Getting the right start Z height for cnc

I haven’t gotten my machine fired up yet to cut, but I have a question. I’m using this for cnc and vinyl cutting only, and want to know how do I get the starting z height correct?

I’m coming from 3D printing, so I just want to wrap my head around it. I’ve seen some CNC’s have a little pad that the tool touches before starting the G code, is that something that is available to the MPCNC project?

If not, do I just manually set the Z height with estlcam, and the machine does the rest?

Easiest way is just set it by hand. You can certainly use a zprobe/touchpad, but really by hand is simple.

EstlCAM does not control the machine (yet), the LCD or REpetier host does. Estlcam is just for creating paths, like a slicer.

Gotcha. Thanks!

EstlCAM does not control the machine (yet)


He means that EstlCAM is only used for generating the toolpaths, as in, where the machine will send its primary tool to at any given time.

Repetier-host is a slicing AND gcode “serving” program - so it can take the gcode you made in EstlCAM and turn it into something the machine’s firmware (in this case a Marlin variant, if I’ve done my research) can actually understand as a series of commands.

I believe you could control it with estlcam if you used a different controller and ran GRBL instead of marlin. I saw there was a GRBL port for ramps but I don’t know if that would still allow estlcam to control it or not.