Laser problems

laser problems laser problems

Hi. This eve I was cutting veneer (read thin wood!) with the following settings: 50/60/500. Ive had success with these settings before. But tonight it didnt cut through. I went for a second pass and still it didn’t cut through well. When I flipped the veneer over, the cut line quality looked very “skip-py.” I cleaned the lens, that helped some but not much. I tweaked the cut settings some, but that didnt seem to help either - the cut became to ashy.

Have you varied the bed height?

There’s lots of possibilities:

  • As Mark says, adjusting the focus (using the new focusing tool, for instance) might help.
  • When was the last time the optics were cleaned?
  • The interior of the machine, including the vent system, could probably use a good cleaning. That might not help directly with the issues you are seeing, but may help air flow better, reducing smoke getting in the way of the beam.
  • How old is the machine, compared to the expected lifetime of the laser tube? It may be getting old and losing power.

yes but i could have been more methodical about it. will try again today and let you know how goes

it sounds like others are getting good results. so it might be something im doing. thanks for the tips. ill try them and let you know how goes

Laser behaving today

Alexi said restarting acrobat might be the key

To follow up on this: In December I did a deep clean on the laser with the help of Mark and casey. Cleaned four user serviceable lenses, including two which are accessed by removing the side cover on left.

A few users, when asked, have reported improved.

More tellingly, reports from frustrated users have dropped to…well, none for now

Issues with weak, poorly focused cuts, and having to crank up the power are likely related to clouded optics.

Issues involving “hairy” edges on engraving fields or tiny stray marks have been observed as a result of mirrors and lenses not fully tightened in their sockets.

Issues involving engraving a cutting being strong on the left side and weak on the right side were resolved by checking the alignment of mirrors under left side cover.

Mirror alignment is not really user serviceable, except to make sure that after removal for cleaning they are installed with the correct orientation and seated properly.

Cleaning of optics is something that should be done with frequently - maybe after 10 hours of cutting, depending on some other factors. I think it makes sense for power users ( 10 hours or more per month, or just particularly concerned with detailed results) to understand this maintenance routine. Some might even become comfortable performing it.

Having just typed all this, I’m wondering if I should just put together some documentation somewhere.

Follow up question to discuss: how many members would go to the wiki if they were not sure what to do about a laser issue? Is a pinned discuss topic more appropriate?