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Setting a Z datum

An explanation of a Z datum, and how to set it on SmartBench with the CNC Stylus and pen.

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What is a Z datum?

We have already set our Z datum in the job file when we made it previously in CAD. Now we need to set a Z datum in SmartBench. This gives SmartBench a reference point to work from. 


For more theory about datums click here.


A Z datum is typically set to the top, or the bottom of the material you are working with. For this tutorial, we are referencing the top.

How do I set the Z datum with a pen in CNC Stylus?

After fitting CNC Stylus with a pen, and loading into SmartBench, now we need to tell SmartBench where the pen touches the paper. This is the Z datum.


Using the console, we will now lower the Z axis until the pen touches the top of your material surface.



When the pen touches the material, we need to then continue to move the Z axis down by a further 2mm. This puts the pen in the centre of the CNC Stylus’ allowable travel, enabling it to absorb any variation in flatness.


To do this, change the move increment to 1mm... 



… and press the ‘Z down’ arrow twice.



You can now press SET to save the datum.



For further details on how to set a Z datum on Smartbench, click here.

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Rami is the author of this solution

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Updated on Wed, 16 Jun 2021