Power reduction & fail to get clean cut

After several hours use, my GF seems has the problem of power reduction.
At the beginning, to cut a 3mm MDF, with speed 170, full power I got a clean cut.
but now the same material even with speed 140, full power, still fails to get a clean cut.
The left side area is ok (the MDF is 45cm x 30cm):

but the right side area isn’t cut through:

I’ve done all wipe for the lens and mirror, same result.
I also check the MDF board, it’s flat, not inclined.

Did I miss something or any suggestion?

MDF can burn pretty dirty.

Just to make sure… you cleaned: (1) Laser Window on the left side of the machine (it’s underneath the left side of the machine - hard to see), (1) Head Window (on the left side of the head), (1) Lens (removed from the bottom of the head with the lens removal tool, and then reinstalled correctly, so that the lens is installed with the glass on the bottom), (1) mirror, found by removing the top of the laser head, and then reinstalled correctly.

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What @jbmanning5 said, with pictures:


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Before Support will help, you’ll want to do a job usng PG on the right & left sides. They won’t help with non-PG material so will want to see if you have the problem with PG materials.


You may understand what flat means for this laser. Others may not. Flat looking material is not enough. The material must lay completely flat to the crumbtray. If you push on it and it flexes or moves even slightly, it is not flat. Use something to hold it down. Otherwise the cuts will fail. Usually just like you see here. You may have a different problem.

Again, I have no idea what flat means to everyone.


Thanks to all for the reply.
As I’m not so experienced I always read and follow the manual carefully, I believe I’ve cleaned every part mentioned on the instruction.
Currently unable to test with a PG because in Paraguay the courier charges $17/kg from USA to PY, I really can’t afford it. That’s why I use MDF. But I remember the last PG got a failed cut too,

MDF makes dirty, it’s true, easily forms solid hard block on the exhaust fan.

I think you’re right, I’ll check again the flatness and hold it down to do a test cut.
Thanks a lot.

For keeping the material flat against the crumb tray, these honeycomb pins work like a dream:

Thanks a lot!
I can’t wait to get off work and have a try…

If you have some magnets to hold it down that works too. Especially helpful if it’s bowed in the middle. If it is bowed you can also flip it over so the edges are lifting off the bed instead of the middle and that can be easier to hold down flat to the bed.

Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry your prints aren’t cutting through.

I’m looking into this, and I’ll update the thread when I have more information.

Please let us know if making sure the material is flat helps!

Per repgg’s advice, I found it’s due to the material isn’t flat enough. And I solved this problem with the “Honeycomb pins” introduced by Jules.
I’d like to try the magnet to hold down the middle part (thanks jamesdhatch), it seems a very good idea.


Great to hear it worked. Could have been a few things but flatness seems to be most common.

Haven’t gotten around to cutting the honeycomb pins yet. Keep meaning to do that.

Always used rare earth magnets about the size of a quarter. They work great for material between 1/8" and 1/4". (Almost everything I cut) The only real solution for large materials. Need very strong fingers to lift the magnets. Too powerful for paper. And be careful not to get your fingers between two magnets slamming together. Painful.


I have thin versions of the quarter sized magnets I use for paper or chipboard and those can be easily picked off (fingers anyway). They’re probably 1 or 2mm thick. The thicker ones (4mm?) I have to slide off the material so it tilts & I can grab the edge or I slide it up a pick that I’ve poked the tip into a honeycomb hole so I can grab it.

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Thanks for the update. I’m glad you’ve solved the problem!

I’m going to close this topic. Please post a new one if you have any other questions.