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Centering Devices
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Centering Devices

by TechTatts on Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:57 pm

Here's the thing. There are, no doubt, a bunch of ways to quickly and accurately ensure that the image you just created in Corel gets etched on the right spot of the iPhone that your customer just bought and brought to you to be tattooed. I've had success with using my scanner to acquire an image of the iPhone and then etched and cut a "proof" of the final product in acrylic and then used the rest of the acrylic sheet to hold the actual phone. But what I would like to do is have four pads or bars or something, attached to two linear gizmos, one on the x-axis and one on the y, that would center any parallelogram at 16 inches on the x and 9 inches on the y: the center point of my cutting table. Has anyone built or come across a thing like that? Or, has anyone come up with another clever way to center oddly shaped electronics?

Jen
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by adafruit on Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:04 pm

i use the Pointer feature and the digital readout to place the device

but you could cut a nice outline out of 1/2" acrylic so that the device is always in the same spot.
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Re:

by 6spdVTEC on Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:33 pm

adafruit wrote:i use the Pointer feature and the digital readout to place the device

but you could cut a nice outline out of 1/2" acrylic so that the device is always in the same spot.


Can you please tell me more about this feature? Is it a feature of the engraving machine or the computer software?

I'm going to buy an ArtCut 3040U and one thing I don't understand at all is how people go about aligning the laser so it etches what it's supposed to.
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Re: Centering Devices

by adafruit on Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:08 am

either your device has it or it doesnt. epilogs do, cheaper lasers tend to leave it out
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Re: Centering Devices

by mwr on Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:40 pm

A self-centering vise would help with centering in one direction, and the second direction might not be as critical in your application. But if you're primarily working with a limited number of shapes, then making pockets or cutouts in a piece of acrylic fixed to the table should be the most reliable. And you might not necessarily have to center everything. You could make an iPhone pocket toward one corner of your acrylic piece and know that any time you'll be engraving an iPhone, that the phone center will be at a known X and Y position on the table. Then you can position pockets for other items elsewhere on the same acrylic piece.
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Re: Centering Devices

by 6spdVTEC on Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:50 pm

adafruit wrote:either your device has it or it doesnt. epilogs do, cheaper lasers tend to leave it out

Thanks, I'll ask the manufacturer if the machine has this feature.

mwr wrote:A self-centering vise would help with centering in one direction, and the second direction might not be as critical in your application. But if you're primarily working with a limited number of shapes, then making pockets or cutouts in a piece of acrylic fixed to the table should be the most reliable. And you might not necessarily have to center everything. You could make an iPhone pocket toward one corner of your acrylic piece and know that any time you'll be engraving an iPhone, that the phone center will be at a known X and Y position on the table. Then you can position pockets for other items elsewhere on the same acrylic piece.

Using something to hold the device I'm engraving is a great idea. So if I want to engrave a 13" MacBook Pro, I would just cut out a shape with the laptop's dimensions in the acrylic?
How do I tell the machine where the starting point is (for example, top left corner)?
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Re: Centering Devices

by mwr on Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:12 pm

Can't give you details on that, since I don't have an engraver myself (just an engineer that's been around enough machinists and shops to have vague ideas about what tools are available). I'd assume there's a fixed (X,Y) origin in the machine, though, and if you can fix your holding plate consistently to the table, a bit of trial and error on an identically-sized scrap piece would let you tune in the engraving programs.
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Re: Centering Devices

by 250 Coupe on Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:42 am

I've had my Epilog Legend 24 70 watt machine for eight years now and at first I had all kinds of wild and crazy ideas for getting things centered. I once cut 45 holes in a sheet of hardboard to line up wooden nickles. Then the next lot of nickles where a different size. Sigh...

These days, I just measure the outside dimensions of the object, draw a box, circle or some lines to act as cross hairs. The box is vectored at low power onto some cardstock. The artwork is placed where I need it inside the box and the box is either deleted or set not to engrave, layers work great for this.

Now all I need to do is get the object stable and right way 'round in the box on the cardstock. If it's a spendy one off, I cover it in blue masking tape and hit it with low power to test before commiting.

Michael
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