note if you change any info in any tab in the tool table you must hit update afterwards after each change for the library to keep track of that change)

How to check and setup tool change position

How to Check and Set Up Tool Change Position

Open the Tool Table: Write down the X, Y, and Z positions for each tool change location listed in the third tab of each tool. When your table arrives, it should contain placeholder tools created to establish these positions.

  • Example: Tool No. 1: Tool change position X: 17.012, Y: 124.823, Z: -3.858

Positioning the Tool:

Insert a tool into the spindle. Use the handwheel to jog the machine to set the X, Y, and Z positions. Start by moving the Y axis to approximately 2 inches before the tool fork load position (closer to the front of the table).


Jog to this Position: X: 17, Y: 122, Z: -3

IF Load Position: X: 17, Y: 124, Z: -3

Then jog the Y axis backward slowly until the tool aligns with the load position. Observe how the tool enters the fork:

  • Check if the Z axis is too high or too low, causing binding.
  • Check that the tool is not too far left or right.
  • Check that the tool is NOT fully seated before reaching the final Y load position.
  • Note any adjustments needed for each tool fork. Tool forks are designed to be weak points (and designed to break) to protect the spindle and machine in the event of a crash.

Monitor Servo LEDs:

  • Watch the X and Y servo LEDs to avoid errors. If they error out, turn the control box off then on, home, and square the machine, and resume from where you left off.

Finalizing the Tool Position:

  • Once the tool holder is fully seated in the tool fork (the edge should be about 0.050 or 1/16 inch from the back end of the fork), do not move the machine, make sure none of the servos are errored.
  • Record the current machine coordinates and ensure they match the tool table data.
  • Jog the Y axis towards the front to pull the tool out of the fork (about 2 inches).

Repeat for All Tool Forks:

  • Repeat this process for all tool forks until the placeholder tools are accurately positioned and tested.
  • Home and square the machine between each setup.
  1. Setting Up Tool Lengths (Z Offset):
  • Once tool information and tool change locations are verified, you can use your tool setter (if set up) to measure tool lengths (Z offset). The machine will automatically note this in the offset portion of the tool table.
  • If the tool setter is not set up, the next section will guide you on how to do that.

By following these steps, you will ensure that each tool is properly set up and that tool change locations are accurate, enabling precise and efficient operation of your CNC router.

How to Set Up the Tool Setter

How to Set Up the Tool Setter

To set up the tool setter, you will need to use the machine to take some measurements and do a bit of math. Follow these steps:

Mount the Tool Setter: Securely mount your tool setter to the work surface of your router using wood screws or bolts. (I recommend you install your table/ spoil board or vacuum table first) Ensure it is stable and not too close to any tool forks or beneath them. Place it towards the back of the table, at least 3 inches from the tool fork mount bar.

  • Home and square the machine.

Position the Tool: Jog the tool to the center of the tool setter so the tip of the tool just touches the tip of the tool setter.

  • Note this location in the machine tab. You will enter these coordinates in the settings under the offset tab, in the line labeled sensor position. Enter the coordinates where the tool is just touching the tool setter tip. Click OK to exit the settings.

Measure the Tool: On the main screen, click the "Measure Tool" button. The machine will go through the tool measuring sequence for the current tool, noting the throw of the sensor.

  • Go to the tool table, select the current tool, and click on the offset tab. Note the Z offset measurement, which should be roughly between -0.15 and -0.22 (e.g., mine measured -0.188). This is the first important piece of information.

Measure Using a Reference Point:

  • Remove the tool from the spindle and carefully lower the nose of the spindle until it just touches the top of a solid reference point (e.g., a 2-4-6 block or a block of wood, but not something compressible like a cardboard box).
  • Zero out your Z coordinates in the work tab, then jog the spindle up and reinsert the previous tool holder.
  • Lower the spindle (carefully) back to the reference point until the tip of the tool just touches it. Note the Z reading (e.g., my tool measured 3.291").

Calculate Tool Length:

  • Add the length of the tool (e.g., 3.291") to the tool setter throw (e.g., 0.188"): 3.291 + 0.188 = 3.479".
  • Add this sum to the original sensor Z position (e.g., 3.854"): 3.479 + 3.854 = 7.333".

Update Settings:

  • Go back into settings and update the offsets sensor position Z with the calculated value (X and Y coordinates remain the same).
  • Measure the current tool again. If everything was done correctly, the Z offset should be close to the value measured when the tool touched the reference point.
  • Due to the spring-loaded nature of the tool setter, there might be a slight discrepancy because of the spring's resistance and the sensor throw. Adjust the Z offset in the tool table for individual tools if necessary.
  1. Verify and Adjust:
  • For example, if you physically measured the tool at 3.291" and the machine reading after setup was 3.287", a small difference like 0.004" is acceptable and likely due to minor measurement error.

By following these steps, you ensure your tool setter is properly set up, allowing for accurate and efficient tool length measurements. This precision is crucial for maintaining consistent and reliable CNC operations.