View Full Version : Problem with Laser - no straight cuts

Andrea Weissenseel
08-27-2010, 12:23 PM
Hi all,

I have a problem with my Laser, I don't get straight cuts anymore :( they are like a small zigzag almost like the top line on the picture - doesn't matter if its straight line or curves.

What happened: I had to cut something and needed to finetune the setting, so I paused the machine and adjusted the vector settings. When I pressed the resume key, they head went off to the right top side and hit the back wall of the laser :eek: (my piece was positioned in the middle of the table) It showed a message in the display "X" motor failure contact your dealer :( I turned the machine off and back on again, and it started just normal and the head went to its starting position - but it's not cutting exaxt lines/curved anymore ??

I called the dealer and they told me to check if the head has come loose, but it sits tight on its rail. They probably send a mechanic on Monday. Does anybody have an idea? Did something like this happen to anybody?

Why always on Friday afternoons when you still have a lot of work to do ?? :rolleyes:

Cheers, Andrea

Mike Null
08-27-2010, 12:40 PM

I can only guess at simple things like a loose lens, loose laser head, worn bearings or very dirty track.

Martin Boekers
08-27-2010, 12:49 PM
try doing a raster of the line, is it consistant or does it change each time.


Viktor Voroncov
08-27-2010, 1:03 PM
Agree with Mike, first of all check lens and mirrors fixing. After take engraving head by hand and try CAREFELLY TURN it against rails. If you have even small movement - change rollers on laser head. Of course rails must be clean. Check belts - tension and general conditions. Less possible - but possible also - dirty encoders on motors, just remove plastic cap and clean encoder with compressed air (do not forget wait 10-15 minutes for drying after cleaning with compressed air). Practically impossible - motor failure.

Andrea Weissenseel
08-27-2010, 1:30 PM
I tried it on wood, cause the original is clear and I couldn't take a good picture.

The two Vector lines on the top are a "green hairline" which I use when I don't want to cut all the way through. They and the raster one look pretty good. I did four vector lines and they all are slightly different.

Andrea Weissenseel
08-27-2010, 1:34 PM
I checked the lense and mirror, before doing the test. The head does not have any movement either. This all happened after the head danged against the lasercase, I was cutting these all afternoon and cuts where just fine :confused:

Thanks so far

Viktor Voroncov
08-27-2010, 1:44 PM
After head danged, does it was X/Y MOTOR MALFUNCTION message on LCD?

Andrea Weissenseel
08-27-2010, 1:47 PM
Yes Victor

When I pressed the resume key, they head went off to the right top side and hit the back wall of the laser :eek: (my piece was positioned in the middle of the table) It showed a message in the display "X" motor failure contact your dealer

Viktor Voroncov
08-27-2010, 1:48 PM
Upgrade firmware first - do you know how?

Andrea Weissenseel
08-27-2010, 1:51 PM
No. If I update firmware, can I use the same version ?

Lee DeRaud
08-27-2010, 2:00 PM
That definitely looks like a worn/dirty bearing.

Viktor Voroncov
08-27-2010, 2:02 PM
Yes, basically firmware upgrade is re-writing of internal software on motherboard and re-storing of right settings. During X/Y MALFUNCTION ERROR very often right settings of motor are lost. I will find all information about firmware upgrade and will post here in 10-15 minutes.

Sorry, looks not correct put this information here, so, Andrea please check your E-MAIL

Andrea Weissenseel
08-27-2010, 2:08 PM
Lee, cleaned and checked just before I did the test. If the bearing was dirty or worn wouldn't it show effects on all vector /raster lines ?

Mike Null
08-27-2010, 2:15 PM
It would more likely show on raster lines. In vectors there may be places where it won't show up.

George D Gabert
08-27-2010, 3:31 PM
You might also want to check to see if the gear to motor shaft is tight. When the motor stalled the shaft may heve been tweaked enough to loosen screw. (just a guess)

Does it do it if you go perpendicular to the existing lines.


Dan Hintz
08-27-2010, 5:11 PM
Also make sure the lens mount itself hasn't broken loose... the carriage could be solid, but the lens could be floating within the holder.

Peter Meacham
08-27-2010, 7:54 PM

One factor in this malfunction is the fact that the head slammed into the back wall.

I think we have to consider that something got misaligned or loosened or bent when that crash happened. I am not familiar with that machine and cannot advise what part might be at fault. Maybe another person with that type of machine could advise.

Can you manually move the head through the axis that is suspect and see if the head deviates from the correct path - maybe indicating something bent, etc in the area(s) of the problem?


