Crooked/Wavy Images

So as I’ve been using Lightburn, I’ve noticed that I get some wavy looking engraves. Like the laser isn’t firing where it is supposed to on each pass. Now, I’m engraving a larger image, and the problem is much more pronounced. Below are 2 images that show the problem. I’m running 150mm/s at 50% power so it’s not running too fast. Any earthly idea what the issue could be?

Need to know what kind of laser you have. If it is an Epilog or similar, cleaning the encoder strip (or disc in some) will fix it. If it’s a Chinese machine with steppers, I’d check for a loose belt or problem with the stepper motor (maybe missing steps).

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K40 with Mini Gerbil board from Awesome.Tech. I recently upgraded my laser head and lens, but the issue was present prior to that. I did have to cut a washer to center my 12mm lens in the new laser head…but again, the issue was present before that.

I also have been boosting my lines per inch to try and get better coverage, but I’m not sure how that would have anything to do with this issue. Belts seem tight.

How would one go about checking to see if a stepper motor is missing steps??


always check that your pulley is firmly fixed to the axle of the motor. there must be a “grub screw” for tightening.

where you are scanning, there will be strong acceleration/deceleration, so the pulley might slip on the axle. even if the belt is tight.

also check that your lens is well in place in its tube. if the lens moves a little bit at each travel, it can produce a slightly off ray, thus the error.

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This is good info, I think. I do wonder if the lens is jostling around in the laser head…especially since I replaced it. Not sure how best to resolve that though??

I’ll check the pulley too. Thanks!

the lens must be tightened in the tube when you screw it.

in normal use case, there will be a small silicone washer so you can screw the tube without risking to break the lens if over tightening. if you don’t have one, it is a good idea to add this part.

I think this was my issue. I had cut a washer, but it was a bit smaller than the hole, so I think the lens was jostling around a bit. I added a bit of hot glue to keep it in place. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but I’m guessing that’ll fix it. Thanks!!!