Issue with my laser or software settings?

Happy New Year to all!

I am new to laser cutting and received my Orion Motor Tech Upgraded 60W CO2 Laser Engraving Cutting Machine yesterday. I wanted to verify that everything was working so I ran a few files and got various degrees of “very light output” on 3mm birch wood. I found a resource on this forum a lightburn PowerScale generator so I plugged in some values, ran the file. The results were not good (see below) in my option is appears as if the output of the laster is suboptimal (like running ta printer on low ink).

Other than a mechanical issue with the Laser is there something else that I can be doing wrong? Is there a way to run a test that will help me determine if the laster is defective? I have uploaded the image from the output as well as the PowerScale file, any feedback would be greatly appreciated and I wish everyone a great New Year!

powerScale Basic Power-10-70 Speed-100-500.lbrn (49.4 KB)

That file is a disaster. dump it. I assume the creator assumes you know how to edit all the settings. Its way way too fast by default and I would never ever tell anyone to start at 100%power and 100% min power especially those speeds…no one cuts a line at 300MM sec unless they have a high powered laser.
Learn to make your own. You don’t need to test a line cut over 90mm sec and I would stay between 20 and 70mmsec and maybe stay around 40-50% power. So make your own boxes each with say the same power but each at a different speed from 10mmsec maybe up to 60 05 70mm sec at first. Then you can try same speed say 50mm sec and change power on say 6 boxes from 10% power up to maybe 70% power. Stay slow and low at first. Fast and hot is usually not a good thing.
Whatever you do dump that test file it’s no bueno.
Your results look like what I would expect with that file and I have the saem laser…well two actually.

LOL, thank you Scott I will work on making my own PowerScale file tomorrow.

I decided to run a simple project just for some peace of mind that the machine is not defective while nothing to write home about, I feel hopeful that the issue is settings based and not mechanical. Please see the attachment, any feedback would be awesome.

BEER-O-CLOCK-Test_backup.lbrn (75.5 KB)

I would say that it looks like there is an alignment issue by looking at the test engraving verses the LB file. There are very clear bands of dark and then very light burns on the lower half. These do not seem to correlate with any wood grain which sometimes can make wood engrave a different color or even depth. Cedar is one that does this but birch is fairly consistent enough I would not expect any noticeable color/depth changes. The LB file does not have anything around the clock edges between the BEER and Oclock.
I would check my alignment. Now there is a very in depth process in the manual but if you quickly want to see. Put a piece of the birch ply in and defocus the beam by lowering the Z until the test burn diameter is about the size of pencil eraser. This will let you see if you are clipping. I would then move around the x and Z axis and do some test fires and see what the beam mode looks like. Is it round and consistent in it’s burn or is it crescent shaped etc.
Obviously the complete method is to do the full alignment but you can always quick check it.
Or another method is the tape something like a small square piece of the birch plywood over the opening to the last mirror right where it enters the head. Do a test fire at all four corners and in the middle. Just a real quick pulse as quick as you can press and release the test fire button. Watch to see if the burn “walks”…in other words does it burn roughly in what would be the center of where it would enter the opening for the last mirror and does it burn in the same spot all around as you move the x and Z axis. If it walks…there is an alignment issue somewhere in the first or second mirror and you need to do the full alignment. But this is a good quick check to see if you have issues first with any alignments.
Also I assume you chose fill not line but your LB file comes up as line. Also I would change my settings to in/mm/sec instead of in/sec. Speed is easier, to me, to get down in mm/sec since the small incremental changes are easier to interpret than odd fractions of inches. Looking at the LB file I would say something is off as the speed is slow but power is at 77% or so and at such a slow speed at that power I would expect you to blow out your engraving even through the top layer of birch and even the second layer. Unless your LB file is not the settings you used

Also calibrate your focal point. DO not rely on the autofocus option if yours has it. Mine was off by about 4mm. I will include an FB file I use to cut out a focal tool for that laser and stock lens. I just make it in 2mm increments instead of 1 but will allow you to find the smallest spot size.
focustool.lbrn (23.6 KB) longfocustool.lbrn (17.6 KB)
These were created on my Orion 50 watt laser which has a differetn origin than my 60 watt laser so if it opens up in your LB and the image is mirrored just flip horizontal. I would lower the cut power to maybe 55% since this was on a 45 watt laser not a 60

Scott, I greatly appreciate the detailed feedback I’ll post a response based on my findings today.