Ok, I needed just a fraction of an inch more room, as the air assist aluminum air directing shroud was contacting the material. I went ahead and removed just the shroud, reinstalled the fan and the aluminum piece that holds the shroud down, but I would get the yellow light and an error that the air assist fan was not working.
Has anyone successfully operated their GF with that shroud removed?
I’ll reply to my own post! Ok, so I reinstalled everything, GF operated as normal. So this next time I removed both the shroud AND the shroud hold down piece, reinstalled, and tested. This time is all seems to be working. Don’t know why the machine would know one way or another, but you can operate without the shroud - of course you may have degraded print quality due to the smoke…
Interesting. My first thought is the function of the air assist is to essentially extinguish any flare-ups. Just pay particular attention to materials and see how they respond. I have considered that 3/4" additional clearance but never explored it. I like that a lot better than cutting the bottom out…
I did a couple of test prints - with and without the shroud. If you didn’t tell someone what you were testing, you wouldn’t be able to tell from the prints I did. If you look close, the one without the shroud may be a little less perfect. I have the external filter cranked up, and just trying to clear the smoke the best I can. The image on the right was with the shroud (evidenced in the photo). I’ve often thought about cutting out the bottom…
Mine is about 0.55" so there appears there is some variability.
You might also have a dead Glowforge from fire, and the lack of a shroud will cause your cuts to not go through. It is not a matter of smoke but just that little bit of a candle flame blocks much of the laser power and will cause it to not cut all the way through.
I have considered filing that little bit of metal thickness to get that part of the metal thickness as extra height and improve the laminar flow a bit, but you are very much risking your machine to have it off.
I’m sure mine is fine, I really just needed a fraction of an inch more. I had turned a bowl and really didn’t want to go back to the lathe. This worked perfectly, since it was burning basswood, which is easy to engrave the little flamies of which folk speak weren’t an issue. It’s back to stock config again.
the only thing i’ll add here is that that 1/2" is a focal height. since yours was only a fraction of an inch higher, the defocusing is minimal, but if you look closely, you can see the engrave on the left looks slightly out of focus compared to the right. it’s a very small amount thicker to my eye. but if it was taller, you’d probably see it more OOF.