[Noisebridge-discuss] Calibrating the Lasercutter

James Sundquist sundquistjames at gmail.com
Tue Mar 18 00:02:11 UTC 2014

Calibrating the full spectrum engineering CO2 laser is about making sure
the beam is directed from reflector to reflector to the head and cutting
path.  I'd suggest first making sure it fires and that the current is
controllable and the other electrical systems are sound, then put 'receipt'
paper in the beam path and fire the laser briefly find out where it strikes
the mirrors and adjust the beam so it maintains a good path along the whole
XY range of movement from X0 Ymax to Y0 Xmax.

Getting the Z in focus is standard, and if folks have lost the old focusers
it would be nice to cut a couple spare height focus spacers for people to

Some of this is described in the full spectrum engineering manual -- but
> Mike Kan pointed out the laser focuses a t a different height from the
> recommended length in the guide. You can test for that length by making
> cuts over a range of distances if his distance marker is gone.

one more thing:

If the laser at noisebridge is jumping around during cutting, check the
belts that control the X Y motion -- there could be some wear on them or
just debris in there that makes it skip as it rotates around the drive
pulley.  Visually inspect the belt and move it along the axis of movement
in X and Y. Either turn the machine off and move the head manually or jog
the head slowly and look for uneven movement.

If there is any kind of optical encoder feedback that gets dirty, this kind
of thing causes the same kind of action.  I think this laser is open loop
though and there are no optical strips to clean, the motors are told to
move to a location and often do -- so there is likely debris from previous
cutting along the drive belt system.

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