Camera keeps losing alignment

I saw some older posts on this that are now closed. When I first align the camera it is off and I need to shift the X and Y a millimeter or two and save the changes, and then everything looks great. After I do some other work, which may include using the rotary and switch back, my camera loses its alignment. I doubled checked, and don’t think the camera or housing are moving.

I’m looking for suggestions on what else might cause this?

Also, is there a quick way to perform a calibration without running the entire calibration test? I have been placing a 1/2" circle down and lasering a ring around it, and making adjustments. Ideally, I’d like to identify the root cause, so I don’t have to recalibrate at all.

Thanks!

Is your camera mounted on the lid and do you close and open the lid repeatedly? If yes to both, you may be getting inconsistent landings for the cover. I removed the lift struts and replaced them with rigid braces, gaining a much needed 5 cm or so, but also a strictly located camera.

It might not be necessary for you to do that, if you can build a brace locator on the lid and on the frame, on both sides to avoid warping of the cover. When opening the lid, the struts will carry the weight while the braces provide a consistent and certain location for your camera.

I might have gone that route if I had thought of it, but I really needed the extra lift.

Thanks for the suggestion. It’s a new machine, and the struts have good pressure and there doesn’t seem to be any play (it’s fully open). Should I be checking for movement somewhere else?

If you are using the camera mount like the one in the store, the camera moves around. Someone suggested a small drop of hot glue between the side of the lens and the mount after focusing.

Thanks Paul. I read that as well. I have it glued in and I glued the adjustable angle once I had it set. I am using 3M VHB, so the camera is quite rigid. I don’t think it is the camera itself that is moving.

The most common thing is the lid not opening to the same spot - If you want sub-mm precision for the camera, the lid has to open to the same place with sub-mm accuracy too, so using a small bit of steel cord on eyelets between the lid and the body, or a “slide” to guarantee that the lid hits the same spot every time might be necessary.

Thanks for the tip, I will look into that!

Any suggestions on a way to calibrate without having to engrave registration marks every time?

No - you have to do that. If the laser doesn’t place them, there’s no guarantee that the positions correspond to the laser position.

Mounting a camera on the lid is pretty good, but it is not reliably within mm upon opening and closing it. It will certainly work well for things like material usage / placement, but I would not rely on a lid mounted camera for indexing a job to engrave a maker’s Mark on a one-of-a-kind wooden sculpture. :grin:

If you have alternatives to consider for mounting locations, you could try those. But also think about how alignment could be affected. For example, a ceiling mounted camera is at risk of the machine moving.

I know a guy who made a crazy mount for his lightburn camera:

The ultimate camera install… almost complete

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That design he has is pretty slick, but with all the moving parts, it’s hard to believe it’s any more accurate that mounting it to the lid. I’m conscious now about pulling on the lid to make sure it’s all the way up and that seems to have helped. I have a couple ideas, including the one from Oz, to check out.

It’s 100% consistent. 100%. Trust me. I built it.

My Lightburn camera seems to need recalibrated with each time I restart my computer. My camera is mounted securely to my lid, but the misalignment occurs even if I never close the lid and perform a power cycle.

It is off by a few mm after a computer restart. Maybe my calibrations aren’t saving? What should I do to correct this?

If you haven’t done so, try putting a couple drops of hot glue on the back of the PC board before you place the camera into the case. Also, be sure you’re using a strong tape, like 3M VHB, all across the bottom of the case. Make sure the knobs are tight. Lastly, once I had it lined up, I put a couple tiny drop of crazy glue between the knob and the case.

I can’t answer whether the settings are being saved or not, but if you use X Shift or Y Shift, be sure to click Save Settings. When you reopen LightBurn, those values should still show in there.

For my situation, the issue seems to be with the lid not opening back in the same spot each time. Sometimes I’m off a couple mm, usually in the Y-axis. (Oz gave some suggestions above on how to resolve that.)

Stick the camera to something solid, like a counter top or a wall, and point it at something that doesn’t ever move, like a light switch or an outlet. You’ll find the numbers do not drift, ever, and the calibrations are saving. This is about the only way I’m able to convince people of this, because the amount of movement it takes to shift the alignment a mm or two is so small it’s basically imperceptible, so no one believes me. :slight_smile:

Someone came up with what sounds like an excellent suggestion. They took a 1x2 and cut it to length to fit between the lid and the chassis.