Contrary to what I thought, the OMTech 60 W laser’s honeycomb platform gridwork isn’t spot-welded. Instead, it’s many corrugated strips aligned with rods inserted parallel to the Y axis through the strips:
The silvery rod over on the right passes through holes punched in the grid strips. The black thing in the middle is one of the knife edge bars below the platform; it supports the honeycomb grid and can also hold chunky objects.
Because the grid isn’t a rigid structure in the XY plane, you simply jam a solid spike into one of the openings and have the grid realign itself just enough to grip it firmly:
The shape is inspired by the spikes in AC Wright’s kit of laser workholding widgets, greatly simplified and resized to fit this honeycomb. In particular, there’s no need for a compression slit in the stem, because the grid resizes itself around the solid stem.
Eventually, the corners wear off the stem and it won’t fit securely in the grid, whereupon you throw it out. They’re easy enough to cut from whatever MDF scraps you have lying around, so you won’t form a deep emotional bond.
Likewise, after only a few uses, the sharp point vanishes; a blunt tip would make more sense.
The bottom of the arms locate the top point a fixed distance over the honeycomb, which seems to be sufficiently flat and well-aligned for most (well, my current) purposes. The slanted top of the arms feels more comfortable to push than a hard right angle, at least to my fingers.
These work well when the fumes from cutting MDF / plastic / whatever would blowtorch a cardboard sheet holding metal spikes:
The cardboard sheets surrounding the victim maintain airflow from the front opening over the platform surface to where it’s needed, rather than letting it vanish through the honeycomb.
Update: Obligatory Sadler video.
The SVG image as a GitHub Gist: