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CO2 laser cutting machine Maintenance
There is nothing worse than having a multi-thousand dollar machine destroyed because of a few minutes' negligence. You don't even need to do that much, to keep everything in top condition!
Firstly,Never let the machine run unattended especially when its cutting! Acrylic is extremely flammable and it goes without saying that wood, paper, mylar, delrin and other materials are as well. We know of two three four five people who have had to essentially replace their Laser cutting machine because it caught on fire unattended. One person had their entire shop burned down because they cut acrylic and left it.
Secondly,very day, or after 8 hours of solid Laser cutting, be sure to check the lens and clean it if necessary. The top lens and mirror are right above the laser beam which means they are exposed to a lot of dirt, fumes, smoke and debris.If the lens gets dirty a few things happen.
1. The laser cutter won't cut nearly as well, requiring lower speeds or higher power, to cut.
2. The laser cutter won't engrave nearly as well, with uneven results and blurry images.
3. Eventually, the dirt on the lens/mirror can catch on fire and melt the lens/mirror permanently damaging it.
You can keep the lens and mirror clean by removing it and gently cleaning both sides using a qtip or (better yet) lens paper. Use the fluid that comes with the machine, do not use anything like alcohol or acetone or other cleaner. Only use the lens cleaner fluid provided!
Thirdly,We find that if we keep the machine cleaned on the inside the only other maintenance we need to do is on the filter.Smoke is collecting in the laser bay, not being sucked away,There are small fire/flares in the bay,There is more odor emanating from the machine,so it's important to clean or replace the filter.
Finally,your CO2 laser cutting machine has very longlife time!!