Lens tube broken?

My print head is broken. The collar that the lens sits on has come loose and slides up and down. I have been trying to figure this out, all day. I have gone through 3 sheets of oak ply, and am in the middle of a production run. Freaking out a bit.

See pictures. I am assuming I need a new print head. It would be awesome to get some money back on the wood…

Time is of the essence. I have sold a bunch of product that I have to manufacture in time to get it to customers. I have been having problems cutting with the proofgrade settings for some time - this may be why. An inconsistent lens level.

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I have been battling the proofgrade settings for some time (see other posts and a direct email). The loose lens may be the culprit. It’s hard to troubleshoot. I kept getting different outcomes on the same test. I figured it was something I didn’t understand.

The lens is supposed to move up and down inside the printhead, it’s how the laser focuses. The lens is held in place magnetically, it’s not fixed. Does the collar come all the way out?
(Don’t try to pull it out, I’m just asking if it has.)

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It doesn’t come out of the head, but it does move up with the lens.

Here’s what the print came out like (after a lot of successful prints. I have cleaned everything, vacuumed everything.

There is a lot of flameage.


That looks more like what happens when the fan on the carriage plate isn’t functioning at full capacity. It might need cleaning. Is that oak ply? (When you watch a print, is the flame and smoke being blown towards the front of the machine with a good strong blow?)

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(It is oak. ) Not oak - Walnut.
I also noticed there are two circular windows on either side of the lens. They looked covered in the residue.

Seems like that would explain the scorching and flaring, but the not cutting through looks like what mine was doing before they had to replace it.

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Those you want to clean off. That can definitely affect the focus. Use a Zeiss wipe.

I just vacuumed out the head fan and cleaned those lenses. They were gross.


I’ll bet that solves some of your focusing issues. But there is one more fan you need to check, it’s on the carriage plate behind the gantry. You have to turn the machine off, pull the gantry out to about the middle of the bed and look down behind the head on the other side of the gantry arm. If the head fan is in that bad of a shape, the carriage fan probably is too, and that one is the one that blows out the flames, which keeps the buildup from happening.

Get a flashlight and look down into that fan. It might need cleaning too.


Facing the machine, is that the right or left side? (trying to figure out what a gantry is…)

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Oh sorry, the gantry is the arm that holds the tube. (Move the arm out to the middle of the bed, look behind the tube on the metal arm underneath. Opposite side of the printhead.)


It was gunked up too.


You can try vacuuming it out, but if there is a lot of resin buildup on it, it might require removal and cleaning. There’s a procedure for doing that, but it’s likely that the vaccuming got most of it, so try it and see how it goes.

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Focus looks better, kerf is smaller. Proof grade setting isn’t cutting all the way through (understatement). Never has. I have to slow the print head to about 160 for a “just enough” cut.

Confluence of issues.

Are you cutting Proofgrade or the Oak? Oak isn’t going to have the same settings as Proofgrade.

Sidenote - as far as I have read, there’s no way I would have known any of this… I worry about a less than mechanically inclined/less digital saavy.

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The support team is standing by to assist with this kind of thing…you don’t actually have to be particularly technical. They tell us. :slightly_smiling_face:

So have you got the right settings for whatever the material is?

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I am so glad you don’t sleep…

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