Darkly Labs Community

E2 cutting issues - bad results, or hopes too high?

Hello all,

I pre-ordered an E2 which I received in November 2017, but due to life sometimes taking unexpected turns, it was only a few weeks ago that I finally had the opportunity to unpack it and start learning the ropes.

I installed the air assist unit, upgraded the firmware, installed LightBurn, followed the focus calibration wizard, and tried some test cuts with various materials.

Having read quite a few posts on this forum about power settings, cutting speeds, etc, I have to admit that I feel a bit disappointed with my own results. I’ll post them here hoping to get a second opinion if they are indeed unsatisfactory, or if i’ve just been expecting too much.

The first test cut is a 240 gsm, 0.3 mm craft paper. Top row was cut at 840 mm/min, then each consecutive row was cut 60 mm/min slower than the previous one. Please ignore the erroneous labels to the right - that was just me forgetting to change them when I changed the speeds in the project. Power increases from 10 % in the leftmost column to 100 % in the rightmost one. Squares have a side of 6 mm. The fastest speed at which an actual cut was achieved was 720 mm/min.

Looking at the picture up close, I notice that the engraved text (cut at 1800 mm/min and 80%) are very, very wobbly. Could this be caused by vibrations from the air assist compressor? My E2 does vibrate considerably while cutting.

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Second test cut is 560 gsm, 1 mm cardboard. Top row was cut at 600 mm/min, then each consecutive row 60 mm/min slower. Power increases are the same as for the first cut. The fastest speed achieving a cut was 300 mm/min.

 

The third cut is a 1 mm, 3 layer birch plywood. The seller said that other customers have successfully used it for laser cutting projects, but he was not sure if they used diode or CO2 lasers. Top row cut at 600 mm/min, then each consecutive row 60 mm/min slower. The fastest speed achieving a cut was 60 mm/min. This is certainly a lot less than I expected, and it’s not a very clean cut. I did weigh the plywood piece down on the cutting mat in order to avoid problems caused by bent material.

I do understand that different qualities of plywood cut more or less well, but even with that in mind I have to admit that this last result made me feel a bit disheartened.

Here is where I reach out to you, fellow forum readers and E2 owners: Are the above results in line with what you would expect?

Your help and opinions are greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

Fredrik

Just tossing out a few things.  Did you use the mats and if so did you set the support height to 10mm and set your material height to the thickness of the material?  Also you may want to try setting the zoffset  in the cut settings editor to 1/2 of the material height and set z set per pass to 1.00 mm.

There have been a few upgrades to the laser and optics since the Emblaser2 was first released in 2017.

In particular, there was a power increase to the laser which would make the biggest difference to the performance.

A correctly functioning machine can cut 3mm laser-friendly poplar plywood (sold by Darkly Labs) at 100% power and 200-225mm/min.

 

Thanks to you both for responding!

@Mark Taylor: I did use the mats and have set the support height and material thickness accordingly. Have not tried changing the z offset, but might give it a shot. Also have not experimented with multiple passes since I did not think I would need it with such thin plywood.

@Domenic: Should I open a support ticket to find out what upgrades I need? Probably ought to order some known-good material at the same time, although shipping plywood from Australia to Norway won’t be optimal in the long run. :wink:

Best regards,

Fredrik

Domenic,

What is the power increase?  Is that the diode?  And are you saying we should be able to cut 3mm plywood in a single pass with the settings you listed?  I think I have missed some of these new upgrades.  Is there someplace these announcements are made and I just haven’t seen them?  I follow the community fairly regularly, but I guess I missed it.  Found the diode by looking in the store when I was looking for new mats.  I use my Emblaser 2 (pre-ordered in January 2017) nearly everyday and just love it.  It still amazes me how great it works.

 

@Fredrik: Ticket created for you.

@Debbie: We have revised the laser diode, lens unit and air-assist pump. There was a slight power increase (15-20%) with the new diode. The other parts aided reliability and simplicity of cleaning etc.

Glad you are still enjoying your machine!