Laser crosshair for easy home alignment

I have been using a laser crosshair to align my router bit with my work piece. This is useful for example for setting the home location to a specific spot or to perform test runs.
The crosshair is pointing exactly to where the center of the router bit contacts the work piece.

I used a <1 mW laser with 12mm diameter from apinex together with an adjustable mount.

I added a small switch and a 2x AA holder to complet the setup. Examples for those are:

Some soldering of the switch, glue for fastening the battery holder on the sled and a piece of metal

that I attached to the spot where I took off the handle of the router and I was done.
I had this also on my old sled and liked it. Now with the linkage sled, I like the fastening even better.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
As always, comments are welcome.


Very cool!

That is great. This may not be the place for it, but I’m going to wonder aloud since you said “test runs”…

It would be cool if Ground Control could quickly and easily do a “test run” of a particular design. Like remove all z axis movements and speed it up to max feed rate, so you could determine the edges of where a particular design will land and how big it will really be on the workpiece.

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My feeling is because of the possible friction issues running faster than the actual cut could yield false results or introduce errors that are not errors.

Just my 2 Cents

Thank you

Bee I’m a simple man but do we really think there would be that much friction to cause a problem? We’ve got very slippery plastic (HDPE maybe? Can’t remember the acronym) on the bottom of our sled. It would just be neat if you could follow the sled progress on GC overlaid on your real design, but instead of doing multiple passes and such it just traced major lines more quickly.

I’m thinking it would actually be pretty easy just tweaking depth per pass/IPM settings and running it “test” with no bit or the z artificially zeroed way off the workpiece.

THREAD HIJACK OVER, I’ll start a separate one about this non - laser discussion.

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Try :wink:

Thank you

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Interesting site. I might have to test this out.
I personally cut often shapes out of smaller pieces of wood. That is kind of tricky as the sled needs support at the edge areas of the board that is cut. Having the option to automatically run the outside of your gcode (no reason to go faster) would tell me if additional support is needed at the outside of the cut board or not.
I would find such a development extremely useful.

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I have run this way to test how the sled moves over the surface of a design.

Also, if you are just worried about the extents of a design, you can load up the gcode in GC then move the sled to the edges of the design to see where it falls on your work piece. I have found this useful when working with scraps to make sure the sled has enough support all the way around the design.

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If you’re concerned about the extents, draw a rough (simple) perimeter around your workpiece in whatever cad program you use, and run that perimeter. You can snug it up to old cuts and maximize your use of material.