Finding middle of the work space "plate"

Hi! So I am so sorry for this stupid question… I have tried to find answers but obviously not succeeded. I have a A350 (and a SM1) What is the easiest way to find the middle of the work space?

I have yet to hear of an easy way to set the origin or move the tool head to the middle of the work space, but maybe someone else has?

Good luck.

Hi Nina;
I tend to make a jig if the work is repetitive and I use a centering marker to guide me to the set origin point in the centre of the table. It also depends on the shape of the workpiece. My SM1 has only a few holes for clamping so I created a new bed with many more holes. I have almost completed that with my newly constructed clamps. In theory; one ought to be able set the home position and have that setting persistent but SM1/Luban does not appear to have that operator controlled facility. It also is dependent on what you are trying to achieve and whether it is laser, print or CNC.

I have not done any 3D printing so would guess that you must place your design in the centre of the work area. SM1 has a 130mm square bed so locate the centre of your design centrally at 65mm. There is a home position which could be used so a piece of code could be hand inserted for each job. (rather tedious… I know). The jog control moves in known steps so you could (for SM1) move the module on the ‘X’ axis head 6 times by 10mm and 5 times by 1mm. This would bring the head into the centre 65mm from the home position (assuming it is at 130mm at the bottom left) then you would need to repeat the movements and amounts on the ‘Y’ axis. This would always start your process from the centre of the bed.

Marking the centre of the workpiece can be helpful for laser work and CNC. The laser shines when jogging the head and the low power beam allows you to focus and as you bring the beam to its correct point of focus, you know that the ‘Z’ axis height is correct. With a mark showing the centre of the workpiece it is not difficult to align the in focus laser beam to the centre of the job. As long as the design is central in the software, you will be where you need to be to start. After jogging the module head, remember to press the SET ORIGIN control before beginning your work process. For CNC work just centre the tool bit over the central mark or move it according to half the dimensions of known and permitted travel for the ‘X’ and the ‘Y’ axes.

I have no experience of the A350 nor have I seen one. The amount of head travel is a given for ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ axes in each direction and the amount of each jog step is also known. It makes good sense to use these given values to move the module where you want to for your start position. In my opinion, there should be a software provision (like the home control) that centres the module head. You will always have to centre your work if you want to centre the module. In many other softwares, I have seen the provision to determine where the module head starts.

The following image shows a jig I created for carving letters into blocks. The clamps remain flat and out of the way. When using the laser, I would have wanted to centre the module head if I had used the machine for other things so that my set origin was lost. The set origin is lost when turning the machine off (SM1) so I created a block that would assist me to centre the laser beam. The centering gauge I had created is resting in the jig in the picture so I knew that work in this jig would start from a central position.

The image which follows shows the laser beam is very tightly focussed.

I found it necessary to close the aperture ring until it was at its smallest aperture. My method is to focus on a piece of paper taped to the workpiece. I aim to make the beam about the size of a printed text full stop. It should be possible to get a beam width at the point of focus to be around .5mm but the brightness (although attenuated to about 5% of full strength for this process) can make it difficult to assess the point size. You may find it helpful to use a piece of matt and coloured paper to remove the tendency of the beam to appeared flared at the edges. Always wear safety classes whenever the laser beam is on, even at low power it can be dangerous to your eyes. Hope this helps


Measure it out, calculate or go directly there with the console.

  • The most times I lay a ruler on the build plate and drive the machine there.

  • Jog endless times 180mm with the A350 (175mm+5mm or more offset after homing)

  • Connect the machine to a console and go directly to the wanted absolute position like, G1 X175 Y160 F500

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it would be great if there was a button to Center. @xchrisd i have not messed with Gcode much, is the center of the work space really as simple as just half of the build area? i only ask because i know the nozzle will sit off the work area at home. i always assumed home was considered X0 Y0, is that a faulty assumption? if not then wouldn’t the center be the same as your jog (175mm +5mm or more offset)?

