Laser Cutter Ammeter

So I noticed there’s a note on the laser cutter which reads “If meter shows above 21mA, STOP!” with no further clarification. I also didn’t see anything about the ammeter in the SOP book. Is this note still valid, and if so what are the consequences of exceeding it?

I was running the machine yesterday at 45% and it was holding steady at 20mA. It seems that 5 or 10% more power would cause it to exceed 21mA. If that can damage the tube, it might be worth clarifying or adding something about it to the checkout.



Great question. Here is my general understanding of lasers. @Jtempkin

1)Safety: Operating the laser cutter within its specified limits ensures the safety of both the operator and the equipment. Exceeding the recommended current can lead to overheating, electrical issues, and increased risk of fire or other accidents.

2)Laser Tube Longevity: The CO2 laser tube, which is a critical component of the laser cutter, has a finite lifespan. Exceeding the recommended current can put undue stress on the tube, leading to premature failure and the need for costly replacements.

3)Beam Quality: Higher currents can result in increased beam instability and poorer beam quality. This can affect the accuracy and precision of the laser cutter, leading to lower-quality cuts or engraving.

4)Optics Damage: Excessive current can cause damage to the optical components within the laser cutter, such as mirrors and lenses. This damage can result in decreased efficiency and reduced laser performance.

Great info. I mainly brought this up because it wasn’t something I was made aware of during the checkout. I could see myself or someone else trying to run it at 100% to cut a thick material without realizing that the actual limit is more like 50%. Or maybe the laser automatically limits current, so the note is just in case something is wrong with the controller? I obviously didn’t try a higher power once I saw it was at 20mA.

That is a smart idea not to crank things up, however if I remember correctly the laser has been set so that it does not go above a certain wattage, don’t hold me to that though. The only time I’ve ever seen that dial go above the 21 mA threshold is when I was cutting a thicker piece of plywood at least 1/4 thick. What I have found from speaking with other members is to make multiple passes to avoid going over the threshold.

Hi, I’m from Kzoo Makers. I do the servicing on our lasers at our space. If your space would like, I can drop in sometime and volunteer service of your laser; so the power is limited correctly (100% setting is 100% of safe current, instead of ~45% setting being 100% safe current), as well as a general maintenance/look over.