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Request; video tutorial focussing laser

Hi, As a total noob I am cautious using the laser. The manual is not very specific on the laser focussing part. Could anyone do a short video tutorial on the focussing and aligning of the laser please?
Would mean a great deal to me in operating emblaser with confidence.
I am yet afraid to burn my fingers while focussing the laser lens.. Or does one require a tool?

Comments

  • Hi Salvador,

    We are working on a set of videos but these are a little way off at the moment.

    In focus mode, the laser is turned on at a very low power. It is quite safe to have your hands around the lens while you are focusing.

    An alternative technique to focus the laser is to adjust the lens rotation while the laser is off. This would take a little longer to get the correct focus, but would mean you are not placing your hands near the laser.

    Please ensure you are always wearing your protective eyewear when working with the Emblaser.
  • Could Darkly include a card with a focussed laser burn on it, I know it took me a while to focus as I did not know what the correct size is.
  • Joseph,

    Very interesting idea.

    Perhaps the card could include correct and incorrect focus marks as well as some lines showing correct focusing.

    We will look into this.
  • Thank you for your reply.
    I didn't want to charge into things, but now reassured I will have a go at it. The smallest dot possible.is the goal then.

    Regarding the video's, I would say Emblaser community job ;)
  • Salvador,
    Depending on the material you're working with, the focus will look different. I am using hardwood at the moment, which allows me to see the burn lines very clearly. As a rule of thumb for myself, I engage the laser focus ring threads like one would with a screw and then turn it approximately 180 degrees after engagement. I mark the focus ring in the center, facing you, and engage it further by very slight increments. I use line text in Cut2D on hardwood to determine the level of focus. The thinner the text lines become, the more I know the laser is becoming focused. Keep running the same lines (even a straight line) each time you further engage the focus ring. I usually engage it by very slight increments of only a few degrees each time I run the sample. If the lines start getting thicker, you've gone too far and must unscrew the focus ring. The purpose of the sharpie mark is to denote the range of focus so you have a starting point. There is a "sweet spot" and it is challenging to find it. I recommend using plumber's tape to hold the focus ring better in place to prevent wobbling and movement during laser use. The tape will not prevent you from screwing or unscrewing the focus ring either. Or, as Domenic has mentioned, use some hot glue between the focus ring and body of the laser after you've found your focus. It's important to note that the baseplate has some bow to it as well and, depending on where your workpiece is sitting, it may sit higher or lower. I've noticed that this will drastically change your burn settings in different areas, even if you are using the focus tool beforehand. Others have mentioned placing a small piece of plywood underneath the baseplate, which is what I have done as well.

    -Katy
    FOCUS.jpg 5.2M
  • Thank you!
  • Kathryn,

    Thank you for this very clear explanation of the focusing process. Could you tell us how long it takes and how often you repeat it, please?

    Thanks.
  • Just as a side note to focusing, we are about to release a tool which will help make the focusing process a little easier.

    At the moment it is a little awkward to adjust the focus ring because it s on the underside of the heatsink. Our new tool will make this parts a lot easier.

    Stay tuned for the announcement. It will ship with new kits and also be available as a 3d printable file and from our store.
  • Hi Henryk,

    I only perform the focusing process ONCE. Keep in mind that if you happen to move the focus ring (which is not easy to do if you are using teflon tape), then you will most likely have to perform it again. The process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on what results you are looking for and if you are satisfied with the level of focusing and result. For what I do, the beam needs to be as focused as possible. When you find the "sweet spot", mark the center of the ring with a sharpie as I said, so if you do happen to bump it out of place, you'll be very close to where you started and make it that much easier to find focus again.

    -Katy
  • Okay, I'm clueless. I haven't had much time to figure out how to use my Emblaser at all. I've never used a laser cutter at all and I'm having absolutely no luck figuring out what steps I need to do after installing this thing on my computer.
  • I followed the instructions in the manual but it can be a little tricky to be certain that the laser point is as small as possible. My eyes aren't that good and if you wear glasses/contacts it can be quite glary to stare at the laser beam.

    What I did ultimately was to create the attached 1500mm/min test file (using what was previously posted by @DarklyLabs, but really any reasonably complex shape will do), and try to cut on a sheet of A4 paper (with another sheet underneath as sacrificial, as well as my baseboard). Note that 1500mm/min (25mm/sec) should be sufficient to cut through standard 80gsm paper.

    Using the focus point I arrived at visually, I cut the test pattern, which didn't cut all the way through everywhere.

    I then turned the laser 1/4 turn in one direction, and cut it again (in a different place on the piece of paper) to compare the result.

    This second cut was worse than the first cut, so I turned the laser 1/2 a turn in the opposite direction (so now 1/4 turn from the starting point in the other direction) and it was better.

    You can from there repeat the whole process, narrowing your changes down to 1/8th of a turn to try to get it spot on.
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