So - I made a design with engraves and cuts. Dutifully did 3 proof prints on draftboard to make sure I liked the look. Moved over to print them out on acrylic. Used all suggested settings. Changed nothing. On the draftboard the engraves were nice and deep - with real contrast. On the Acrylic - not so much. Barely burned through the paper. I’m out of acrylic. Is it possible to put the acrylic back in the printer - align the images and engrave a second time? Will that work?
Only if you used a jig to make it a repeatable process. Otherwise you’ll have no means of lining it back up again.
I just assumed maybe - or hoped - that with the camera on the bed - if you aligned the new graphics over the existing ones - that might work
It would be a hat trick if you could get a perfect alignment. As for the engrave not working, have you checked your engrave settings to make sure something didn’t get changed?
You can get pretty damn close if your alignment is great. But it’s not going to be perfect. So it depends how picky you are. Try it out.
It works if you put it directly under the camera, use set focus and try the cut or score at minimum power (1) and see how close you are and adjust accordingly. Then you can use powers closer to what is required for masked acrylic, that are different than unmasked draftboard as you have discovered.
Normally when engraving it is best to remove the masking but your previous try did that already.
For sure settings are always material specific. The biggest challenge even if you use set focus is the rotational axis of the image. If you had the acrylic snug against a side in the first print that Would help but even the crumb tray can rotate slightly in the dinmples. Depends on how complicated the design is. Simple vector cutouts you might be able to live with but an engrave especially with gradients is tough. It will be a good test of the accuracy of your machine to try.
If your design has significant features, you could use this technique to re-align the material:
You would need to choose two or three areas near the edges, add a number of cuts around those features to the design, and set the engrave to ignore. Cut the alignment templates, carefully insert and align the material, then remove the templates to re-run the engrave.
You can get down to a fraction of a mm with this method.
That is a great idea. Thanks. Unluckily there is also no pause and tonight - I had to rush my dog to the emergency room 1:50 minutes into a 2 hour 10 minute print. Ok - canceled. But almost all the engraves were done - just the cuts were needed and I hadn’t moved anything. In spite of that I looked at the camera image on the app and noted all the cuts appeared off (I had told it to ignore the engraves at this point in the do over. So I moved the drawings down to line them up to the image. Bad move. They all cut about 1 cm below where it showed via the camera. Ok full do over then.
There is a pause - at any time you can press the button again and it’ll pause indefinitely. The fans continue, but the laser stops, and all you need to do to re-start it is press the button again again…
You shouldn’t have moved the design - it would have cut perfectly despite what you see on the screen.
Also, as stated above, the button will pause a job. It’s not really intended for you to leave the machine for an extended period, but it will work.
Sorry about the dog, hope they are ok.
After a cut, the machine goes back to start at zero thickness so the image will be off. If you hit Set Focus where it was set before you should see everything jump to very close to where it was exactly where you hit set focus will actually cause more movement off of the original. I find I have to use the Set Focuscommand at least twice to get things where they were.
Came out fine. Made them out of 1/4 acrylic - notched out on the bottom to allow for an acrylic stand. There is also a small hole at the top in case someone prefers them as a christmas ornament.
How’s your puppy?
all 3 are fine!
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