Understanding the Z-axis with my OMTech Polar

Hello all!

Since you folks are so incredibly wise when it comes to things Lasers and Lightburn, I’m hoping you can help me make sense of the Polar 17mm offset in simple, non-technical terms. I found one similar post, but it was too in depth for me to quite follow, so I’m hoping for a simpler answer.

The OMTech Polar has a 17mm offset from the top of the honeycomb to the top of the lens. And you have to subtract from that 17mm based on the thickness of the material you’re using to get the optimum engraving/cutting height. This I understand.

But there seems to be 3 different places I can set my Z-axis focal distance:

In ‘Machine Settings’ under ‘Focus Distance’:

On the ‘Move’ tab under ‘Distance’:

And in the ‘Cut Settings Editor’ under ‘Z Offset’ (mine is greyed out, but that has something to do with ‘Jog’ settings?):

So, what’s the difference? Why would I set the 17mm minus Material Thickness in Machine Settings? Why wouldn’t I simply put 17mm there, and then the ‘Move’ ‘Distance’ setting tell the software how much to subtract by either putting in the material thickness (let’s say 3mm), or putting in the “17mm - thickness” total (using the same 3mm: 17-3=14)? And what, exactly, is the ‘Z Offset’ setting for if not the same thing?

I’ve looked all over, watched multiple videos, read through some forums, and some people do it one way, some the other way, some the first 2, and some just the last option. What IS the correct way? Either I’m not understanding these settings, or they seem redundant. I mean, like MS Windows, there’s at least 3 ways to do everything, so is this that same mentality or am I missing something?

Thanks for any enlightenment! And for your time and patience helping to hip me to all this, dudes. :slight_smile:


This seems to be similar, maybe it will help. @BillieRuben mentions the Z axes setting in the post.



Thank you lovely one! <3 It does indeed sound similar!

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