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How do I load a pen into CNC Stylus?

Instruction on how to fit a drawing tool to CNC Stylus.

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Fitting and removing a collet

You will need to select the correct size collet for the tool you will be using.


We have created a quick look up table for most standard tools.



Collet size

Vinyl Cartridge









Collet sizes can be found on either the face or the side of the collet.

The nut features an eccentric washer which requires force to be applied to a specific side to allow engagement and removal of the collet with the nut.

After selecting your collet, you will need to push it into the nut until it engages. 

You will hear an audible click. You can check this by inverting the assembly. If the collet is fitted correctly, the collet will not fall out.

To remove the collet, push the collet to the side using your thumb. You may need to rotate the direction of force against the nut.

How do I fit a pen into the collet?

Once you have fitted the collet to the nut, you can then insert your selected tool into the collet. This can then be fitted to the CNC Stylus.


You only need to do this up finger tight. 


Please DO NOT use a spanner, as over tightening can damage the barrel thread and the tool.


We would recommend holding the tool at the lowest point to reduce wobble.




If you expect to tool change

If you expect a tool change, you will need to consider the position of the pen now, so that your next pen will extend the same distance from the collet. This means that you won’t need to reset your Z datum (SmartBench will expect any new tool to sit at the same offset, unless the Z datum is reset).


A useful technique to keep pen tip offset the same is to reference the depth of the pen against a known physical feature on SmartBench, for example aligning against the side of the bench extrusion.


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Rami is the author of this solution

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Updated on Wed, 16 Jun 2021