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Why the outside of the laser source needs to be clean

All kinds of dust and other dirt that settle on the laser source conduct electricity. As a result, the risk arises that electricity will flow from the plus to the minus through the outside of the laser sour ce, instead of through it. If this happens, no laser beam is created but there is a high probability of a fire hazard at the laser source. There is also a high voltage danger.

Voltage arcing

Electrical danger PLEASE NOTE!!! High voltage is lethal. Only qualified people may carry out these operations.

It is, therefore, necessary to clean the laser source to prevent fire and the risk of electrocution, but also to ensure that the laser source continues to perform.

How often and with what frequency you should clean the laser source is hard to say. It greatly depends on the materials you process, the maintenance you carry out and the space in which the machine is located.

To establish regularity, it is recommended to schedule 2 weeks between cleanings at first. To see how much dust and dirt has built up, you could clean part of the laser source. For example, just do the front half. If you notice a lot of dust / dirt has built up after 2 weeks, it is advisable to clean the laser source weekly. If almost no dust / dirt has accumulated, you could clean the laser source once a month.

Please note that dust / dirt that is emitted when processing wood will be more visible than when processing transparent acrylic, for example.

How to clean the outside of the laser source

When cleaning the laser source, turn the laser machine off and unplug it. Then wait at least 24 hours before cleaning it. This is to ensure that the laser source is completely discharged.

A high-voltage cable is connected to the laser source. The laser source must be completely discharged before you start working on it. Failure to ensure this may result in a dangerous situation where you could be electrocuted.

Electrical danger PLEASE NOTE!!! High voltage is lethal. Only qualified people may carry out these operations.

To clean the outside of the laser source, you need cleaning paper or paper kitchen towels and alcohol. Gloves are also required. Fingerprints left on the laser source can create a new path for the electricity to flow along, instead of it passing through the laser source. This creates a dangerous situation.

Carefully remove dust from the laser source using cleaning paper. After removing the bulk of the dust, you can spray the laser source with alcohol. Take a dry piece of cleaning paper or paper kitchen towel and wipe it over the laser source. This will remove any remaining dust.

After wiping the laser source with cleaning paper completely, spray the laser source with alcohol once more. Just let the alcohol dry to discharge the laser source. Make sure no fingerprints are left on the laser source.

What else can you pay attention to?

At the front of the laser source, where the laser source tapers, you will also find a lens. Check it from time to time. Make sure the laser machine is completely disconnected from the power supply for at least 24 hours before doing so.

Usually, the lens is evenly colored, and you can see through it. If this lens is no longer evenly colored, you cannot see through it and/or it has a crack in it, you can try to take a picture of it and submit a ticket to determine the next steps.

Now that you are working on the laser source, it is worthwhile checking whether the water hoses are still properly attached to the laser source. You could also check whether the cooling water in the laser source is still free of algae. Should you notice any algae or dirt in the laser source, it is recommended to renew the cooling water. Please click here for more information on the water chiller.

Furthermore, the laser source contains a metal shaft on the tapered side, called a cathode. Under normal circumstances, this shaft has an even brass or silver color. If it is no longer evenly colored and is somewhat darker, it is a sign that the source is gradually degrading.

Cathode in fine condition worn-out cathode
Evenly colored cathode, this is a new source. Discolored cathode, this is a well-used source.

Should this be the case and you do notice a power reduction when cutting / engraving, please create a ticket to determine whether a technician is required.

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