Laser Troubleshooting

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WARNING: Do not look into laser with remaining eye. Pages to do with the Laser Cutter:

Stuff we have learned and possible fixes we have learned from common problems.

Even with immediate mode checked the laser tries to cut starting at the origin

When immediate mode is checked the laser head goes to the origin (same place as if you hit reset on the laser) and starts cutting there. Unchecking immediate acts normally where it cuts wherever you put your drawing on the virtual table in EasyCut. The problem is that the machine is set to "Auto Datum" before cutting. In EasyCut Datum means moving the laser head to origin. Auto Datum means moving it to the origin before cutting.

The fix is to upload the correct configuration to the laser cutter. Follow the same directions in the issue below to restore the laser configuration. If the config files are missing on dropbox or you can not access them and are in a pinch you can fix the config manually. First click the download button like you normally would to download a part. Next instead of clicking "Download current" click the "Download cfg" button. Once this is done try to cut in immediate mode like you normally would. If this does not work click the File dropdown menu and select "Machine-options". Select "Worktable" on the left side and uncheck the "Auto Datum" checkbox. Select "Feeding" on the left side and then uncheck the "Auto Datum". Lastly click the Save button at the bottom and exit the machine-options window. Follow the "Download"->"Download Cfg" steps again and your problem should be fixed.

If you have any questions about this contact one of the Technicians on Slack

Weird noises, motors are going in the wrong direction, Z Datum alignment isn't working, power seems incorrect. Unexpected behavior with EasyCut.

This is likely a configuration issue. Try these steps before doing anything hardware related: It was probably an innocent download of a bad change to the config file. The cure is to restore the config files. CFG.MOL, CFG.TXT, Laser.ini and syscfg.ini

  1. Take these files and restore them to C:\Easycut5.3\ and C:\Lasercut5.3\ on the laser cutting PC
  2. Connect EasyCut to the laser as you would normally, click 'DownLoad', then click 'Download CFG'. Click 'Yes' when prompted
  3. If the config download is successful, the laser should beep once
  4. Test out whatever wasn't working before, and if still not working, perform other troubleshooting steps or notify one of the Technicians

It is not cutting // etching

  1. Is the water cooling & blower power turned on? Check the water reservoir, is water flowing out of the 'exit' hose?
    • Turn on the water cooling & blower power or plug them in.
  2. Was (Is) someone leaning on the lid to the laser?
    • Don't. There is a magnet in the lid and a sensor on the laser, leaning on the lid can cause the two to separate and the laser to turn off mid-cut.
  3. Have you adjusted the power on the laser itself?
    • Don't. Turn it back up to 100%, make all adjustments to laser power on the computer.
  4. Did you remember to click "Compute" after making changes to laser power // speed, and did you remember to 'download' the file to the laser after making those changes?
    • Do so.
  5. Has it been a while since you zero'ed the 'Z' Axis?
    • I know this sounds odd, but after 15 minutes of troubleshooting I tried this and it started cutting again...
  6. How warm is the coolant water?
    • The laser has a flow sensor. If water is not flowing this could be an issue. The chiller has a temperature gauge on the front panel.
  7. Soft Stop error when you try to start cutting.
    • This means you have cuts outside of the allowable cutting error.
    • Move all of your lines into the grid in EasyCut / LaserCut.
    • Check your cut starting position on EasyCut. Upper right, lower right, upper left, or lower left. Position the laser cutting head so the cut is on the bed to get rid of this error.

It is not cutting through or etching very well

  1. Re-zero the Z-Axis. Check the cut quality.
  2. Check the mirror and lens for soot and dirt. Even a little soot can reduce the power significantly - Notify Technicians on Slack. They will clean and align the mirrors and lens.
  3. NOTE: The laser mirror alignment must be checked / corrected after cleaning.

It is not cutting // etching what I just told it to cut // etch where I told it to cut // etch

  1. Did you download your latest changes to the laser?
  2. If starting a job from the laser, do you have the correct job selected?
    • Note it is possible for different jobs to have the same name (sometimes, we have not figured out why sometimes it asks you to replace and sometimes it just adds another entry)

Error Downloading the file to the Laser

  • Did you open LaserCut before turning the laser cutter on?
    • The laser cutter has to be turned on first - before you open the LaserCut software. Save your work in LaserCut, exit the program, turn the laser cutter off, turn it back on, re-open LaserCut.