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  1. #1
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    Join Date
    Oct 2020
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    2

    Laser alignment problems

    Hi everyone I am new to the forum and to laser engravers, I was hoping someone could guide me in the right direction as to where I am going wrong. I have watched countless videos about how to align the mirrors properly but I am not able to achieve alignment in all 4 corners. I have an 80 watt 1060 chinese laser, I have checked the machine to be level, the platform level,X and Y gantry's are level, laser tube appears level and hitting center of mirror one, 45deg angle is good, mirror 2 is also 45deg and I can get near and far field to match, and mirrors are clean. Now the 2nd to third mirror is where I cant get all 4 to line up. I can get front corners near and far to line up but when i move to back far field its off, we have tried from scratch 5 times now and have tried moving the mirror mounts to intersect the beam better, adjusted all the fine tuning and nothing seems to bring them into alignment. When I adjust the near field to the left a little and then place it to far field i get a burn to the right, so i slightly adjust that to intersect but then go back to near field and it went in the opposite direction. Could there be something physically wrong with the machine setup? I had it working fine a few days ago and dont know what i could have done to not be able to achieve alignment again. I am frustrated after nearly 8 hours of trying to align the mirrors and troubleshoot and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    212

    Re: Laser alignment problems

    Find on YT channel Sarbar Multimedia
    Can not tell you which video, but I hope you will find a lot of material.
    Make no mistake between my personality and my attitude.
    My personality is who I am. My attitude depends on who you are.

  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    358

    Re: Laser alignment problems

    I always align mirrors starting at the tube out. Align each mirror with a wood plug instead of a mirror in the next station.
    So you align the tube mirror by burning center on the next mirror(wood) at all Y axis positions. I use painters tape on the wood so you can track successive trials. Never put anything on a lens

    This always works as long as the machine slides are all in plane and the slides aren’t warped. So if light bounces off a mirror at a different angle depending on where you are on the slide, that’s a problem. The goal is to keep the beam centered up to and including the nozzle. Actually it doesn’t matter where the beam hits the lens as long as it’s centered in the nozzle in all locations
    Painters tape pushed on the nozzle shows you where the beam is located.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    114

    Re: Laser alignment problems

    Quote Originally Posted by bsmith451 View Post
    Hi everyone I am new to the forum and to laser engravers, I was hoping someone could guide me in the right direction as to where I am going wrong. I have watched countless videos about how to align the mirrors properly but I am not able to achieve alignment in all 4 corners. I have an 80 watt 1060 chinese laser, I have checked the machine to be level, the platform level,X and Y gantry's are level, laser tube appears level and hitting center of mirror one, 45deg angle is good, mirror 2 is also 45deg and I can get near and far field to match, and mirrors are clean. Now the 2nd to third mirror is where I cant get all 4 to line up. I can get front corners near and far to line up but when i move to back far field its off, we have tried from scratch 5 times now and have tried moving the mirror mounts to intersect the beam better, adjusted all the fine tuning and nothing seems to bring them into alignment. When I adjust the near field to the left a little and then place it to far field i get a burn to the right, so i slightly adjust that to intersect but then go back to near field and it went in the opposite direction. Could there be something physically wrong with the machine setup? I had it working fine a few days ago and dont know what i could have done to not be able to achieve alignment again. I am frustrated after nearly 8 hours of trying to align the mirrors and troubleshoot and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Even though you covered some of these steps, here is a procedure that I recently used on a 1500 x 1200 machine:


    The key here is the preparation, prior to mirror adjustment. In other words, most well-intentioned youtube videos lack a comprehensive list of items to perform in preparation of the beam alignment procedure's mirror adjustments. If, in my experience, these items are not confirmed to be within calibration, then aligning by mirror mount will not get you a good CO2 laser beam alignment.


    PREPARATION PRIOR TO ADJUSTING MIRRORS:
    1. Level the machine (a must do, as a twisted machine frame will not attain the optimal beam alignment).
    2. Get parallelism on the two linear rails (see my funny prototype tool--works rather well, needs slight improvement) Click here parallelism tool video on youtube
    3. Get orthogonal-ism on the gantry from the primary linear guideway (again, see my prototype tool--works rather well, needs improvement) Click here for orthogonal tool video on youtube
    4. Get right angles and height alignment on all mirrors (rough them in)--(my prototype tool is not shown, but this step is important to attain beam alignment, so must do it.).
    5. Laser tube adjusted parallel to the gantry and height set. (tools not shown--under development, and I have precision adjustment mounts for this in the making--as course adjustment in standard laser tube mounts are insufficient for precision adjustment.)--likely your issue is this one, based upon your description.


    ADJUSTING MIRRORS:
    6. Set Mahoney beam visualization tool on mirror mount, turn on laser, see the beam, align to the target. Repeat for each mirror (rather fast process).


    LEVEL THE WORKTABLE TO THE FOCUS ASSEMBLY
    7. Level the laser work-table to the focus lens (not shown, but note that most acme-style screws have significant backlash so moving the table up and down almost guarantees height misalignment). So best to pick a height, use a physical block placed under the nozzle to level in all portions of the table, then keep the table in the same height and adjust the beam delivery for up and down--as much as is reasonably possible).


    Mahoney CO2 laser beam visualization alignment tool



    Any suggestions on improvements appreciated.

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