RFC: Z Part location in stock

This is a Request for Comment

At present, “Z Top Offset” is the only way to control how a part is located relative to the top of the defined stock. I’m proposing replacing that with a “Z anchor” which would be one of: top, middle, bottom.

The reason for this is that I want to make double-sided part milling a lot easier. And the best way to do that is to locate the part in the middle of the stock. Currently that requires you to know the stock and part size and do a manual calculation. This is error prone.

The only reason I can think not to do this is if using “Z Top Offset” is common for other scenarios. And maybe understanding those scenarios, I can come up with a better UI treatment and other options.

As I don’t have a planer or level sander (if it’s called that way). I never have truly flat wood to start with.
So in order to have a flat piece.
I have to:

  1. Surface the board
  2. Surface one side of the stock
  3. Surface the other side of the stock and make to the right thickness
  4. Mill both sides.

For me it seems the best to reference everything to the waste board (Z = 0)
And after making your rough stock flat I’d read the Z finishing depth (or the thickness of a flat piece of stock" and enter that z value in the: “double sided milling g code generator”

So, to be clear: z-anchor == top would anchor the top of the part to the top of the stock, z-anchor == middle would anchor middle to middle, and bottom similarly, right?

That sounds fine, and useful. But I can imagine still wanting to offset from either the top or the bottom. I know you’re trying to minimize the UI, but I’d propose adding an “Anchor offset”, which would be either positive or negative (with understanding that positive offsets from “top” and negative offsets from “bottom” would both be illegal).

I think it’s reasonable to have an anchor and an offset

In that case no current functionality will be lost. I’m looking forward to the change, since as you say, having to do math to calculate the Z-offset just to get my part to sit at the bottom of the stock is annoying.

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