I did read all of that and also many others posts on the issues before posting, but I do admit I still have more to learn. I was hoping for more of a best exact settings for my particular machine. I am sure I can figure that out with some experimenting I guess.
What exactly can Lightburn do with this ability?
Enable Z Axis: turn this on to allow LightBurn to control the Z axis of your machine, IE the height of the laser above the workpiece.
Does this just mean the arrow buttons on the computer screen will let you move it manually and it will just continually output the same height of Z in a job, or does this mean it can actually move Z up and down during the job to be able to do things? If the latter, what things? Keep in mind I am very new to laser cutting, so I am still experimenting with all the different things you can do.
Does this option actually allow you to do anything “cool” over just keeping Z off?
When I tried my first Lightburn test job I was not expecting the Z to move down at the start of the job after I had focused it. This is what led me to start looking into this. Good thing it did not move up, or that could have been bad.
Now that I can actually be at my machine I just checked and when my machine boots up, it gives Z the value of 3000 no matter where the bed is when you powered it down. There is no homing of Z in the boot up (which I did know). It does have an inductive limit switch, but it is at the bottom of the table travel. There does not seem to be any limit at the top. This seems like it could be a problem…
Z will stop moving up if the autofocus pin switch is hit. However with no material on the bed or something soft, this could crash if something decided it wanted to make the Z move up because something was done or set wrong with the software.
I have to do some more reading and learning, but this configurations seems easy to crash things on accident. It seems like your machine should at least know where the autofocus pin would not hit the knife or honeycomb table on any X,Y moves. I know having material on there is not considered, and that also actually actuating the autofocus has to let it move into an area where it would snag the bed if you moved X,Y at the top.
Is there anything I should change about my actual machine or controller settings, or is this just the way it is and pretty much the norm (seems like it is)?
Edit I Just tried having Enable Z Axis on and Relative Z moves only on.
This appears to save whatever Z is at when it moves the file to the laser. This seems to show that if you reboot, it is going to try to move Z to that same Z value even though your machine has now actually set itself to 3000 in what could very easily not be where the 3000 was on last boot up. I can see how this is pretty unpredictable. These options do not seem to be safe to me? It would be very easy to crash on accident when it moves to whatever value Z was showing when you transferred the file.
I was thinking relative mode was just going to tell it to take whatever Z is really at when you start the job and use that for relative positioning from that number and location.