Fastest way to Calibrate a Laser-Cutter

New Laser Cutter.


In what passes for my new laser-cutting studio, which has the grooviest 1970s carpet in the world.


Back of laser-cutter… big tube, held in place with combination of rubber bands* and gravity.


The laser-beam bounces around 3 different mirrors before hitting the lens… and these mirrors are on moving gantries, so have to be calibrated so the beam hits the middle of each mirror, dead-centre… no matter where on the table the laser-cutting head is.

I’ve watched people doing this – if you’re trialing-and-erroring it, it takes hours… days…

Unless you make one of these:



Which is a low-powered red-dot laser, centered in a couple of bits of wood, and put inside a tube the same diameter as the laser tube. It’s basically a simulated laser-tube.

You then remove the real tube, and put this one in its place. This way you can adjust the mirrors, and see where the beam goes in real-time… rather than guessing which mirror to shift based on an invisible milli-second burst of light so powerful it sets fire to everything it touches.

So you get the mirrors set up with the low-powered DIY simulation tube… swap in the high-powered tube… fine-tune… done.

Took less than 5 minutes.

* RUBBER BANDS ??!??!!

You’re holding the laser-tube in place with RUBBER FUCKING BANDS????

This laser-cutter is in much better nick than the last one I bought, but rubber-bands represents a new level of daring in the corner-cutting stakes. There are pros and cons:


Pros: If I need to replace them, I have more in the kitchen.

In a funny sort of way, they’re not a bad idea.

Quite an easy machine to set up all in all. Had to learn to read Chinese obviously, but that’s not a biggie. It’s a bit like cobol

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