440 work offset?

If the tools used in a project are measured and in the tool table is it necessary to touch off with an empty spindle?

I have the power drawbar so removing the collet is not an option. However, there are multiple warnings about closing the collet with no tool in place. Since tool length is known, what is gained by touching off with the empty spindle? Is it required?


Nothing is gained by using the empty spindle. As long as the tool you use to touch off is the active tool and its offset is applied (which happens when you enter the tool number in the tool DRO and hit enter) the touchoff will work correctly.

In some of our ‘first part’ documentation we recommend using an empty spindle only to set a reference point if you are using the machine itself to accurately measure the tool lengths. If you have a height gauge or use relative tool lengths you can completely skip touching off a workpiece with an empty spindle.

This video is pretty old but should explain the concepts: Getting Started with Tool Tables in PathPilot - YouTube

Thank you again! That was really confusing, even after spending hours watching all the videos I could find.
Next beginner questions … the “intro to pathpilot” section of the manual illustrates (figure 5.10) a screen shot of a circular pocket in a rectangle. Where is the column in that (and all other similar) illustrations? Is the top of the rectangle away from the operator and left is left, bottom is toward the operator? Are the corner selections shown in Figure 6.38 as viewed by the operator?
Sorry for the incredibly basic questions but orienting the table, workpiece, and references gets very confusing to a beginner. My first effort using the nearest left hand corner as 0/0 resulted in the start of cutting at the nearest right hand corner after fixing errors about out of limits when there was plenty of maneuvering room available. Very disorienting.

@Richard_Boggs in the manual any representation of a workpiece on a PathPilot will have the X axis horizontal (with X negative to the left and positive to the right) and Y axis vertical (positive up, negative down). Imagine yourself as the spindle looking down on the part.


Were you to cut this on the mill, the lower left corner on the screen would correspond to the front left corner of the part (towards the operator, left hand side.)

Here’s another beginner question … is there any way to conversationally engrave a line of text with a different orientation? I have a rectangular workpiece that exactly matches the table geometry and need to engrave a single line of text starting at the lower right corner of the rectangle in the post above and ending at the upper right corner. Is there any way to rotate the text placement?


Coordinate system rotation does exist in Pathpilot with G10 L2, but it’s a very tricky thing to align. This is an operation best suited to CAM.

Thank you,

@Richard_Boggs if CAD/CAM is a hurtle that you haven’t jumped over yet and you want to play around with this concept, there is a video on G10 L2 linked in the following video list: Video List - Chapter 3 - Getting Frisky with PathPilot - PathPilot - Tormach Forums
Good luck.