The normal process is to put a piece of paper near the third mirror, close the machine, test fire the invisible beam, open the machine, examine the paper to figure out where the beam went, figure out which mirror to adjust, adjust the mirrors, put a new piece of paper, rinse & repeat 30 or 40 times. Each cycle takes two to five minutes. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easier way?
Our open-source Laser Cutter Calibration Assitant on Thingiverse chops a lot of time off of calibrating your laser cutter by making the feedback cycle – the time it takes to see the result of your actions – more immediate.
With the Laser Cutter Calibration Assistant you can leave the machine open and adjust in real time because the beam is very low power and visible to the naked eye.
Here’s how to use it: Do the slow process once. Line up the Laser Cutter Calibration Assistant so that the beam is co-axial to the laser cutter beam – the LCCA beam should follow the same path as the laser cutter beam and pass right through the hole in the paper. Once they are the same, don’t move the lasers. Adjust the mirrors until the visible dot of the LCCA goes where you want. Check that it still goes where you want even when the “head” moves to each corner of the cutting area. Remove the LCCA and close up the machine. Do another test fire old-style to be thorough. Congratulations! That saved you hours of time.