There are many maintenance jobs that need to be completed on your laser engravers. One important job is to keep your auto focus clean and moving easily. The job of this probe is to set the focal length of your laser to the height of your work-piece. It does this by moving the z-axis until the object on the table bumps the sensor and then the motors move the table backwards a set amount until the focal length is perfect.
You can see a before and after in the pictures above. The probe that is dirty has almost a fur growing on it and the cleaned probe can be seen looking all shiny and new.
Step 1: Gather Cleaning Supplies
The safest way to clean your laser components is to use alcohol. I prefer to use surgical wipes as they are already doused with alcohol and have a convenient wipe to help remove the debris as it is dissolved.
I buy my wipes from an on line auction site and they are very cheap.
Step 2: Move Boom to Center of Bed
Operate your controller pad on your laser panel to move the boom to a central location on your laser bed. You want it in a convenient location where it is well lit, you can clean it without being uncomfortable or loosing your balance.
I prefer slightly to the right of center and 18" from the front, this is the most ergonomic location for me to get my arms in.
Step 3: Open Alcohol Wipe and Clean
Take your wipe out of its wrapper and carefully store it outside of your laser machine. It can be easy to forget that you dropped it down the side of the mechanism.
Grab the end of the probe and gently roll the end of the probe with the wipe. You will see material start to come off immediately. Work your way around the probe ensuring that all the material has been wiped away. Wipe the entire length of the probe and the surrounding plastics. Ensure that the probe retracts easily and re-wipe it.
Step 4: Admire Your Clean Probe and Test Its Function
Now that your probe is clean you need to test it.
Place a work material on the table, activate the z-axis and use the auto datum button to set the height. When the height has been set check it using the acrylic L tool used to manually set your height. Make sure that the match up.
If not check that your mounting has not moved, it it has adjust and tighten the locking nuts.
Complete a test cut and give yourself a pat on the back.