What a difference a little cleaning makes

Today I cut some .2" plywood that I’ve cut many times before, though not recently. I still had it in my library though, and the cut parameters were 140/Full. When I tried it, it didn’t cut through at all. I started dropping the speed and it got all the way down to 120 before it cut through. I checked the window on the side of the head and could see a slight bit of smudge on it. I cleaned it, and presto! back to cutting at 140 again.

I was surprised it would make that much difference.


That’s beam dispersion, which is possibly more of a factor than attenuation. The lightest deposits on the windows or mirror will have a huge effect.


When you clean one window, clean both, and your lid camera and head camera and probably main lens too. The windows are one of the last things to get grungy. If that needed it, so did everything else most likely.


Exactly what I did after the test!


Have to love an easy fix.

I don’t know if I’m just overly worried about those two windows but I clean those very regularly. Especially is I’m cutting with more dirt and smoke like draftboard or a lot of engraving. The smoke gets pulled right across those two windows when being pulled out of the machine. With how dirty it gets in the machine I figure it has to get those windows even worse having the smoke pulled out in that area.

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since it really takes very little time (and the zeiss wipes are cheap), it’s worth cleaning the windows any time they get the least bit cloudy/dirty. the time it will save you in cutting speed/efficiency (as well as not having to redo cuts when it doesn’t cut through) is totally worth the 5 mins or less it takes to clean them all.


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