Laser cutters are invaluable tools for cutting through materials like wood, acrylic, and paper. If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered why is my laser cutter not cutting even though the power is turned up all the way. So, what can be the problem?
This can be due to several factors, such as an aging laser tube, the power of the laser being reduced, or the cutting speed being too fast. Sometimes it can be caused by a damaged focusing lens, a poor focusing effect, an unstable voltage, or an incorrect light path.
In this blog post, I’ll explore why your laser cutter might not be cutting. I will also give you troubleshooting tips to get your engraver back up and running in no time.
Causes for Laser Not Cutting Through
To troubleshoot and get your laser cutter to work, you need to understand why it stopped. Here is a detailed discussion of the major causes of a laser cutter not cutting through.
Aging Laser Tube
The laser tube is one of the most important components of a laser engraver. Its main function is to provide the laser with enough power to cut through the material. Over time, the tube may weaken due to heat or age and no longer be able to generate the necessary power for cutting.
Also Read: When should I replace my CO2 Laser Tube?
The intensity of your laser can drop over time as well, which can make it difficult for it to cut through materials. This is especially common if the laser is used frequently and without adequate maintenance.
Too Fast Cutting Speed
If you’re trying to cut through sensitive materials or are cutting intricate designs, a too-fast cutting speed can be the culprit. Try slowing down your engraver’s speed until it can successfully cut through your materials.
Damaged Focusing Lens
The focusing lens is a crucial component of the laser cutter; it works as a funnel to concentrate the beam and increase its effectiveness. If the lens is damaged, it won’t be able to properly focus the beam, resulting in uneven cuts.
Poor Focusing Effect
If your laser cutter is focusing too little power on a specific point, then poor cutting performance will result from insufficient energy reaching that spot. A dirty lens or an incorrect focus setting can cause this.
Incorrect Light Path
The laser path should always be straight and unobstructed for optimal cutting performance. If anything is blocking the path of the beam, such as dust, dirt, or a misaligned mirror, then it won’t be able to cut through properly.
If the power supply of your laser cutter is unstable, it can cause the beam to flicker and make it difficult for the engraver to get a consistent cut. Ensure your voltage remains steady at all times to ensure optimal performance.
Optical Element Pollution
The optical element of the laser is responsible for focusing and directing the beam. It can significantly reduce its effectiveness if it’s dirty or has accumulated dust. Cleaning your optical element regularly will help keep your engraver performing optimally.
Auxiliary Gas Pressure Is Not Enough
If you’re working with thicker materials, the auxiliary gas pressure may not be sufficient to help push the beam through. The gas pressure is meant to push the material away from the beam and make it easier to cut. If you’re having difficulty cutting through thicker materials, try increasing the gas pressure.
Your Material Isn’t Perfectly Flat
Materials need to be perfectly flat for optimal laser-cutting performance. This way, when you adjust the focusing lens and power settings, the beam can easily be pushed through the material.
If the material is not completely flat, it may impede the beam’s ability to cut through it. Make sure your materials are as flat as possible before engraving them with your laser cutter.
Also Read: The Best Materials for Laser Engraving
Troubleshooting Tips When the Laser Cutter Is Not Cutting
Now that you know the causes of a laser cutter not cutting through, here are some troubleshooting tips to help you get your engraver back up and running in no time.
Reduce Cutting Speed
When cutting, do not go above the recommended speed for your material. Reduce the speeds until you get a clean, consistent cut through the material.
Increase Laser Power
Ensure your laser’s power is properly adjusted for the job at hand. If you’re having difficulty cutting through thicker materials, try increasing the power setting and see if that helps.
Clean the Focusing Lens
A dirty or foggy lens can inhibit the laser’s ability to focus properly. Cleaning the lens regularly will help keep your engraver functioning optimally.
Check for Obstructions
Before you start cutting, check if there are any obstructions in the path of the laser beam. If there are, move them out of the way before you begin engraving.
Adjust Focusing Setting
If your cuts are too shallow or too deep, it may be because the focusing setting is incorrect. Adjust this until you get a clean, even cut through the material.
Adjust Auxiliary Gas Pressure
The gas pressure should be adjusted according to the thickness of the material. If your cuts are too shallow, then increase the pressure until you get a clean cut.
Also Read: Why is my laser leaving lines?
Co2 Laser Troubleshooting Guide
We all occasionally encounter poor cut quality from our Co2 Laser machines. One day everything can be working smoothly, but the next day something has changed and you are unable to obtain a nice quality cut. This quick troubleshooting instruction may help you get your machine working properly once again:
What causes uneven cuts?
Uneven cuts can be caused by poor focusing effect, incorrect light path, unstable voltage, optical element pollution, and insufficient auxiliary gas pressure.
How do I adjust the power on my laser cutter?
The power of your laser should be set according to the material you’re working with. If the power is too low, it won’t be able to cut through the material adequately. Refer to your laser cutter’s manual for more information on adjusting the power settings.
How do I know if my laser tube is broken?
If your laser light is on, it could be due to a broken laser tube. If you notice that the laser light is dim or flickering, then it could indicate a broken tube. Contact your laser cutter’s manufacturer to get it replaced.
There are many reasons why a laser engraver may stop cutting through materials. Identifying the cause of the problem is key to getting your laser cutter back up and running as quickly as possible. By using these troubleshooting tips, you can identify and fix any issues with your engraver in no time. I hope this guide has been helpful in getting your laser engraver back on track.