One of the most important maintenance skills is alignment.
Alignment is the process of ensuring that your tube mounts, all your mirrors and your focusing lens align to give you optimal beam strength and focus. If the beam is badly aligned your laser cutter might not be able to cut through material cleanly, might be underpowered or might have uneven angles in the kerf (the removed material) at the edges of your cuts.
First do a quick alignment test like in this video:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yHAP8A0IG4](http://How to do a quick alignment test on a CO2 laser cutter)
You can run a similar test to check the downward alignment through your focusing lens.
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y89P9a0HI0U](http://How to: Test Vertical Alignment)
Martin Raynsford wrote this when at Just Add Sharks Ltd:
You should also check out Martin’s blog
Another great guide, that is heavy on detail is from Rabbit Laser in the USA:
Not a professional guide, but a great explanation of laser cutter alignment from MakeStuffNow on YouTube
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1c3keOKL6Y&t=193s](http://Laser Cutter Mirror Alignment)
and for comedy rather than for help this video animation with a computerised voiceover, the graphics are helpful to illustrate what’s going on in your machine… sort of the machine with no box around it. Video by Alex Meng.
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yYK1iCT5gU](http://Adjust laser path)
Do you have tips or tricks for alignment? Please share them in this thread.