Darkly Labs Community

E2 Origin Grid Alignment

Hi All,

I’m a new E2 user and have been playing around with a lot of different materials and cutting requirements for them.

One thing that was grinding my gears was that each time I pulled a material out, if it hadn’t cut through properly, I could never get it to align bang on to where it was sitting on the first cut, so that I could just do another pass on that section and it would line up perfectly with the original cut (even with an alignment grid that user Bob posted up and I made).

So I made an origin grid alignment tool out of mdf. Now I can push my sheets hard up to the origin before every cut, and when I’m done, if 1 line hasn’t gone all of the way through I can put the sheet back in the exact same position easily and cut that one line again. Very handy, particularly on some detailed 3d models I’ve made where the laser gets a bit dirty during the cut and some of the lines need another pass.

The grid is made out of layers of 3mm mdf (stacked 7 layers high). The bottom 4 layers are not full layers - they are individual squares glued at equal spacings so that there is gaps around the matts for air to pass under.

I also cut some circles out of the bottom layer which I stuck strong magnets in, so that it stays firmly in place but can be taken out easily when needed.

The only negative thing is that, because of the height I made it, your cuts need to always be about 10mm from the edge or the laser module hits the template… but if I need to cut close to the edge, I just line the sheet up then remove the template.

Very useful! - If anybody wan’ts the file more than happy to share.




1 Like

That is a great idea Pale&Frail - some more build photos would be useful

And yes I would love to have the file !



Thanks Bob,

I will email the files through for you.

I did the template in AutoCAD and the text in Illustrator.

Below are some snapshots of the process for you, and some more photos.

It’s a first protoype and if I do it again I’ll change the following:

  • I will stagger the joints in the MDF, because they obviously are the weakest points (Make sure when you stick the loose bottom pieces on, that you align then over the MDF joints.

  • I will put another magnet in the centre of the 500mm long side



Image below - CAD template. I laid it onto a 300x500 sheet to have the least amount of cuts (no doubled up lines there either).

Image Below - Adobe Illustrator - used for the text and to group the lines so it’s easy to program in Laserweb

Images below - first print out

Hope this is useful.



Very good idea and thank you for sharing with the Community.

I would also like a copy of the file.  This is great.

dgtaylor45(at)yahoo.com  (I used (at) instead of @ to try and trick the bots).

Hi there - Could I also please get this file? This is exactly the type of thing I’ve been wanting!



If you send me the file (domenic@darklylabs.com) I can host it on our server and post the download link here.


You can download Mad’s files for this project from here: LINK

(Please note these are still being developed and there may be updates / improvements in the future)

I just noticed something in your photos that has been in the back of mind quite a bit. My E2 has vents either side of the laser, and i always wondered why the vents werent along the front to draw smoke from front to back of laser, thinking this would be the best air clearing method. But in your photos, you have vents alond sides AND front. 

Ist there a way i can get this base plate and replace myself or could I just drill some holes along the front to get same airflow??

Hi Cameron,

This was a change we made to the base plate a little while back to increase air-flow.

We can certainly get you a base plate, but it is an involved process to replace. A fair amount of disassembly is needed.

I would not recommend drilling holes in the plate. These holes are in a very specific position to prevent laser light to exit the base of the machine through the baffles.

Ok Domenic, but i assume that if the holes were drilled in same place as new plate then there would be no laser leakage as it would be caught in the baffle in the orange channel.

Perhaps i can get some square profile electrical channel that would make a U shape along the sides and front of laser and drill holes it that along the front, thus directing airflow from front to back, or, is the increase in holes in the front only marginal and I am looking for a fix for something that is not necessary.

Correct, placing the holes in the right place will work.

The holes in the front will almost double the air-flow through the machine and hence help clear fumes out. The biggest benefit of this is to help keep the interior and lens clean.

The new aperture nozzle mitigates this need a little, because it helps keep the lens clean on its own.

While you are contemplating this, do a quick check of your exhaust fan. The original E2 machines had a fan which drew 0.25ma. We have increased this to 0.5ma in the machines with the holes along the front. If you are going to drill the holes, you should upgrade to the higher rpm exhaust fan at the same time to get the most benefit.



Is there any way to get a list of modifications to the 2 for those of us who pre-ordered? I would love to know how to improve my machines performance over time and I only see mods randomly like hearing that there was an air-flow update.



Apart from some minor changes to some components to improve robustness during shipping, the following significant changes have been made from the very first machine release:

1: Increased power of laser by 15%-20%. (Rev2)

2: Simplified lens cleaning by modifying lens housing

3: Added gasket to rear electronics compartment to eliminate fumes escaping.

4: Tweaked firmware (latest is DL-123)