Best way to burn a large projects in sections

I’ll probably have to explain this better than my title can explain.

Let’s say I have a project that’s 24" wide, and 40" long - but my Big Red 80 watter’s workspace is only 20" x 28"…however, it’s got the cool little pass through door feature on the front and back of the chassis that would literally allow me to feed a 28" wide by pretty much as long as I (damn well) want material through it.

Are there any features in Lightburn or tips that you might have that would help me break up the project/artwork into two (or more) sections, then line up the top and bottom sections as I feed it through the pass through door?

I hope that makes sense. Basically I’ll take my 24" x 40" project, put the top 20" of the artwork in the workspace in Lightburn, feed the first 20" of material into the machine and burn…then put the bottom 20" of the artwork in the workspace in Lightburn, and feed the next 20" of material into the machine and burn…so how do I make sure I’ve lined up the top and bottom sections up perfectly so there are no gaps or misalignment in the completed 40" long project? I’m open to thoughts/suggestions.

Note: I’m a newb with Lightburn and current generations of lasers, but I’m in IT and I used an Epilog laser about 14 years ago (casually) at a job I once had. So I have a decent understanding of concepts, but my frame of reference is Coral Draw on Epilog and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a lot in 14 years.

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Is this what you are after?

Ooh, similar idea, expanding on the above (different project I have in mind).

Let’s say I have a fancy Mandala I want to burn like Mega Large. So I want to break it up over 4 pieces of wood that fit in my 20" x 28" workspace. What would my process be to make sure I get each of the quadrants to line up?

Kind of. Except I’m not just talking about splitting the project, or it doesn’t even need to be split. I’m talking about feeding a really long piece of Baltic Birch 20" at a time - is there a feature or do you have any general recommendations for how I can line up my cuts as I burn the work 20" at a time?

You will want to design and create a jig of some sort to ensure you have a consistent reference point for your materials.

No, there is not a special LightBurn tool designed for this purpose. I have used jigs and the mark the material with registration marks on the outside of my work to reset the material and continue running the job.

That’s kind of how I was thinking - a fence to keep me aligned on the zero - zero position, I would just need to feed the length carefully - I was just wondering if there was anything software wise that might help me make sure I’m aligned before I burn.

Depending on how accurate this needs to be, the addition of a camera could really help in the realignment. A well calibrated camera and LightBurn setup can get 0.5mm accuracy.

Yes! I was kind of wondering if the camera option would help with that!
Ok, (looking at price) your camera is $80, I think I can swing that next paycheck.

For a 20" x 28" table, which lens do you recommend I get that would help me do my alignment thing?

I am going to ask you to use the search feature at the top of each page so you can get faster responses to information covered previously in great detail. :slight_smile:

When I search for “Best camera lens”, I get this as the top result from our FAQ section.

I also know of another post that will help double-check your math.

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You can look at an a technique called tiling that is used with CNC routers, cutting dowel holes for realignment to fixed points in your bed. You could adapt that in some way perhaps. Similar to registration marks but maybe with a physical stop

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I like that idea a lot - I just need to figure out how to tie the dowel/stops with the software so I’m consistent.

Thank you, and yes, I will search more…I just got excited at a great sounding solution.

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