Material test completely wanders off the target half the time

New here, new laser. 10W Amazon/China, called T1 4045)
Jobs often ‘wander’ and must be stopped or the machine crashes into a rail. This does not happen every time.
Could this be a loose belt? Or deeper? Thanks

Not sure what you mean by deeper but to me it looks like you have multiple mechanical issues going on. The skipping could very well be loose belts. Make sure you’re removed all slack from the belts. They should be taught but not stretching.

Make sure the pinion gears are properly secured to the stepper shafts. There are typically grub screws that are used to secure to the flat of the shaft and one other angle.

It also looks like either your laser module or the lens is not rigid or secured to the gantry. I’d suggest reviewing those as well. It could be that the laser module assembly is not properly secured to the gantry itself.

All good points, I will dig in.
I have already lost screws from the manufacturer’s not tightening, the X belt looks loose, for sure. As a retired mechanical engineer, their gantry design jumped out at me first. The laser is mounted to a hard plastic base, only held at the top with two small screws. The bottom of that gantry bracket could slightly ‘flap’ under motion - so much so I wanted to put a large cable wrap around the entire assembly but it has to move up and down… cheap…
…and gone.

I wanted to thank you for your immediate response and opinions, someone’s help was needed, I’m new at all this.
I found two of the three belts were wayyyy too tight, I have gone through and re-tensioned all belts and things are much improved. The gantry design is horrid, though - the laser is held to the gantry with two small screws at the top, but is free-floating at the bottom. The laser could ‘flap’ under torque, so VELCRO to the rescue. This solution holds the head tight to the frame while allowing up and down travel. I am still learning, things are much improved, but there is still a lot to learn.

Wow. That almost looks like components are missing. Certainly not well thought through.

It’s not unusual at this stage to need to modify solutions to suit your individual needs but I’d expect laser to provide an adequate minimum out of the box experience.

In any case, glad you’ve been able to work through some of the shortcomings.

I agree, bad gantry design, but workable fix…
I finally gave up on this machine, I decided, after two weeks of tweaking, to take advantage of Amazon’s help in replacing the machine with the same machine, it arrived in two days, and works perfectly.
I am posting this to help other newbies when they come up against this same problem. Electronics are the weakest link in this machine. It turned out the servo drivers were overheating within 5 minutes of use, hiding the problem until they randomly failed, each time. This was a common problem with these machines, according to Amazon reviews. Since it does not happen often, I took my chances and replaced the machine, odds were that it would, and did, work correctly. I sure learned a lot from my first machine :wink:

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