The CarveWright scanning probe enables the user to create a height map of and existing surface that can then be imported into the CarveWright Design Software libraries for use on any project.

Please become familiar with the Probe Operators Manual as it explains will explain, in depth, the many features of the CarveWright Scanning Probe to help make the scanning functionality easy

to understand and rewarding to use.  IMPORTANT:  Be sure that the memory card is loaded with the latest version of firmware before using the scanning probe.


How it Works

The scanning creates a 3-D surface map by physically tracing the object’s surface with the needle probe.  You can think of the probe as a switch: in the relaxed state where it is not touching anything the switch is “ON”.  But when the needle comes into contact with the surface it is deflected and turned to the “OFF” position.  The on-board computer interprets this ON/OFF toggling into a surface map.  Just like in carving mode the maximum scan depth is 1.0″.  Because of their irregular geometries, most objects will need to be placed on a special scanning jig in order to be fed into the machine.  Also the scanning probe uses the same quick-change system that all of the CarveWright bits use.


The Machine Recognizes when the Scanning Probe is Plugged in 

In all CarveWright machines and the vast majority of CompuCarve machines, the probe is plugged into a connector on the left side of the head cover using an adapter cable.  The CarveWright machine will automatically recognize that the adapter plug is connected when the machine is powered ON (even if the probe is not plugged into the adapter cable and the display will show the following:

Accessory Menu 

1) Scan Item 

Instead of the normal menu option:

CarveWright Main Menu 

Project Menu

At this menu prompt press ENTER or press the “1” key.  The machine will move the cutting truck to the left and top of its travel (so the scanning probe is not touching anything).  .  It will now check to see that it is getting the correct status signal from the scanning probe.  If everything is plugged in and the probe is operating correctly, the probe state will be Closed and the machine will show the following prompt on the LCD screen:

Jog To Starting Corner 

Use Arrow Keys to Move 

In the event that the adapter cable is plugged in but that the probe is not plugged in to the cable or is not working correctly the LCD screen will show:

Check Probe and Connection 

Probe State: Open 

Check all of the connections and deflect the probe tip while watching to see if the state changes

from Open to Closed to determine where the issue is.


Checking the Probe Functionality 

Before doing any probe troubleshooting, make sure that you are running the latest version of firmware.  There have been several large changes to the scanning probe firmware to assist in troubleshooting.  For almost all issues and service questions related to the scanning probe you will need to be able to verify that the probe is operating correctly.  Testing the probe can be done through the Options Menu on the keypad.  Become very familiar with this check.

  • Install the probe into the quick-changer and plug it into the correct location.
  • Plug in and turn the machine ON.  The LCD display should show the Accessory Menu.
  • Select the “0” (Options) key on the keypad.
  • Scroll down to the “7) Sensor Check” menu using the up/down keypad arrows or simply press the “7” shortcut key.
  • Scroll down to the “Probe State” menu option.

The LCD screen should read Closed if the probe is installed and in not in contact with anything.  To check the operation of the probe simply reach in and deflect the probe tip to the side.  If the probe is operating correctly the displayed state will change from Closed to Open and then back to Closed when you let go.  Note: With no probe connected, the Probe State will be displayed as Open.  Make sure that you check the probe by deflecting it in all directions.


CompuCarve Machines with the Probe Plug on the Z-Truck 

The very first batches of CompuCarve machines used a connector on the z-truck for connecting the scanning probe.  For machines with this configuration, use the basic functionality check to diagnose any issues.  In the event that the issue persists, a small hardware change is needed.  For these machines there is a hardware package (907 package) that eliminates the small FFC cable and diverts the probe connection to the connector on the head cover.  For machines having scanning probe issues with the pre-907 package, simply have the customer change hardware before proceeding with any other trouble shooting.