Stumped. Cutting issues

Ok I’m stumped. I’ve been cutting with no issues 3mm hardboard. Using a 60w Orion motor tech laser with Ruidia controller. Started noticing things weren’t cutting all the way through. Previous advice was substrate wasn’t level. Once I leveled it it seemed to do ok but started doing it again.

Is there a certain product I should use to clean my lenses ? I only had 50% isopropyl alcohol. I did try and remove the bottom tip but couldn’t get it off due to the air hose hook up being in the way.
I cleaned my lenses. Both the top and side lens. Ran a few test cuts and now it’s worse the. Before. 20 passes 100% 55mm speed. I’ve got orders piling up and can’t figure this out. Sigh lol.

Denatured Alcohol / Ethanol is what you should be using to clean the lens and mirrors (not isopropyl). Denatured, fyi, means the alcohol has been tampered with / poisoned / made unfit for human consumption. Methanol is commonly used as the component to denature.

You need to get your lens holder out. Overcome the air supply obstacle and make it happen. Most likely your lens is dirty or worse, ruined and needing replacement.

I had to leave my shop for a few hours. The unit is about 3 months old. I will search for denatured alcohol today and will be going back. I’ll take the supply coupling off and clean that as well. Is there only 3 lenses ? I’m not opposed to getting new ones. Is there a set you recommend on Amazon ?

I just thought about this. Is there 3 mirrors and just the one lens down at the bottom of the laser ?

Three mirrors:

  • Directly after and in line with your laser tube (usually out of site behind that “wall”
  • Mounted to the gantry riding along Y
  • Above the lens / mounted to the lens holder assembly riding along X

Within the lens holder tube, you will find the lens. Once you’re able to remove the lens holder tube from the head assembly, wearing latex or nitrile gloves, carefully unscrew the clamping screw, remove the lens, and thoroughly clean the residue using lens cloths (if you have them) and the denatured alcohol. The denatured alcohol will dissolve the solids stuck to the surface of the lens.

Inspect the lens for damage after a few passes at cleaning it. If the lens is scorched, melted, or marred it will need to be replaced.

If you have cleaned it up and it is in good condition, replace the lens in the same position it was removed. Note the orientation of the lens as there is a top side and a bottom side of a lens.

For additional information about any of this, search will reveal many threads discussing the topic as well as providing links to helpful articles and videos.

Ok, Update: I went and got some Denatured alcohol, I took the lens out, doesn’t look scratched or anything, I cleaned it, The qTip had residue on it. I put it back, It cut a little better, BUT still not going all the way through and there is def something going on.

What I DID do, was take the mirror part off in picture #2 by removing the thumb screws & grub screw to clean the mirror… WHich I think might be part of my issue. When I put them all back together, I tightened everything down, Did I just complete mess up my focusing ?

You are out of alignment for sure. Anytime you remove a mirror, you must check alignment and most likely have to realign. Next time you clean the mirrors, you don’t have to remove them. Just put a little denatured alcohol on the cotton swab and swirl it on the mirror gently

Don’t be stingy with the swabs. And don’t soak them in alcohol. Just enough alcohol to do the job. If the alcohol runs down the mirror, too much - use less. Use several swabs as the process is to dissolve the build up, and soak it up. After about 3 swabs, you should be clean and no streaks left behind.

Does the lens itself go flat side up or flat side down ? Also are there better lens to uprade to?

This will explain. Also reading through this thread will give you additional information regarding focal lengths:

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My suggestion here:

So I aligned my mirrors and lens via a yt video everything was hitting center pretty much. I’m stumped on why I’m losing power to the far right. Same settings on both test pieces. 65mm speed, 11 passes , 100% power. 3mm hardboard.

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