Waiting for my A350 to arrive and I have multiple projects floating around in my head. I’m making a gaming table that will have 1x6x7 sides. I’d like to laser or cnc some lettering on the sides. Can any vets tell me if it’s possible to do that by using multiple files and working in smaller sections at a time?
I don’t think that’s quite what @MDPhillips was asking.
However, it is possible to do multiple CNC jobs on a single object, you’ll just have to be very precise in clamping it down in the right spot for the subsequent jobs (you can control the head to move it to the work piece to confirm your alignment).
How big of pieces are you trying to do at once?
The biggest problem is that the bed isn’t very stable once you get weight towards the outside ends. And no-one is really sure how much it will support even if perfectly centered and balanced. You’ll need to figure out how to support the workpiece/and or the beds. Possibly outriggers like you would use with a chopsaw. Some people have added linear rails for the bed to ride on.
Once you get it supported the easy part is engraving or doing the cnc. Laser is easiest because it isn’t using any additional force on the bed.
If you’re trying to do both cnc and laser on same piece, remember the work origins are different. So you can’t just input the same starting point. What I do when I want to check alignment on projects that use cnc and laser is usually laser 2nd. You can use a piece of thick cardstock or thin cardboard (file folders work great). Tape it down to the workpiece and run your artwork at just enough power to mark the cardboard but not cut through. Then you can see how much you have to adjust your work origin. You can use a crayon and do a rubbing on the cardstock to help reveal the cnc features underneath.
First - thanks all for the input! I’m making a beer pong table for my nephew. The sides will be made of 1X pine, roughly 5" wide and 7.5’ long. I’d like to either cnc (not very deep) or laser “Get Your Balls Wet” down each side. Using both sounds cool but might be above my skill level to start. I’ve got plenty of room in my work space so rigging up in feed and out feed support shouldn’t be an issue. Mainly looking for tips on making sure I get everything lined up so it looks like it was done in one pass.
My advice would be designate a couple registration marks that correspond to the gcode programs’ initial starting location. You’ll have to jog the machine to a known location for each process, which is made much easier if you have a registration hole, or pencil marks, you can register off of each time. You’ll also have to make sure it’s rotated correctly, which is easier with multiple marks.
I would likely draw a pencil line down the length of the board just outside the work area and mark ticks at certain locations. You could design a series of programs to cut / etch 1 or more letters at a time. If you know that the first 2 letters will be 5.3" wide, then make a mark 0" and 5.3". Then when starting the program you will choose the work origin. By jogging the machine to 0,0, and 0,5.3 you can verify the board is square and the machine is aligned. Repeat along the length of the board for each process step.