There are some items you might want to etch which are too small to place by themselves in the Epilog laser. The reason the small items can’t be placed in the machine without a jig is that the machine shakes slightly when it’s doing vector and a lot when it’s doing raster work. Another problem is that it you will need to align the piece perfectly perpendicular to the laser rail so that the art work is aligned properly.
The easiest way to print on small pieces is using a jig. Wikipedia ‘s definition of a jig is: “… a jig is a type of tool used to control the location and/or motion of another tool. A jig's primary purpose is to provide repeatability, accuracy, and interchangeability in the manufacturing of products. “
So here is a quick way to make a jig. For this example I am going to make it for a luggage tag made of anodized aluminum.
Step 1: The Corel Draw X5 File
The file for making the jig is included in CorelDraw X5. You’ll notice that all the lines are hairline and therefore correspond to cuts on the Epilog laser. You could add the name of your jig on the front or back and maybe your name in raster so you can keep track of it. Obviously, this is optional.
Step 2: Test and Setting the Epilog Power Settings
Step 3: Power and Speed Settings Continued
Step 4: Assembling the Jig
In a future Instructable, I will show you how to use the jig to etch a luggage tag with a QRcode to help return your luggage in case it is misplaced.