Laser cutter/Laser cutter maintenance

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The following maintenance should be carried out monthly, or more frequently during times of heavy usage.

The key to the access panels of the laser and a RFID card with credit for laser maintenance is kept in the laser key safe in the members storage box room. The key code is only available to authorised laser maintainers and the trustees.

All maintenance should be recorded in the maintenance log book kept in the rear of the machine.


Check water level on gauge on the rear of the chiller. Top up if needed using de-ionised water. A container of "Just Add Water" is available behind the laser.

Open the filter/vents on each side of the chiller and vacuum or brush clean of dust.

Mirrors and lens

Wipe all mirrors and lens clean using soft glasses (spectacles) cloth. If there are an stubborn marks on the lens or mirrors a little isopropyl alcohol may be used.

Take care when handling the lens, as these are easily broken if dropped.

The lens should be re-assembled flat side down (towards bed), convex side up (up the tube).

After re-assembly, adjust the lens collet using a focus tool such that it is in focus on the surface of the bed when the bed is at it's highest position.

When refitting the nozzle, ensure the aiming laser is at the back. If to the left or right side there is a risk of it crashing into one side or the other.


Check all belts for any wear.

Check tension of all belts.


Remove the inlet hose by undoing the Jubilee clip, then vacuum the mesh over the inlet of the extractor.

Bed (cleaning and levelling)

The honey-comb bed and the knife bed below should be removed and any debris below cleared using a dustpan and brush.

After replacing the bed, check it is level by using the 'Z' control to position one corner such that it is level with the black surface surround the bed, then check the other three corners. If not level, switch the laser off, then manually wind the lead screws until it is level. The belt tensioners will need to be slacked off if the front and back screws need to be adjusted independently.

Base of laser

Open the access doors on the front of the laser and clean the base using a dustpan and brush. Once the bulk of the debris is removed use a vacuum to remove the remainder.

General clean of laser

Use vacuum and/or brush to sweep up any debris located either side of the bed in the areas of the belts that move the gantry.

Clean the outside of the machine and glass with a general multipurpose surface cleaner and a soft cloth.

Beam alignment

Follow the beam alignment guide on the Smoke and Mirrors site to check and adjust alignment of the mirrors.

Aiming laser (red dot)

Check and adjust as necessary such that the red dot is aligned with the main beam when focused.

Lid hinges

Check the lid hinges for cracks. Some replacement hinges are available in the base of the machine if needed.

Fire extinguisher

Check fire extinguisher is present, seal is intact and it is within it's service date. If it has a gauge, check it's in the green section.

Neither the fire extinguisher nor its associated notice should be obscured.

General clean / tidy of laser area

Sweep the floor of the area.

Sort and discard any laser scrap that is not useful.

Empty the bin. Ensure replacement bin liners are available.