From our friends at Tormach
The best position for your program reference depends on the part you are making. The most important thing is to select a point that will not be machined away, if possible, so you can reference that point later if needed.
Regardless of where you place Program Zero, you’ll need one feature of the part that can be used for alignment with the machine axes and one for location. A straight edge usually does the trick for alignment. Holes, corners, or other features on the part or fixture can be used for location. Usually, one of these location points can do double duty as Program Zero.
One thing to remember is if you have 10 different people doing a job, it will get done 10 different ways. The finished parts will be the same but the process will vary depending on the person doing the work. The best program zero position to use is what the machine operator will be comfortable using. Some industries have standard positions they use so things are done more consistently for their parts. Some leave it up to the programmer. If you are the only one doing the work, strive for consistency to help avoid any costly mistakes. Just remember to make a note of where Program Zero is so you can quickly return to the job in the future if needed.
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