Power increases for some things

So I’ve been working in hardwoods, mostly 1/8," for a year and a half. A TON of them.

Recently, suddenly everything is requiring significantly more power to cut through. I cleaned everything, twice. I replaced the mirror because it had a black dot in the center. I cleaned everything again with water/vinegar mix.

I had decided I’d reached the end of my lasertube’s life, no biggie. Figured before I sent it in for a new tube, they’d ask for a test run on one of the official pieces of wood. Don’t have much left, but pulled one out, blew off the dust… ran the measurey dooly thing.

It worked fine. At significantly lower power than I’d JUST failed to cut a piece of similar wood of exactly the same thickness.

I’ve got some more tests to run when the UIX gets back up and running, but does anyone have any thoughts? I’d put it down to the wood being a bit thicker or something but it’s been across multiple types of and pieces of wood, plywood, even cardboard. Why would it behave differently?

I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of cuts and never have to adjust my power/speed more than 10 or 15 for any of my regularly used wood types. And suddenly I’m having to make adjustments of >50 or even go to double cuts.

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Are you asking hoping for help from theGF staff? If so then this should be opened in the P&S category.

Most of what I’m saying will be wild guesses because this is weird.

Did you change any saved settings, especially the focus height? That can be sticky and mess with you.

Are you using set focus? Manually entering material height?

You say cleaned everything, I mean you’re brewergnome, not some newbie… but I assume that includes the windows on the bottom and sides of the head?

Got a pic of a failed cut? Does it look especially wide? That can indicate focus height problems.

Beyond that I’m not sure.

Nope. I’m having it with non-GF approved materials and thought I’d get user thoughts first since it’s so weird.

I manually enter my focus height because I got in the habit before the auto focus existed.

One of the things I want to do when I get the UI back is try simultaneous cuts on the proofgrade hardwood and my hardwood in the same run with the PG settings to narrow down that it’s something in my manual settings.

Yeah I’d look at the focus height in your manual settings. Change the material height to something crazy like 0.01 then look at your manual settings. If they don’t say 0.01 then you’ve got a manual height override in there as part of the setting. Delete the value, it’ll change to “auto”, then re-save the setting.

The height value should float at that point.

Long shot but maybe.

Makes sense.

I figure it has to be something with my settings (built mostly a year plus ago) interacting with the new fancy features.

I suppose another thing I should test is making a “clean” setting from scratch and see if it comes up with the same result.

Yeah maybe not a bad idea to just do a flat manual setting without saving it at all and seeing where that leads.

In a way, the fact that your PG test went well is a relief. It makes it weirder, but it also sort of rules out major mechanical fault. Sort of. I hesitate to say definitely because this is strange.


Yeah. I’m glad I don’t have to be without my Death Ray for a month while I ship it back and get the tube replaced… but I’d like to figure out what happened!

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So I just ran it with my usual settings but recreated in the manual mode… everything works like usual.

Must be some weird interaction! Glad I don’t have to refigure everything!


Huh. I’m still leaning toward focus height issues (especially if your cuts look particularly wide). Hopefully it’s not too painful to set it all up.

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If it was MDF buried deep enough the it may not have absorbed as much water from the humidity. One thing I have seen is that the extra water plus the extra thickness makes the cut fail even with the same settings, Buried deep enough maybe it did not get a chance to swell.

Of interest also is if the smoke catches fire, the cut will not be as deep at that point.