So I am not sure if this would be the right place to make a suggestion for the software, but it would be fantastic if they could make it possible to input a negative integer in the start depth when creating a tool path. I like to make an offset above the work piece to make a test noncutting pass before actually touching the wood. this has saved me from a lot of mistakes, but unfortunately I currently have to increase my stock thickness to about 1/2 to 1" thicker than the actual material to do what I want to do. it just adds another layer of complexity that can introduce more mistakes to the process. it is quite possible there is already a way to do this easier that what i am doing, but I have not found it yet if there is.
long story short it would be nice to be able to make your start depth for tool path a negative number.
Workaround: When you go to the Set Zero page, you can type a value in the box instead of hitting “Zero Z”. Touch off to your part, and enter -1.0 in the Z field, hit enter, look at the readout value. Now it thinks zero is 1" above your part.
I use this mostly when I’m machining an Adv V-Carve or trying to get a specific dimension on a feature.
After running the path, the head retracts in Z & moves back in Y. It always retracts to the same position. So if I want to cut the path again 0.005" deeper, I just add that to the current Z value, telling the machine that I am now 0.005 higher. So, if my Z value at the retract point is 4.185, I enter 4.190 then rerun the program.
I use it on surfacing stock as well. I create a cleanup path to machine the whole surface at Z0 (Enter 0.0001 in the max depth. It won’t let you enter 0.0). This has the delightful side effect that when you’re done, Z is already set at 0.0 to the top of your stock.