How to clean the Redsail Laser Cutter

I used the laser cutter on July 23rd and while everything worked fine I found that I needed to double cut some 6mm plywood to actually get my shapes cut (2 passes at 60% and a speed of 20). And while every material is different and as the lazing tube ages it becomes less powerful there did seem to be a fair amount of ‘dust’ inside the chamber. Now this could be from dirty filters. There may also be dust on the mirrors or other focusing elements all of which I’m not willing to fiddle around with without instruction as this is an expensive, and from the amount of wood in the scrap bin, a well used tool.

Any chance someone from the Laser Committee can put on a basic maintenance session for the laser cutter?

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this would be a perfect subject for a how to video

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I think it’s been a little while since it’s been calibrated, it wouldn’t surprise me that it needs attention with all the temperature fluctuations. Cleaning the mirrors also generally requires a calibration pass, as it often disturbs the mirrors.

Please don’t attempt to calibrate the cutter on your own without training - there are some gotchas that can damage the equipment! I’ll try and get in and give it a tune this weekend or early in the week.

Any chance someone from the Laser Committee can put on a basic maintenance session for the laser cutter?

With the current restrictions on getting people close together, I’m not sure how feasible that will be for a while.

The first and foremost thing that any laser cutter user can do to improve working and ventilation is to clean the mesh filter at the bottom back of the cutter. There’s usually a lot of particle build up on that, which prevents proper working of the ventilation (and usually leads to smoke build up).

Cleaning the filter before and after - and as necessary while - using the laser the cutter is a good practice to keep that optimized.

With our cooling system, we seem to get an extended use from the laser cutter (aside from that one time when someone used a Tesla coil next to it), so we’re not too worried about that.

However, a lot of the time issues with cutting are mainly down to adjusting the focal point, which laser cutter users need to make sure they do themselves.

If energy loss becomes significant, it might be due to mirror alignment, for which educational material was being worked on by the LCC.

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Definitely not looking to do any adjustments without instructions, thus the reason for my post.

Jon / Tylsl, thanks for the quick reply.

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I cleaned and calibrated the laser optics, and it appears to be cutting normally now. Silly me didn’t do a “before” cut to compare with, but it definitely needed the attention.

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Thanks - much appreciated during this toasty time. I’m sure it was hot in there to be digging around in laser innards.

Thanks for your time and work on the weekend Jon.

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