Yea, I have had that struggle… then I accidentally left a piece of paper under the laser when turning it on to full power. that was a very quick burn!
I had hopes that I could cut and carve with the laser, but from what I’m finding it looks like the cutting will have to be with the spindle and then carving done with the laser. Slight bummer, since wanting to cut some nice detailed cutouts. Guess that’s why people buy the expensive Glowforges or the powerful eBay ‘lasers’
I noticed on mine when I first set it up to try some etching in a piece of cedar, with the laser on full power and focused 1" above the cedar, it cut almost an 1/8" into the wood while travelling 45IPM. I had to turn the power down and increase the speed (I have not measured what the power is set at yet) to etch the wood.
And we’re talking about the focus ring to manually focus the laser? I thought I read (so now I do this) where I re-focus the laser with every work piece? Do y’all not do this, but just set the laser height to exactly 1.5" above the workpiece every time and this means it’s focused?
(also, messes with my eyes that a ‘focused’ laser isn’t a small dot, but looks like a sliver… )
I don’t yet have an x-carve, I used open build parts and some electronics from different sources to build a 1.6 watt. Depending on the material you can cut with multiple passes, but etching is more fun honestly
and also distance from material typically doesn’t matter, it is the focus of the laser. I have set material on the floor and my laser on a set of saw horses and it burned the material just as well as if it were inches away