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On my machine that is coming x axis is 12 inches and y axis is 24 inches. In the software x axis is wider and easier to work in it that way. My question is should I work in the software with the long direction with the y axis or switch the cables on the machine to make x the long axis or am I missing something?
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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Our machine is 26" x 50" cutting capacity with the greater being the Y axis. I use Fusion 360 and have the origin set just like that - Y front to back, X left and right, Z up and down. Are you not able to change that in your software? I actually thought most software packages had it this way by default.

When I was deciding which software to use 3 years ago and downloaded 6-8 different software demos I recall that every one of them had the orientation like our machine.

David
 

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I think you will find that is not an issue at all,. In CAD or what ever your design tools are, do what seems natural. Then in CAM, orient the object(s) to fit your machine.

Frankly, designing in "landscape" (wider in Y) is a bit more likely because most monitors are oriented that way. In the absolutely worst case, you can rotate your object(s) in CAD. VCarve can do this just fine. I wouldn't bother switching the machine axes around.
 

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On my Mach4 DIY machine, I have two profiles set up, in one the long axis is X-axis, the one I use most often, the gantry is X-axis. I created this so that videos I have been working on will have the stock oriented as it is on the design screen (and the gantry supports are not in the way of filming). Relatively quick and easy to swap from one to another, although I have found myself rotating the part when the part is longer than the available width along X-axis, as opposed than loading the other profile.
 
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