Precision placement

Problem? Sometimes Proofgrade cuts do not cut all the way.
Usually it cuts the wood but nearly creases the protection underneath which is OK but a hair thickness less can be a problem particularly when the piece is very delicate.

Accuracy is also of interest so I am always doing a precut as 10 pew and 500 zoom to see where the design will land. . well today the Proofgrade cut did not cut and I had to recut it, but how to put the piece back exactly where it was?

Fortunately as I am experimenting with a design I put in a tile I intend to engrave one day to establish exact distance from the pass through and parallel to it and then once placed added 4 magnets tight against the piece to create exact edges distance.

Well when the design did not cut through I was able to put the maple back exactly where it had been and the second cut a bit overdid it but actually did not destroy the very thin bits.

The tile is removed during the actual cut as earlier the tile got pretty nasty from the smoke


Are all of your optic surfaces including the side ones and the mirror in the head clean?

what you think of as “exactly” and what the laser thinks of “exactly” probably don’t match up. the key is not to lift the actual piece itself when you test for cut through. i use a piece of gaffer’s tape to see if the piece will lift out. if it doesn’t, i can recut w/o moving the substrate at all.


I use a pick (thanks, @Jules) with one hand while holding the piece down with the other (in addition to the magnets). Thus far it’s worked.

Yup. Picks and or blue tape. If When I’m lazy, I just slow the zooms by 10. Not recommending this – just sharing what I do. YMMV :sunglasses:


Amazing enough you can’t tell the ones cut twice from the rest! Many places in the design are a quarter mm or so and yet it cut at full strength one time and 30% power in another. Given that I could take the work out and put it back I only needed a second hit twice.


As I have only less than ten hours of cutting time I certainly hope so but not sure how I would tell as even the top of the tube has barely started to look like a half hour after dusting in Arizona.

Just have to look at them.

And make sure there are no fingerprints on the yellow lens window. It’s located in the exact place that you want to grab the head by to put it on or take it off.


Yep. Designed to collect finger prints. :slightly_smiling_face:

Love or hate Apple (I’m a Windows/Android guy), one thing they (used to?) take seriously, sometimes to extremes are the small unnoticed touches that make design go from good to transcendent. The GF’s glass top I’d say is an example of the latter, the tube too for that matter. The head is split between outstanding design and “why didn’t they do…”.

The magnetic top cover & magnetic mounting system are examples of transcendent design. The smooth rectangular head is a clean & attractive design. But the addition of small indentations where you could (& would) put your finger tips when handling the head so you didn’t stick one on the lens mirror window would have elevated it from nice to exceptional. Only if you studied it would the finger indentations make any impact because only then would you realize they were keeping you from touching that window.

Maybe head design 2.0? :slightly_smiling_face:

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Except the head can come off with sharp acceleration or a collision.

Yes perhaps one that can focus in 0.1mm steps over a range of 0.5" and doesn’t suck in dirty air so it needs cleaning despite promising a sealed optical system that doesn’t need cleaning. What function does the window actually have apart from attenuating the beam slightly and catching finger prints?

And wheels have been known to come off cars under acceleration. But as is the case with the GF head coming off with acceleration, it isn’t normal, common or cause for questioning the design of car wheels.

But, this is one of the reasons I’m looking forward to your upcoming Palmer1.0 where we’ll be able to see (& maybe in the UK/EU at least, buy) the machine that will blow our socks off with its design & build execution. You’ve had a ton of cool ideas for improvement it’s gonna be great to see them realized.

The stepper motor seems to be capable of accelerating fast enough to lose the head under fault conditions so it seems the magnets are possibly the limiting factor on engraving speed. The head runs with very low acceleration and wastes a lot of time in the turnaround.

I wont be selling anything in the UK, EU or otherwise because I am retired and don’t need to make any more money. I will blog my progress like I did with RepRap. A lot of what you see in cheap 3D printers nowadays can be traced back to my blog.

I plan to live forever so I’m always going to need to earn more money. :slightly_smiling_face: Besides, the wife said she’ll have to kill me if I’m underfoot 24x7 which will hinder the whole live forever thing :grinning:

Blogging out the new design and build will be great. I’ve got friends in the K40 community that have done a ton of stuff to make those machines so much more capable. Seeing the build and even being able to replicate that after the fact for your laser could be a watershed in home/small commercial lasers. As you’ve noted - lots of good stuff in the RepRap world for 3D printers.