Home is a minus value.
EDIT, this are the offsets @Atom:
M206 X-19.00 Y-10.00 Z0.00

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that just makes me wish they would implement console commands over wifi (or from the touch screen) even more. :smiley:

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Hello Adam;
Having become really frustrated with Luban after struggling to make the CNC carver follow simple instructions or worse… not being able to make it do relatively simple tasks, I tried several different packages of software. The one I am using now is from Carbide and it is free to use. It appears to be entirely logical in use and processes the files well.

The first image is showing the options to align the workpiece.

The file can be automatically aligned to horizontal or vertical centres or be central in the design. The choice of inside or outside edge is vital if one was going to machine a thread on a pin or inside a hole. There is also the choice to align the work piece to any other selected piece in the drawing. Selected pieces can be grouped and nested too.

The second image is a simple method of determining where the process begins by setting the toolpath zero point.

I feel that this is a relatively simple task to implement this in software and it saves an inordinate amount of time issuing g code commands, editing g code by hand or jogging the module and setting the origin. I think that the origin should remain set until it is specifically unset. At any rate the choice of persistent values or not should be available. Just my take on what has been a very disappointing software experience with Luban. It has effectively taken me six months of wasted time to decide that Luban is really not good enough for prime time.

I hope that the Snapmaker team realise how damaging this is. Rather than buy an A350 because I want to get a larger and more capable CNC machine, I have decided to spend $2,000 on a competitor’s machine. This is a lost sale for Team Snapmaker and it was entirely unnecessary for me to be dissatisfied with my purchase. It would not be the case if the Snapmaker software development team committed to rewrite Luban and make it the goto software for their hardware.

It is highly probable that the Snapmaker team have not understood my frustration (possibly I was not clear enough) nor have they done much other than point me to Fusion 360. That being the case; Team Snapmaker should really indicate to their potential customers that the software supplied with their machines is barely adequate and does not handle CNC particularly well. In Carbide Create, I can already cut a thread in wood… of any pitch and size. I have not been using the software very long. It is a credit to the developers that I can use the software with my SM1.


Hi jepho, thank you for your feedback and I have read through your post completely. We know the Snapmaker Luban needs some rework and we are constantly improving the software. I will forward some key points in your post to our software team. And I apologize for the poor experience. But please be patient, the Snapmaker Luban is part of Snapmaker, we will make it better and better!

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Thank you for responding JKC20. My impatience arises because of my advancing years. (72) My concern is that I don’t have a lot of time to spare and want to do as much as I can before I am no longer around. :smile: So it is this impetus to me not wanting to spend another 6 months awaiting a Snapmaker solution.

I am happy to know that Team Snapmaker will look at some of my commentary and possibly use it to assist them in deciding whatever they may. They may decide that it is too difficult to rewrite the software.

Any meaningful revision to Luban software may have to take place as a parallel development to Luban; if it proves not to be amenable to much by way of change. Sometimes it is difficult to take a piece of work that we are heavily invested in and stop its development. It may be the only option left to Team Snapmaker if they are to remain competitive.

The Snapmaker sales strategy has obviously been a great success by any standards. My intuition is that the runaway sales momentum will be subsumed by the Team’s failure to make the hardware perform as well as it is manufactured. In my view, fantastic software that can push the machine to the edge of its capabilities is an urgent must have.

Thread cutting on a lathe is a skill that is very highly valued in a machine shop. It speaks to me very loudly that Carbide’s machines can create threads in wood or metal using their own software and a single bladed cutter (or even a multi-bladed cutter). I was able to make Carbide’s software simulate a thread cutting process within an hour of learning these new to me software ropes.

Bringing CNC machining to the hobby maker is the unspoken promise of every CNC machine. If these machine are to become useful tools (rather than expensive boys toys) the software to express, harness and utilise the power that lies within the machines should be treated as a vital component part of the machine, not just as the afterthought which I feel Luban has become for me.

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