Does anyone have any tips or tools for placing material straight/square in the Glowforge. For example, I have a piece that is 7 inches high, 11 inches long that I want to engrave on. I know how to position my design on the wood, but what is a good way to be sure the material itself is straight?
The basic idea is to use a jig.
Step 1: cut some tray boots to keep your tray from wiggling.
Step 2: cut a reference jig to align your material to. I prefer corner or side jigs, like these two examples:
That’s exactly what I made these for!
You might find this helpful: Right-angle positioning jig
I just use a piece of scrap that I know has parallel sides. I place it against the front door and put my piece against it.
Ditto. My tray is perfectly square to the motion of the head, it only seats correctly in that position. I’ve posted a pic here before, I can print (score) a part pinned to the tray, power down and remove the tray and replace it, and after printing again you can’t even tell it went over it twice.
If I need to print on a piece away from the lip of the tray, I use one or two steel rules as a spacer - usually against the left edge.
I put a piece of tape down on the grid and then cut it right at the edge of the active area with the GF, using low power and slow speed. This gives both a square edge and a zero reference within the maximum working area. I then taped down a piece of draftboard with the left edge right against the edge of the tray and did the same, then cut the resulting corner section out to make what looks like a carpenter’s square out of draftboard, but custom fit to the tray. I can either visually align the stock with the tape edge or if I want more precision, I install the draftboard corner section and use that to align the workpiece.
I use ceramic tiles where I am not using the entire ~10.8" height as they are not only parallel but also laser proof.
I guess I’m lucky to have a machine that I can eyeball a cut to literally the thickness of a hair from the edge of something and that is where it cuts.
I guess I could do that now for the most part, but this was not always so. I have also made cuts more recently where the line was half a kerf outside the material where only the bumps in the material were scorched, but not very often.
Me three! I use a straight piece of scrap that rests again the front door.
Me four. If that’s a thing…
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