Were you in the middle of an exciting engraving project, and suddenly, your laser engraver decided to take an unexpected break during the process?
Don’t worry! You’re not alone.
I've been through the same frustration, and over the years, I've uncovered three reasons for such unexpected halts: electrical interference, unexpected power surge, and faulty USB cable.
I'm Unni, and I'm a laser engraving expert. In this guide, I will explain the reasons behind unexpected laser halts and how you can rectify them.
|Avoid tangling of power cables with the USB cable
|Unexpected Power Surge
|Provide a separate power supply to the air assist
|Faulty USB Cable
|Replace the faulty USB cable
1. Electrical Interference is the most common reason why this Happens
Laser engravers work on electrical signals that are transmitted by the controller to precisely control the movement of the laser module and the firing of the laser.
Any interference with these signals can cause the laser to malfunction and completely halt the operation.
This is one of the most common causes of unexpected laser halts, and it generally occurs when your USB cable is tangled with the laser's power cable or air assist's power cable.
The fields generated by the power cable interfere with the electrical signals in the USB cable and halts the process.
How to Fix Unwanted Electrical Interference?
To fix these electrical interference, make sure that the cables are separated properly and do not tangle with each other.
Spending some time initially to manage the cables will save you from unwanted frustrations caused due to unexpected laser halts.
Another fix for this issue is to use a USB cable with a ferrite bead; it is the cylindrical block that some USB cables have at one end.
This block minimizes the risk of electromagnetic interference caused by other electrical devices around it.
2. Unexpected Power Surge
Another cause of unexpected laser halts can be a sudden power surge.
These surges are not always an anomaly caused by the fluctuation in the main power supply of your facility, sometimes, the fluctuations can be locally caused.
One such reason can be your air assist pump.
I personally experienced it when I was working on a project where the laser had to engrave a design first, followed by cutting the outline.
So, when the layer switched from the engraving layer to the cutting layer, I manually turned on the air assist, and suddenly the laser came to a halt.
In this case, the laser machine does not turn off, only the laser comes to a halt, and nothing you do can make it resume the process again.
You will have to turn off the laser and turn it back on to reset the controller.
How to Fix Unexpected Power Surge?
Power surges are most common when the air assist is powered through the controller of your laser or if you have connected the laser and the air assist in the same power outlet through a multi-plug outlet extender.
Generally, if your project involves continuous use of air assist, then the power surge should not be an issue.
The surge only occurs when you turn on the air assist mid-way during the process, and the pump draws power to get started, causing a fluctuation in the input power of the laser.
To avoid this, you can power the laser and the air assist from separate power outlets.
If you are facing this issue while the air assist is powered through the controller, then it is recommended to disconnect the air assist from the controller and provide a separate power supply for it.
3. A Faulty USB Cable
If all the electrical aspects of the laser are completely fine, and you still face unexpected halts, the suspected culprit is a faulty USB cable.
A faulty USB cable can cause frequent disconnection and halt the laser unexpectedly.
Sometimes, turning on the air assist can cause slight vibrations, leading to the disconnecting of the faulty USB cable.
While the halt was induced upon turning on the air assist, the disconnection is caused due to your faulty cable.
This might lead you to think that the fault lies in the air assist, while the actual culprit remains unnoticed.
Moreover, if you use an extension cord to increase the length of the cable, the issue can also be with the intermittent joint.
To fix this, you first need to check the cable is properly connected at the terminals, and if everything is connected properly, replace the faulty USB cable.
When buying a new cable, look for the one with a ferrite bead to avoid electromagnetic interference.
Note: Generally, it is advised to test the cable by swapping it with another one (if you already have a spare). If you don't have a spare, then it is preferable that you try out the above two fixes first and then purchase a new cable as a last resort.