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How do you know when to replace lens or tube for CO2 Epilog laser

+1 vote
asked Jun 1 by TXsentimentals (130 points)
I have a 50watt Epilog Helix. When I purchased it used it was less than 1 year old.  I have been using it primarily to engrave RTIC brand cups, the painted ones not the bare stainless.  As of late there are lines in the laser work where the paint isn't cut away.  I have tried various settings and art work resolutions but now nothing keeps it from happening.  It isn't used every day and has even sat for 1 month without being used before but I can't say how many hours it was used by previous owner though they claimed to sell it for lack of use.  It doesn't burn on first few passes and then like I said has lines in image of paint not cut away.  I cleaned the mirrors and lens, cleaned rotary tool and tried higher resolution image. Any advice would be appreciated and tips on how to repair.  Thanks very much in advance.
commented Jun 3 by jimmit (4,090 points)
Is it always in the same place? When you say it doesn't burn on the first few passes do you mean the first few lines of the scan or first few times running the job?
commented Jun 4 by TXsentimentals (130 points)
So it always doesn't burn initially and I reset and run until it does. However the problem is that in the rest of the image it leaves tiny lines that aren't burned. I can show a picture if I can figure out how to upload it.
commented Jun 4 by jimmit (4,090 points)
Kind of sounds like the tube needs to be replaced, but if it's just over a year old with light use that shouldn't be the case.  Also, have you contacted Epilog?  Even though you bought it second hand I would think they would still help you.

I've heard of people getting lines due to faulty safety switches that disable/enable the laser during cutting, but since you always have an issue right at the start I'm not sure that's the case, but then again it could be compound problems.

My best guess is that it's time to replace the tube but I would contact Epilog and see what they say.  The good thing about buying a reputable brand like Epilog is the ability to contact them.

Here's a nice blog post showing the replacement of the tube, for your reference.  https://www.evilmadscientist.com/2012/replacing-the-laser-tube/

Please post an answer here when you get it figured out to help other people that run across the same problem.  If there's any other way I can help please let me know.  Best of luck!

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