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Laser beam focusing on a diode laser
How to do a laser beam focusing
Laser focusing using 3 element regular lens
It is very important to setup a proper focus range on your diode lasers.
Here is a guidance of how to setup a focus range on a 3D printer or CNC machine:
Our experiment was made on Endurance Anet A8 3D printer combo (laser engraver + laser cutter)
1. We need to setup “home”. Define where is 0 for Z axes will be. Use command “G28 Z0” for Anet A8 3D printer.
2. Move laser up on 50 mm over Z axes.
3. Measure the range from the lens to the worktop, we got 37 mm, it means that the laser is 13 mm down (50 mm – 37 mm).
4. Move the laser to an expected focal range (we estimate ~60 mm for 3 element regular lens) + add 13 mm (the difference between 0 and actual laser position). So we have 60 mm + 13 mm = 73 mm
5. Run a g-code (test1.gc)
This g-code draws 20 different lines by changing Z axes in range (-9; 10 mm) from our initial setting 73 mm. Another words we draw lines starting from 64 mm up to 83 mm.
Where the line is the thinnest (on a wood pr plywood) or the most visible (anodized aluminum plate) – that line is in focus and you must use parameter for Z axes always on that level if you want to keep you laser in focus.
Do not forget to measure the thickness of the initial material that you are going to cut or engrave and add it to initial height.
We use aluminum anodized plate with 0.5 mm thickness (not thick at all).
However if you want to get even better results then you may run another g-code (test2.gc) where you have smaller steps (0.1 mm) and check where the line had the most thinnest or most visible.
We have got that 71.1 mm is the best focus we got on regular (long focal 3 element lens) from the Z 0 position.
As for this 10 watt diode laser you need to do final adjustments: 71.1 mm – 13 mm (difference between the laser and Z 0 position) – 0.5 mm (thickness of the material = 57.6 mm is the focal range to make the best engraving from the lens to the surface of the engraved / cut material.
Laser focusing using G2 lens
For the short focal G2 lens we have started to make measurements on Z hights o 19.3 mm + 0.5 mm the thickness of the anodized aluminum plate and we got the best focal range on 6.8 mm hight.
We made a lot of different tests and for each laser and each lens the focal range is setup manualy and it may varies for 3 element lens 20-100 mm, for G2 lens 2-10 mm.
For 3 element lens the best focal range is 57.6 mm
For G2 lens the best focal range is 6.8 mm
Learn more about laser beam focusing
Laser cutting and laser engraving for home and for business.
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Multi-level testing system.
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Can be turned on and off with 0-12V.
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Plug and play
Universal and compatible mount.
Compatible with most 3D printers and CNC machines.
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