Broken Laser Cutter

Aug 12, 2010

Ever the engineer, I was curious what path the air assist air took from the hose, through the mirror assembly, to the air nozzle. I have some ideas I want to explore for improving its performance in certain applications.In a moment of stupidity, I broke out the allen wrenches and started removing the head assembly… WHILE THE UNIT WAS ON! Even with the screws out, the head was still connected to the drive belt, and I didn’t want to remove it for fear of not getting it properly tensioned again. So I was lifting the assembly up to see behind it and suddenly the arm jumped forward a couple inches.

At this point I belatedly thought that perhaps I should turn the power off, but found that it was already off. I assumed I had tripped one of the circuit breakers I had seen inside (this wasn’t the first time I’d gone exploring after all!) The fans would come on, and some LEDs on the laser unit lit up, but the main display remained dark.

After a while digging and sending an email to my local support reps, I found the issue. The IC chip at the center of the photo to the right has a hole burned in it. Yikes!

Fortunately, Epilog is a great company and the factory warranty is basically “no fault” so they shipped out a replacement board overnight. An easy swap and careful reassembly had us back in business, and sold on the idea of paying to extend our warranty not disassembling the expensive tool when it’s plugged in!!