How accurate is the GF

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#1

If I were to cut gears for a clock out of 1/2’’ Baltic Birch Plywood, and had to flip the work piece over to cut the other side, Just how accurate can we expect this to be?
http://www.woodworkerssource.com/shop/product/12balpack3.html

The specs say "Positioning precision to 0.001” but I am wondering about when the work piece is flipped over.


#2

I think this is something we’d all like to know. The cameras and automagical registration system have the potential to be incredible productivity boosters.

Based on my own limited experience with CNC machines–one nice vinyl cutter which cost a heck of a lot less than a Glowforge–I do think that the positioning hardware should be capable of placing the cutting head accurately and precisely enough. Question is, is the camera and software capable of driving it?

It will be pretty mindblowing when we see a shape half-cut through a scrap of wood, then the wood is flipped over and the machine correctly sets up the next job based on recognizing the outline of the material. I assume that is the sort of workflow they are going for.


#3

That’s what I am thinking. I hope the software is up to task.


#4

If you’re cutting on a square piece of stock, correct registration after flipping it over will depend on which direction you flip it over! This will be a problem with any piece that has rotational symmetry.


#5

(Of wood) it may be too much to ask but maybe the grain could be a tell tell to what way you flipped it(assuming it’s like hardwood or that the play travels the same way)


#6

Agreed, surface marking could be used. I suspect the user manual will give us instructions like, “always flip the material over left to right,” or “always flip the material over front to back.”


#7

I think in one description I heard that they would tell you how to flip it so it could correctly register the right way.


#8

Let me assume that the cameras are used to register with the edges of the material. In theory, if the edges of the material are cut true vertical 90 degrees than we can assume that the bottom surface of the material is the same dimensions as the top surface of the material and then we will have accuracy as fine as a human hair when flipping the material over for the second pass. that would be nice because you wouldn’t see any step when looking at the cut edges.
At the same time, I see that the top camera in the lid is fixed in the center (which I assume is the only camera, wide angle, that can see the entire material in view but not the side edges of the material)

So, if I purchase material from Home Depot or any place other than Glowforge, and I cut on my table saw to fit on the laser bed, I would have to make sure that my saw blade is 90 degrees vertical and not tilted in any way. otherwise, I think I would expect the laser cuts on the flip side to be off by as much as my vertical edges are not true.

That does not mean that Glowforge cannot do it. Maybe there is a way that the engineers have the lower camera attached to the laser head travel the outside edges of the material prior to cutting so it knows if it will need to compensate when flipped. At any rate, I will be thrilled to see a demo of this feature in action!


#9

Yeah, Dan says in this video (@2:20) how the high res camera grabs the corners.

But still wondering how accurate it is.
I am willing to send over a test gear to cut, But I am sure they have tons of test files.


#10

They do not have this function setup/working yet, I asked for a demo video of this a few weeks ago.