View Full Version : I Beam alignment!!

Nigel Morgan
06-02-2007, 2:27 AM
Hi All,

Having a multitude of problems at the moment, plenty of help from the re-seller and Epilog though. Got my I Beam back from Auckland, re-mounted it and have been doing some testing today, still getting the vibration at around 25% speed, anyway we'll leave that for now. My X asis home/datum was out a little so I tweaked it, when I cut squares in each corner my rulers are out, reset them, all OK, I have some sheets that are milled up square on my CNC Router, if I place these on the table they tell me the rulers are not square. I cut a square 600mm x 440mm on the laser and used this to reset the rulers. I think the X is not running at 90 degs to the Y, my test is I cut a second square the same size, if I flip the first panel and place the 2 together with the long edges parallel the short edges don't line up, about 2mm out of line,at an angle, I presume the machine is cutting a parallelogram. I must wait till Tuesday here as its a long weekend but any advice would be apprecieted, especially if Peck is reading.

Peck Sidara
06-02-2007, 3:40 PM

This is a toughy. Let's see if we can work it out. I don't know what was done with the I-beam but assume some parts were replaced. Here we go:


1. Remove the I-beam from the machine and take both left and right side panels off.

2. The I-beam attaches to the black sliders that run along the vertical Y-axis rails. These two black sliders should be parallel (or at the same place in the vertical plane). So with the I-beam out, move both sliders to the front, they should be touching or maxing out at the same time. Confirm that they're hitting the front and the rear at the same time.

If they're not, you'll need adjust the y-axis belts so that they are. Based on memory, looking at either side (whichever side you want to adjust to make it even to the other), follow the y-axis belt all the way to the rear and you'll see that it loops around the idler pulley. This idler pulley is attached to the y-axis belt adjustment arm. You should see a lock nut that you can loosen to lessen the tension of the belt. Loosen up the belt a bit enough so that you can jump the belt from the cog a few belt teeth allowing the black sliders to be square again.

3. If the black sliders are parallel/straight then install the I-beam and proceed with the laser beam alignment. Use your plastic target peice and use the red-dot pointer to see where the red-dot is hitting in all four corners of the table. If the red-dot pointer is significantly off then it's likely your laser beam alignment is off.

If you think you're alignment is off, place a peice of masking tape on the target, run a small job in corner 1 (top left) and corner 4 (bottom right). Run the raster job just long enough so you brown/burn the masking tape. Once you have a burn mark on the masking tape. Leave the tape in place. Disable the axis's and turn on your red-dot pointer. See if you're red-dot pointer matches the burn marks on the tape in corner 1 & 4. If it is then you can use your red-dot pointer to align your laser beam (you're laser beam and red-dot pointer should be aligned as you've only replaced the I-beam).

If your laser beam is not hitting where the red-dot pointer is hitting then you'll need to align the laser beam w/o the use of the red-dot pointer. Use the masking tape and the target. Adjust mirror #1 for corner #1 (top left). Adjust mirror #2 for corner #2 (bottom left). Adjust mirror #3 for corner #3 & #4.

Mirror 1 is located on the left side of the machine, at the bottom of the orange periscope.

Mirror 2 is located in the same place, just above mirror #1.

Mirror 3 is on the left side of the I-beam.


5. Use some cardboard or matboard cut to the size of the engraving table. Create a new page in Corel the same size (24X18) create a vector line 24" long that is exactly 1" from the top of the page. Vector this job at low power. Remove the matboard and measure every few inches starting at 1" and make sure it's consistent across the entire length. IT SHOULD BE!

6. Do the same type of vector job for the y-axis, create a vector line 1" in from the left from the top all the way down to 18".

My procedure isn't quite complete but there's enough information about the machine and how to calibrate it for you to run with.

Gotta go, my nephew's H.S. Graduation is in a few hours. Been doing yard work all morning so haven't even showered yet.

I'll check back in tomorrow morning to see how things are going.

Rodne Gold
06-02-2007, 4:01 PM
Wow, thats what I call good service etc , above and beyond the call. That's exceptional support Peck..

Scott Shepherd
06-02-2007, 6:30 PM
I'll also add something Peck has mentioned in previous posts, but he doesn't work in Tech Support any longer, so he's very kind to offer technical advice on his personal time.

Nigel Morgan
06-02-2007, 7:20 PM
HI Peck,

Many thanks for that, am starting the procedure now.



Nigel Morgan
06-02-2007, 9:30 PM
I can't get the 2 Y axis guides to hit the stops together, 1 notch either takes it too far or not enough, I rekon there is about 1mm difference in the gap. Put everything back on, beam and pointer are set fine. cut test line along the top, seems pretty good,set the side rulers with a square milled on my router, when I cut 4 test pieces in each corner it shows me the rulers/guides left and right are out about 1mm, but they are not. Anyway X axis comes crunching back to its home position, hard to describe, but the whole rail shakes, this all could be a problem with the board maybe.

Scott Shepherd
06-03-2007, 12:32 AM
Doh, once again, should stop posting when it's so late. Disregard!

Peck Sidara
06-03-2007, 9:03 AM
Thx. for the kind words guys.:)

Nigel, If you're still off by 1mm, an option would be to loosen up that left or right side belt again, remove one of the two y-axis belt clamps, move the sliders to where both are hitting the front or the rear at the same time and then clamp the belt. Adjust the tension and you should be accurate to less than 1mm.

Note: If you're removing the rear clamp, move the sliders to the front and then reclamp. If you're removing hte front clamp, move the sliders to the rear and then reclamp.

The noise/vibration you're hearing is most likely coming from a improperly tensioned belt. Try playing with the x-axis belt tension to remove the noise. After adjusting the x-axis belt tension to remove as much of the noise as possible. Play with the y-axis belt tension a bit. It's possible the y-axis belts may be contributing to the noise.

If you're still getting the noise, check to make sure the I-beam cover isn't rubbing on anything. Additionally you may want to let it run for a little bit of time as it could very well be that the I-beam just needs to settle into place and/or the components that were replaced needs to wear into itself.

Good luck with it, I'm sure you'll get it all fine tuned out shortly.

Nigel Morgan
06-03-2007, 6:23 PM
I just took it all off again and looked into adjusting the actual belt, but this is the same as the X belt and locks into tabs on the Y brackets, so no chance of adjustment there, could this possibly be an encoder problem causing it to cut out of square, backlash or something.

Peck Sidara
06-03-2007, 10:33 PM

It's not an encoder issue or a board/firmware issue. It's all mechanical. Get the I-beam as straight as possible. Get the x-axis to cut perfectly straight and if necessary, adjust the top ruler bar. From there you can use your square plate to adjust the y-axis (left) ruler. Tech support's open tomorrow morning so you may want to touch base with them for more information.