Relationship between Material thickness and Z Offset

Good morning all.
I’m experimenting with my Z Offset on my Boss laser and I’m trying to understand the relationship between the Material thickness under ‘Cuts / Layers’ vs the Z offset.

If I focus the machine on the surface of the material to be cut (6mm Ply) I assume my focus is on the surface of material. Now when I enter my material thickness for the cut as 6mm should I assume that this is just a ‘note’ or does should I now expect my focus to be in the top, middle, or bottom of the material?

And if it’s not the top, why would you need the Z Offset if you could just change the material thickness to adjust the focal points position?


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