Best way to center the machine prior to printing?

I’ve searched this forum and must have missed the explanation. What is the best way to easily center a piece X-Y prior to a cut and understanding where the Z-axis should start? If I don’t have endstops, I’m guessing I need to do this manually, but what’s the best way?

Is there a way to set the “Home” once the tool is installed and have the machine remember the proper Z height on its own?

Are you sure you want to start in the center? Most of us start in the nearest left hand corner at the surface of the material that is a extremely well defined location, the nexus of 3 planes. Generally the z part isn’t crucial as you should almost always do a surfacing cut, if you don’t then z depth isn’t critical anyway. This is shown on the crown page and the page with the lcd corner piece (pocketing).

I don’t understand, once you start a cut it doesn’t forget, and once you replace the material you need to reset it. Why would you want it to remember? If you actually do want it to remember for some reason, it actually does by default, we insert special gcode to make it forget usually.


I think we are talking about different things. If my answers do not make sense to you, maybe tell us what you are trying to do and we can tell you how it is usually done or help you with your way.

Instead of centering, think about it in terms of the origin or home. You’ll have an origin in cam, and you’ll need to set the tool to that location on the workpiece and reset the home position.

I almost always use the lower left corner at the top of the workpiece for my origin. If I’m trying to center a logo on an existing thing, then I’ll use the center, but I still use the top as z=0. You need to make sure the origin in the cam matches the origin on the work.

To set the origin, you can move the tool and if you have the LCD, then there’s a “set home offsets”. If you’re using a computer, then you can use G92 X0 Y0 Z0.

This is in the crown or EstlCAM tutorials, but it’s been a long time since I’ve read them.

Starting with the home axis at the bottom left hand corner makes a lot of sense.

I did as you suggested and put everything in the bottom left corner, moved the tip of the sharpie just above the surface, then selected “Set Home Offsets” via the LCD screen. However, when I started my print, the Z axis lifted up on its own about 2 inches and started writing in the air. Any idea what might be going on?

Edit: Nevermind. I’m not sure what was going on with the Z-axis but it seems to be working as intended now. Definitely a PEBKAC error.

Put the tip where you want it and the reset the arduino. If you moved it digitally it will return to where it was first.


There are other ways to do it bu lets just say this is the easiest to learn.

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