My previous laser had a rock solid X/Y home position. I laid out the design that way, load the material into the machine against the home corner and it always worked. When I used jigs they always positioned right. Some of the items I etch are critical. Lining them up under a distorted camera view doesn’t work. Recutting a new jig every time I load a job file sounds nice but If I’m doing 25 items that are placed exactly the same and have to cut new for each one it becomes ridiculous.
Does anyone have a foolproof way to line up a jig right every time?
Yeah what @rvogt said, but I’ll add that you can use a corner jig and a compound jig like he describes to great effect.
You’d design and cut your jig to position however many items you can do at once, then you seat that into a corner that you cut out of throwaway material like cardboard.
So if you wanted to come back and do more of those items the next day, you simply cut a quick corner for registration, then slide the jig you cut the day before into place, and you’ll know exactly where it is, to within a kerf.
If that’s not accurate enough, you can kerf correct your corner jig and get within about 0.002" without much effort. If accuracy of that caliber is required definitely look into crumb tray boots, to keep the tray from wiggling.
For an example of a corner jig in action (minus the compound jig that would slot into it):
Use the tray boots @evansd2 linked to - they’ll lock up stray movement of your crumbtray. Then you can key off any stationary point on the crumbtray all day. I like to use the right side of the tray and a consistent honeycomb pin closest to the door.
Here’s a couple of the jigs I use. I don’t often get multiples on custom knives from the bladesmiths but they tend to be one of a couple designs each time and usually fit snugly in the jig. The cabochons have to fit very well, if not any details near the edge will jump out and scream at the customer! If they’re the same design I can do that with the jigs. The problem is each time you load the next project it has to be realigned. Sometimes I get orders for5-10-15 different ones. If there was a good home position it would be a whole lot easier, faster. I have probably 100 jigs I made for stuff I etch. Now I’m reinventing the wheel! Maybe I’m spoiled by the Epilog we had at work. The settings and functions were slick.
I made crumbtray rulers from veneer and stuck that to the left rail (and the right but never used the right for alignment). I’d just align my material to the zero point on the ruler and could use it over and over.
I have a grid I designed for my glowforge. I map out the items on it and put the coordinates on it for my engravings. So far I have been able to nail hundreds of coasters and anodized plates and a crazy amount of random stuff that I couldn’t believe I managed to get into the glowforge…just saying. There are options. I have a posted a few of mine and am backlogged on write ups of ones I use now.
@MyDogsThinkImCrazy perhaps I have missed something that you can explain. In Reinsertable Grid File Post I understand the concept and what you have done. What I don’t understand is how you compensated for the bed height issue. If the grid is sitting on the bottom of the bed, tray removed, it looks likes the piece being engraved (the black rectangle) would not be high enough to be focussed on. It looks more than 1/2 inch below the laser head. Perhaps it is just how the pictures are. Did I miss something?