Troubleshooting variation in marking darkness

For some reason it’s consistently marking one side darker than the other, even though they are in the same layer and marking in the same pass. It’s as if when the laser turns off during the travel, it doesn’t get back up to full power when marking the lines on the left. The border normally gets dark enough, and the MA meter stays steady on 30 MA while marking the border, but when it does the little fill lines, the MA meter bounces in the 15-30 MA range.

We have tried adjusting power, speed, bed height alignment at the four corners, new lens, tape shots for mirror alignment, new laser tube, changing optimization settings to “minimize travel”, etc.

Any ideas what could be causing this?

This is 316 Stainless Steel. We don’t want to use Cermark spray because this must be food safe and Cermark spray has a cancer warning on it.

Any help would be much appreciated! :slight_smile:

How much power is this machine?

Generally they don’t recommend co2 with metal (unless with very high power commercial lasers)…

Have you done this before with stainless?

I had little luck except burnt out lenses when I did stainless… without LBT100, much like cermark. I thought these warnings were from breathing it, not after is was lased… Might double check on that…

Is this flat on your table or in a rotary?


Hi Jack, thanks for the quick reply.

I believe it’s a 130 watt. We have done this before with stainless to the customer’s satisfaction. It wasn’t super dark, but was consistently as dark as you see on the right side of the photo. No rotary, just a flat table.