GF not cutting all the way through on PG Hardwood Materials

I’m three boards in of PG materials, haven’t changed anything, engraving is working fine, cutting is not. Any tips? I am manually setting the focus, I cleaned the camera just now but I had cleaned it 2 weeks ago with minimal use. Yes I have the issue of the PG bar codes not working or sometimes it reading the “wrong” material, but this is accurately set.

I’m getting frustrated because I am doing 100 total of these circles, and the design on the reverse is very intricate causing it to run 4m07s EACH CIRCLE. So I’m not only wasting tons time but also materials. I even changed the wood setting to be a maple hardwood (even though these are the walnut) and it behaved the same way.

I ran the same job (1 board) and a different job yesterday on the Walnut hardwood and no issues. The boards are not warped, but they may be from the same batch. I’m afraid to slow down a cut because of how long it takes already. I have done similar jobs in the past with no issues!

Can it be a bad batch of PG hardwood??


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Have you cleaned the optics? Lens, mirror, windows on head and side of gantry?

Agree on the cleaning - this is a big indicator that something isn’t clean (the camera is the least of your worries with cleaning). Also, pin down your material. They may not look warped, but it’s likely they aren’t perfectly flat. Lastly, unless you have a good reason for setting the focus manually, use auto-focus.

I have not actually cleaned the mirrors yet, I am really nervous to do that in the middle of a job…should I be…? But the weird thing is it is cutting some all the way through and some not? I have the board pinned down with 4 giant neodymium magnets, so it should be pretty secured.

For the focus, I do let it auto, but I tried using the “set focus” under settings when it wasn’t successful on the first board but no luck, figured it was worth a shot.

That is likely your problem! If the head enters the field of those magnets the fan will shut off, and smoke and flame will keep the laser from getting through. If you use magnets you should be able to pass a small screwdriver overhead the height of the head and not feel the tug of the magnets.

I suggest you use hold down pins, not magnets. Also, clean all of the optics. If the problem persists, support may want photos and the time/date of the failure.

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The magnets aren’t an issue, they are super thin and round and I haven’t had any issues for over a year with them so I don’t believe it’s relate, but what kind of pins would be ideal to look at?

I will clean the optics tonight, BUT I just did 25 on one side of the board (6 failed to cut through) and then I did 25 on the other. ALL CUT THROUGH. I am leaning more towards a defective batch of wood - I typically order 10-15 at a time and so far three of a batch are behaving this way. I could be wrong but this has happened in the past to about 5 other boards (cherry PG HW)

Here is a link to the very useful hold down pins: Honeycomb bed holdown pins

With clean optics, the machine is guaranteed to cut thru PG materials with PG settings, or they will replace them.

Your next step (after cleaning) would be to run the Gift of Good Measure on the draftboard they provided. If that succeeds, it’s the material. If not, post pics for them to assess - it might be a machine problem.

I used a lot of magnets for a year and did not connect the magnets with the problems i was having. Now looking back on it I realize that the magnets were a big part of my problems. With a good working head fan in the back the smoke is immediately blown out of the way too fast for any of it to catch fire.

These days very few folk are unaware of the relationship of electricity and magnetism, that any conductive material moving through a magnetic field creates an electrical force, As the head travels across a strong field the spinning fan gets the strongest effect and can shut down completely. I was watching the machine cut very well in most circumstances but in some places the smoke would catch fire for a few seconds marking the top with smoke and not cutting through and then the fire would be blown out and normal cutting resume. I now realize it was doing this when the fan was near a magnet. If you hold a small screwdriver at the height of the head and if it is pulled as you go over a magnet, that magnet is a problem

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I’m so sorry to hear that you’re running into trouble. It looks like the community has provided some great steps forward, and the snag seems to happen inconsistently. This may be due to your optical components needing to be cleaned, or blemishes appearing on the lens.

When you have a moment, we have some great instructions for cleaning your optical components available on our support page here. Could you please follow these instructions, and let me know if the same trouble is occurring?

Let us know how it goes!

Yes thank you! We will clean the optics in the next few days and report back! In the middle of a move and two large orders so life is getting in the way!

It might be worth reconsidering the decision to wait until the large orders are done to do your cleaning. When they need to be cleaned, they need to be cleaned. It won’t screw up any jobs that you’re running and will likely improve your success rate. If any of the optics are in need of being cleaned and you continue to run jobs, you run the risk of damaging whatever optics might be dirty — and then really being up a creek in running your orders waiting on replacement glass.

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I would have preferred to wait, but I ran a separate batch of the job and the graphics were skewed, meaning the one that should have been centered was way off to the left while the text around it was fine. So weird how it works fine for one batch then screws up the next. Went ahead last night and cleaned all of the optics and running some tests now.

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thanks for the link! I will make some today~

Cleaned the optics, ran some through, no issues BUT since it can be inconsistent I’m not set that it’s resolved. But in the meantime I will try the pin holders vs magnets, and do some more tests on my own to see if it happens again.

Thank you so much for keeping us updated! We’ll keep this thread open for a little longer, as you work through some additional tests.

Please let us know if you start to see the same behavior once again, and we’ll send over the next best steps.

It’s all fixed! I went through almost a can of the 3m spray and it was still making the sound. I went back and I looked closer and saw that it looked like there was still some buildup so I took a flat wooden stick in scraped all around the best that I could and vacuumed it all out and it did the trick and it’s not making the sound anymore! I also went through and cleaned it with a little bit of the alcohol pads to help break it up but really scraping with the little wooden stick did the most help!


Sorry, that was for a different ticket that I had open.

It’s been a little while since I’ve heard back from you. I hope that’s because everything worked out!

If not, just let me know and we’ll get it solved.