I just watched a YT video about a chap explaining how he aligned his laser path. I did like his method, but that is not the point of this post. If you look at his DIY machine, framed with plywood and aluminium, it could be an early prototype of a GF… his laser tube is mounted to the “Y” axis gantry!
I think I like the idea of the Glowforge better, no alignment, just use it.
This approach would save a bit of tape over the method my students used. I’ll have to keep the idea of an extra mirror in mind whenever I am forced to redo the alignment.
that is so complicated. adding another laser just seems to add another variable that you need to control. i turn the power way way down when i do mine. then i dont go through so much tape or burst into flames.
I agree, I always found it much harder to get the red laser aligned with the IR laser. It’s much easier just to align the main beam with tape.
How many lasers give you that much access to the mirrors and lenses… I have hard enough time reaching the adjustment screws/nuts.
@PlGHEADED: Most lasers you have access to the mirrors and can do alignment. Many lasers this only needs to happen once, unless you have a ton of vibration around the laser for some insane reason. Glowforge we are not supposed to ever need to, and if access is possible, it is likely hidden behind a screwed on cover plate so only those who go looking for it find the adjustment capability.
As far as the extra pain of aligning the visual with the actual beam path, that is why he marked second mirror, then first, then cut a hole through tape. With 3 points to reference, the visual laser would be pretty easy to properly align.
The down side of doing the multiple tape burnings is higher chance of getting your mirrors dirty in the process. And by doing a visual the way he did, I wouldn’t feel the need to probe every single corner of my bed to verify my alignment.
But yeah… less of a “saves time” and more of an alternative method.