ELEKS MILL - Laser not working



  • Hi all,
    got the mill with the 500mW laser.
    If I do connect the laser, the laser goes on.
    But what ever I try, I cannot cut or engrave anything.
    Is there a proper instruction, on how to set up the laser and what software to use?
    I tried the provided software but with no success.

    If one has something more detailed, I like to get it :-)

    Questions are:

    1. what software I have to use
    2. is there a firm ware update required
    3. what are the working settings for the laser

    ATTN: I use the connector which powers the engraving motor, if this is important as information

    Thanks in advance
    Best
    Frank


  • Active Member

    elekscam is eleksmakers software. It has the latest firmwares built in. You need to switch between cnc and laser mode in the software. If you can get the laser to turn on but not cut, you probably dont have the laser focused. The 500mw doesnt have a focus knob so you have to raise and lower the z axis until it is as tiny a dot as you can get (approximately .1mm) Then it will cut.

    There are other softwares on the market too that will work

    T2 Laser is free to try (has modes for cnc, laser, and drawing)
    Ben Cut Laser
    Laserweb



  • @nottingham82 Thanks for your reply
    I saw you video in T2L and I will give it a try.
    Concerning the focus, I moved the laser up and down on Z-axis, with a paper underneath, and tried to focus, but with no success. There was no way to get anything on any material at any hight....

    But you say, if the laser comes on, it is working, it is just a question of focus and (maybe) power, I guess...

    Best
    Frank


  • Active Member

    @fvt yes provided your lens was put in right in the factory ;)



  • @nottingham82
    OK, here we go...

    what I did.
    I opened the housing by unscrewing the blue metallic bottom where the lens is in.
    The lens in the brass fitting was loose, meaning the thread is not tide enough to hold the brass screw with the lens in place (or at least not for long).
    Now what I did, was do leave the lens in a defined position and I screw the blue housing part in and out until I got the most small focus I could established.

    With a power of 30 I can burn carton very easily, but the distance from the housing to the object is approx 2cm at most.
    That means, the laser is working at least.

    Now I have to spend some time to get the focus right and fix the lens at that position.

    Any hints how to speed that up that process?


  • Active Member

    @fvt nope... most of the eleks lasers have an adjustable focus so you dont need to disassemble them to mess with the focus. If you do come up with a better plan let us know!


  • Active Member

    once you have a distance from the laser you like for a focus, you could make a guide out of a piece of plastic then just set your z height to that height using your guide stick.



  • @nottingham82
    Ok, got it to work... fixed the lens with some teflon tape to stay in place.
    Engraving wood works cool, have to get used to the parameters, speed, and power, but that is ok :-)

    How do you guys cut eg. 3mm acrylic glass?
    Because of the depth, the focus of the laser should move down the material after each step.
    Or do I set the focus on the level, the material is cut thru?

    Thanks
    Frank


  • Active Member

    @fvt i have been able to cut 3 mm without a problem or moving my laser down. But I have a 2500mw laser. I can cut 3mm birch in 6-9 passes. Acrylic takes less but some colors can't be cut at all.


  • Active Member

    @nottingham82 said in ELEKS MILL - Laser not working:

    @fvt i have been able to cut 3 mm without a problem or moving my laser down. But I have a 2500mw laser. I can cut 3mm birch in 6-9 passes. Acrylic takes less but some colors can't be cut at all.

    That is impressive. What colors have worked for you? Do you focus the laser to the top side of the piece?


  • Active Member

    @mrmister on top. I'll post a list of colors when I get home. Slow speed makes a wide melty swath and fast make a thin shallower swath. So different speeds have different looks. You can also engrave on acrylic after you cut it.


  • Active Member

    here are the acrylics list. It was compiled by ralph of ben cut laser but I have done several and found the list to be true.
    The 4 digit numbers are the ePlastics Reference Numbers

    ORANGE 2422 - Can cut in 4 passes.
    Light Purple 1020 - Cannot cut.
    Dark Purple 3730 - Cannot cut.
    RED 2423 - Can cut in 3 passes.
    DARK GREEN 2092 - Can cut in 3 passes.
    Light Green 2111 - Cannot cut.
    Glass Green 3030 - Cannot cut.
    Dark Blue 2424 - Cannot cut.
    Light Blue 2069 - Cannot cut.
    Yellow 2208 - Can cut in 3 passes.

    Now there may be ways around the ones that are listed as cannot cut. Paint on the surface or nail polish could change that. I'll have to try it.


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