I am currently using the trial software but find it much easier to use than RDworks so will likely buy it after. I bought my laser to mainly engrave text in Anodized aluminum CNC machined parts. I have other uses as well, but this is what I need help with at the moment. I have done this before with another laser, but never had to be accurate with my placement as I do on these parts. I have a scenario below and curious the best way to tackle it. My laser is a 100w Voiern 600x900 machine without auto focus.
I will be using this in a production setting so will load multiples of the same part (one at a time is fine) one after the other as I etch them. I need to etch a scale/ruler marking on two thin beams on a dovetail as a location marker for a film camera. When the camera is installed they use the marker to place it in the same spot each time. My issue is what is the best way to align my part with the motion axis of the machine and be repeatable between parts. I am willing to make or 3D print a jig if needed, but I think I have a possible idea.
I save my solidworks file as a DXF in top view and load it into Lightburn. I set the overall outline on a separate layer from my scale outline. I tape a piece of plywood or plexiglass to my honeycomb and etch the outer edge of my part in the plywood. Now I have a template I can use to set my part on to align it to the machines axis. I then refocus and burn just the scale layer. I remove part and place new one on same outline and continue to burn the scale one after the other? Is this a viable way without having a camera on my laser? These parts a quite expensive so I cant afford any mistakes so open to other ideas. 3D printing a fixture if needed is fine as well, but I dont have any reference to my machine motion axis so still think I would need to burn in an outline. Also can test etch in scrap anodized parts until I get the speed and intensity correct.
Also I have absolutely no familiarity with Lightburn so open to any video tutorials to learn from. I am in the Glendale CA area if anyone is local and willing to help. Will compensate however desired.