If you fail to get a laser beam on your material, there are a number of things that could be going on.

What are the first steps I can take?

First check the mirror alignment. When checking that, it is easiest to put 2 layers of masking tape on the mirror on the left-hand side of the work area. Place the bridge closest to the laser source and press the 'Pulse' button on the display of the machine. If you get a burn mark here, then you can continue with the mirror alignment.

If you do not get a pulse here, it is best to check the following aspects.

  • Is the water chiller on?
  • Is the alarm cable of the water chiller connected to the laser machine?
  • Are all switches set correctly? Check that the laser power switch and auxiliary switch are set correctly.
  • Check if the optics (mirrors and lens) are clean.
  • On the BRM Original you should also check on the switch panel whether the Auto / Manual switch is set to Auto. If it is set to Manual, set the switch to Auto.
Electrical danger PLEASE NOTE!!! High voltage is lethal. Only qualified people may carry out these operations.

Also, check whether the laser source is in good condition and has no cracks or other damage. If the laser source is very dusty, you will need to clean it. Current chooses the path of least resistance and, in the case of a dusty source, will find a path through the dust so that the current does not flow through the normal path. The same goes for dirty cooling water. If the cooling water is dirty, you will have to replace it with clean cooling water. Read how to maintain the laser source here. It is also important to check whether there is water in the outer glass tube. If there is water in it, the laser source is defective and will need to be replaced.

Should all this be in order and you have tested again without result, it might be that the laser source or the laser power supply is defective.

How do I know whether the laser source is defective or if it is the laser power supply?

Using a telephone with a camera and video function can be convenient. Turn the video function on and place the phone, with the camera aimed at the laser source, somewhere in the middle near the laser source. If the machine has a red pointer next to the laser source, you can place the phone a little further away so that the red light from the red pointer is not visible on the video.

Then start a small cutting program. After doing this you can watch the video. Usually, you will notice a pink glow inside the laser source. When this glow is visible, the laser power supply is working. If the glow is not pink but white then that is an indication the propellants in the laser source have evaporated / expired and the laser source will need to be replaced.

If there is a pink glow but no laser beam, the output beam may not be working properly. Check whether the lens in the laser source is intact and of even color. Should there be a crack or indentation in the lens or if the lens is not of even color, the laser source will need to be replaced.

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

If all this looks right, you can check to see if the cathode looks good. The cathode is located at the tapered end of the laser source and is a metal tube. It is usually a plain-colored metal tube, silver or brass. Should the cathode be discolored, it is a sign of a well-used source and the laser source will need to be replaced.

Cathode in good condition Cathode in bad condition
Evenly colored cathode, this is a new source. Discolored cathode, this is a well-used source.

If you do not see the laser source lighting up on the video, the problem is probably due to the laser power supply.

When you suspect the laser power supply is defective, you can open the bottom door at the back of the machine. There you will find the laser power supply.

The fan in the laser power supply will normally be on. Carefully check whether there is air flow. Do not touch the laser power supply!

There is a red LED on the laser power supply, which indicates whether the laser source is on. If the red LED is on / flashes, the laser source should be on. You can check this by pointing the camera of a phone at the LED. Make sure you turn on the video function. Close all the doors and run a simple cutting program or something similar so that you can see in the video whether the LED light turns on. Does the LED light go on / flash but there is no beam? Have you checked all the previous steps? Then the laser power supply is defective. Can't see any red light? Then the power supply could be defective, but there could also be something wrong with the electrics. For example, a cable break.

Do you see the green light but no red light? Then the signal cables could be causing the problem. For instance, the alarm cable from the water chiller, the output cable from the motherboard to the laser power supply, etc. Nothing is lighting up and the fan is not running either? Then the power supply side, the 230 V, may be defective. This means that the laser power supply will not switch on.

If your machine has a red pointer, it is powered by the laser power supply. If the red pointer is not switched on and there is no laser beam, then either the laser power supply is switched off or defective. However, when the red pointer works, the laser power supply may not be fully functioning. It could still be the case that the laser power supply is defective.

The red pointer is supplied with 5 V from the laser power supply. This circuit is separate from the circuit that supplies power to the laser source. When the 5 V circuit is defective, it does not automatically mean that the circuit for the laser source is defective as well. However, it is common for both to be defective.

If you have gone through these steps and cannot solve the problem, please submit a ticket to BRM. If you have videos of the color of the laser source and the lights on the power supply, it is helpful to e-mail them. They often give us a lot of information. If the video's are too large to send via mail, you can also send them via WeTransfer.

Also, if you cannot work it out yet and do not know what steps to take or other questions arise, you can submit a ticket at any time.

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