The grid in Easel is a handy visual for lining up your design on a rectangle or square piece of material. But what if you have an oval shape material or want to ensure you are carving in the center of your material? Understanding work zero position and how to set it manually can help in either of these situations!
Work zero refers to the starting position (0,0) of your machine. By default, Easel will use the bottom left corner of the workspace as the x,y work zero position. The work zero position is visualized by the black origin dot in Easel. If you use the homing switches, this origin dot is the same location as the homing position (usually bottom left corner where the homing switches stop the X-Carve).
In the following image, you can see the design is centered to the material (as shown on the right-side preview) and the work zero is on the bottom left corner of Easel (origin dot, circled in red). You can verify the work zero is the bottom left by looking at the Position menu and see the bottom left corner radio button (circled in red) is clicked. If you clamp the material to line up with the bottom-left edge of the wasteboard, the project will turn out just like in the simulation.
However, you do not always have to use the limit switches and you can set your own work zero position on a different location other than the bottom left-hand corner. The following steps will show you how to set your work zero position to the center of your material.
Manually setting work zero position
- Find the center point of your physical material and lightly mark it.
- Even though you cannot set an oval shape material in Easel, you can measure and add the overall dimensions of your material for visualization.
- Clamp the material anywhere on the X-Carve and make sure you leave enough room for clamps around your design.
- Specify the origin point as the center of the material and move the design to the center. Below you can see the same design but the layout is a bit different. You will notice the design is centered on the origin point (small yellow circle). To move the design select all objects, click the center radio button (bigger yellow circle) and change the position of X, Y to 0, 0.
On the preview window, it looks as if the design is off the page but this is OK. The X-Carve will always try to engrave any object with depth even if it is off the page. In order to avoid damage to the machine trying to move off the rails, you will now manually set the work zero position.
- Once your design is set up, along with the correct material and bit settings, you can go ahead and click the Carve button. When you get to the "Work Zero" step, you can use your Z-probe to set your Z work zero position as normal. However, you will need to tell Easel that you want to Manually set your X, Y work zero position by clicking Manual.
You can now jog the bit to the mark on the center of your physical material and confirm home position.
Reminder: If you use the Z-Probe, you do not need to lower your bit to the bottom left-hand corner for your material. Instead, you can use your z-probe as normal.
- Once you have confirmed your work zero position, at the center of your material, the rest of the carving steps are the same. You will need to turn your spindle on and click Carve.
You can also preview how setting the work zero position in the center will work. In the simulation you will see the simulation will start from the center and then move towards the edges: