3 Tips to Keep Your Laser Engraver in Great Condition

Technology has come a long way since laser engraving has been a thing. One of the biggest changes has been a move from industrial warehouse to home office. We’re in the middle of a maker revolution where processes that were once the exclusive realm of manufacturers are more and more finding their way into smaller workshops and home garages all over the world.

Of course, the technology has been in private hands for only a short time. It takes some special maintenance and know-how to keep one running smooth. After all, a laser engraving machine is much more sophisticated than the average toaster.
Here are a couple of things to watch for when working with laser etchers.

Supervise Cuts and Avoid Certain Materials

A lot of folks will see the laser chipping away at their project and think it would be a perfectly good time to go on break. This is a bad idea.

If you want your engraver to stay healthy, that means not letting it erupt into flame. Nothing has a zero-chance of catching fire, so it’s important to stick around and make sure that $5,000 investment doesn’t melt into the carpet. Some materials are more than just a fire hazard.

When heated, these materials throw off all sorts of toxic gasses. Some of those gasses, like chlorine (from trying to cut PVC), can corrode the delicate machinery and focusing lenses in the laser.

Clean All the Filters

Only the smallest laser etchers won’t have to worry too much about filters. Everyone else: add it to the list.

A lot of systems come with fume and dust hoods around the cutting element, and their job is to keep the cloud gas and burnt bits out of your lungs by filtering the exhaust. It’s important to keep those front line filters in working order, especially if you’re seeing a backup of smoke under the hood.

This means checking them every week and replacing them regularly. Some systems come with multiple filters, so it’ll be wise to check them all. Keeping those pre-filters clean can also extend the life of deeper filters, like those expensive HEPA filter.

Clean Everything Every Time

No matter how small the job, a little cleanup goes a long way. For occasional users, wiping down the optics before use will give the best beam from the laser. As a matter of fact, some performance problems with a machine can actually be blamed on dirty lenses.

More regular users will want to clean daily or about every 8 hours. Just a soft cloth and some isopropyl on the focusing lens and mirror above it between projects will ensure you get a consistent cut across everything. And don’t forget the moving parts.
Stepper motors and belts should be inspected during cleaning, just to make sure they’re not about to give up the ghost.

Post Tagged with

Comments are closed.

About Caleb Sanchez