Rodne Gold
08-27-2010, 9:14 PM
Take off the X motor and clean both the encoder disc and the little reader thing with a soft paintbrush - when you replace the motor , set the belt tension as "tight". Try reseat the head on its rails top and bottom and check all belt tensions - they should be tight
Victor , had this issue before and have never had to reflash firmware - normally been either a decoder issue or a messed up mainboard issue or a cracked or damaged ribbon cable
Andrea - check the ribbon cable to the head is seated and has no cracks - there might be an intermittent break in it..

Viktor Voroncov
08-28-2010, 3:33 AM
Rodney, I have asked Andrea clean encoder first but as I understood she did this but without success, so next step in my "internal manual" is re-write firmware. Sometimes it's help (at least 3 times with same problem as Andrea have).

Andrea Weissenseel
08-30-2010, 1:56 AM
Good morning ;)

thanks for all the advise on this, but I decided to have a mechanic have a look at my machine since I still have guarantee on it - before I take it apart and have a baggie with leftovers :D so the next time this happens, I hopefully can fix it myself

Cheers, Andrea

Scott Challoner
08-30-2010, 9:52 AM
I was thinking the problem would be in the Y axis. Looking at the original drawing, the deflection occurs in the Y. Since one motor drives both Y belts, maybe when it slammed home the belt on the right jumped a cog or did something else that altered the tension on that side. Just a thought.
All that being said, I have a feeling it is the Y encoder that made it slam to the upper right in the first place and the current problem is still a result of the encoder.
It will be interesting to see what the mechanic says.

Richard Rumancik
08-30-2010, 9:58 AM
Scott, I agree with your comment and was about to post something similar. If it hit the back wall then the y-motor was accelerating into the stop. So as George suggested then maybe the pulley loosened on the y-motor, or maybe the inertia caused the screws on the bracket that tension the belt to loosen.

Andrea, please let us know the final outcome . . .

Andrea Weissenseel
08-31-2010, 12:35 PM
the problem is solved :)

the mechanic had no idea what caused the problem itself (slamming the head in first place). The cable was checked and OK, both motors were OK, Encoder disc OK, he tightened the rails and the belts a bit changed all wheels and send the firmware again. After 5 hrs we both couldn't determine anymore if the lines/curved were cut OK :D


Viktor Voroncov
08-31-2010, 12:44 PM
Congratulations, Andrea!

Andrea Weissenseel
09-03-2010, 12:14 PM
OK, my last answer was wishfull thinking :( The problem has gotten better but it's not solved. He was back today for a couple of hours, both the Y and the X motors where changed, with no result. Rodne's hint - the ribbon cable was changed too. He'll be back next week with a new mainboard, cause that was the only thing that was not changed on the machine yet :confused:


Dee Gallo
09-03-2010, 1:21 PM
Geeez, Andrea I hope you get this figured out soon! Either that or you will become famous for your individual "design style" of everything having wavy lines.

:) dee

Andrea Weissenseel
09-04-2010, 4:08 AM
*lol* Dee, maybe I can declare is at handmade then :D

Andrea Weissenseel
09-10-2010, 3:44 AM
Straight lines are not a problem anymore, they are as straight as can be. But curves/circles still not cutting exactly and have little bumps. There was a discussion here about DPI settings when cutting vectors. I used to just ignore them, because I thought its only applicable when rastering. Now I'm a member of the other club - when I set the DPI to 1000 I get an result I can live with, for the moment.

Yesterday the technician was here the fourth time. Any part on my machine has been changed, tightend and set - except for the tube and the case :rolleyes: but you get exactly the same result every time. :(

In the meantime I have my own theory. I think it's a problem of the firmware. I assume that the main problem that caused the faulty cuts, has been solved by changing the y-motor, but that there has been a change in the firmware the way curves/arcs are treated - which causes the problem now. The change in the firmware will not be touched by the older version because it doesn't know about the setting in the newer version, so this part is not set back.Especially when the technician told me yesterday, that they received two brandnew Spirits and they cut circles on it - the result using 250 DPI (which worked perfectly for me before) was even worse than on my laser, when set to 1000 DPI it gets a lot better.


Viktor Voroncov
09-10-2010, 3:48 AM
What is your current firmware rev? Sometimes DOWNGRADE (installation of old firmware) help in cases like your's

Andrea Weissenseel
09-10-2010, 3:58 AM
Nope, Viktor it' been downgraded back to 1.24 which was my firmware I worked with. I forgot to write that, that's part of my theory - the change in the firmware will not be touched by the older version because it doesn't know about the setting in the newer version, so this part is not set back.

Rodne Gold
09-10-2010, 6:10 AM
Are you talking about DPI or PPI?

Andrea Weissenseel
09-10-2010, 10:34 AM
Rodne, believe it or not DPI - after they realized that the two new machines have the same prob they talked to the manufacturer, and got the answer "we told you, you have to set the DPI to 1000"