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Laser unit seems to be too high

I believe my laser unit may be positioned too high somehow.

I have pushed it down as far as it wants to go. See here - http://imgur.com/SajLpao

This is the focus tool on the base plate. As I understand from the User Manual, the laser unit should be able to touch the top of the focus tool - http://imgur.com/ygsHmIc

If it helps, a rough shot of how high the laser unit sits approx - http://imgur.com/zdt7J63

How far out I have the lens unscrewed to try focus it. Not sure if this is considered normal or not - http://imgur.com/4jzTqjq


I have tried cutting through 3mm MDF and it is taking a substantial amount of passes in order to cut through. This is why I am questioning if my emblaser is setup incorrectly.

Move speed: 12mm/sec
Power: 100%
Passes: 30

With the above settings there is no sign of it getting through the MDF.

Any help would be much appreciated!

Shaun

Comments

  • Is there any proof that our diode is supposed to cut through mdf material?
  • Use the laser heat-sink to set the height, not the lens.
  • Yes, it is the heat sink I am using to set the height, as per the photos
  • Hi Shaun,

    When you push the laser unit down all the way and place the focus tool onto the base plate, there should be around 5mm gap between the top of the focus tool and bottom of the heatsink.

    It is difficult to tell from your pic but it looks a little more than that.

    Make sure the laser unit is down all the way. Try not to push down hard onto it because this could bend your rails. Rather support the laser carriage with your fingers and push on the outer edges of the fan with your thumbs.

    Somethings that is not covered in our manual is that when working on very thin materials, such as papers etc, it is better to have a spacer on your baseplate to raise them up at least 10mm.

    This will make it easier to adjust your laser carriage height as you will not be on the limit of its slide.

    If you cannot get the distance as mentions above to within 5ish mm, please let me know and we will see whether there is something else going on.

    Domenic
  • Hi Domenic,

    Apologies for the delayed reply.

    I have just checked the height of the laser unit again with the focus tool and it would be 5-6mm distance so this sounds OK.

    According to the User Manual the laser unit should slide down until it touches the focus tool - which is where my confusion came from.

    What are your thoughts on what I found when cutting the 3mm MDF. Does it all sound right? I am just trying to gauge if this should be expected or if perhaps I don't have the laser focused correctly (it seems to be unscrewed quite a bit...)

    Thank you,

    Shaun
  • Hi Shaun,

    MDF is quite a dense material and I suspect it would be difficult to cut through.

    We have not tested this material (nor recommend cutting it) because of the toxic fumes produced during the process.

    There are a couple of things you can try:

    1: Perform a more systematic focusing process. This would involve running a number of test passes on the same (safe) material where you make adjustments to the lens focus in one direction by 1/4 turn at a time until the result is worse. Then back off in the other direction. This way you can be sure you have the best possible focus achieved.
    Please let me know if this does not make sense.

    2: You can also increase the power going to the laser by adjusting the switches on the main pcb. This is explained in the user manual.
    By default the board is set to 1.8amps. You can go up to 2.2-2.3amps with this diode.
    This will give you more cutting power, but 'possibly' a shorter laser diode life.

    Please keep us informed of your progress.
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