Artisan 40W Laser Issues

The 40W laser is as powerful as advertised, and, in a way, is easier to set up and use than the 10W, but there are some very real problems. Some of these can be solved with software,
some I’m not so sure.

Laser Height
Setting the laser height is a simple process with confusing results. To be clear, setting the laser height is really just setting the z plane at which the 40W laser is focused. This is critically different than the 10W module because the focal length is fixed, meaning cuts start 7mm below the tip no matter what.

The big gotcha here is that the workholders are thicker than 7mm tall, so there’s no way to secure your object to the base in a way that the laser module won’t hit it.

When you start a job and run a boundary, your laser will hit your workholder every time. Technically, advanced mode lets you control the z of the toolhead, but if you save it it overwrites the origin.

Visible Flames Detected
Both on the sample piece and my test cut, the project went for a little while and then the machine abruptly shut down, giving me a “Visible Flames Detected” warning. It’s essentially an emergency stop, so not recoverable. Here’s a video of what it was doing until a manual off/on.

I did not see flames but there’s definitely floating ash and it gets very smoky. This may be related to the z height problem, as I had to raise my laser head 5mm as to not hit my workholders.

Wrong Time Estimate
On every job I’ve run with the 40W, the “% Complete” and “Remaining Time” estimates on the machine show as nearly finished in the middle of the cut. I’m not sure what happened but the lastest firmware update has taken this from unreliable to essentially non-functioning.

Air Assist Plug-In
Be forewarned, the Air Assist (which is all but required for the 40W module) doesn’t plug into 1 of the open accessory slots on the controller, it plugs into the Heated Bed slot from the 3DP module. I’m sure this is a power requirement problem, but nonetheless, quick swap just got slower and more cumbersome.

Feedback welcome.

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Yes, I’ve found that the focusing lever thingy is approximately 1.5mm off (too high) than the measured 7mm distance from the tip of the laser tuyere to the material surface.

I’ve made little material clamps from pieces from mini and midi paper clips with rubber grommets that allow the necessary clearance for the laser head. Sometimes the levers need to be unhooked after placement, but they work quite well and clip on to the bed rails nicely.


Glad I’m not going crazy and missing something. This is a good temporary solution, thanks for the pics + reply.

That said, not including updated workholders is a critical omission on a $900 module. No one should have to invent a solution to a problem that they created. @Snapmaker-Support please revise and send new first party clamps that fit the new module.

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Hi @GAB , thank you for your feedback!

Laser Height
The fixtures that come with the Artisan could not be used with the 20W/40W laser module. Sorry for this inconvenience. There’s a warning info in the Wiki. However, it seems that users might miss on that info. We will improve the Wiki content to increase the visibility of this warning soon. Fixing laser materials on the platform of Artisan | Snapmaker Wiki
For the new fixtures that suit the new 20W/40W laser module, we will pay attention to related feedback and review our SKU settings to see if we can improve them.

Visible Flames Detected
Normally it should not be triggered, but for certain materials, processing does trigger the flame alarm much easier (which indicates some fire risk).
Here are some suggestions:

  1. Set the correct focus and processing parameters (For example, the speed might be too slow).
  2. For some materials, the flame detection threshold can be adjusted in the machine settings. (The default is 500. Higher values are more sensitive.) However, you need to keep an eye on the process during machining, and the fact that flame detection is triggered indicates that there is a real risk.

GAB, you can try set the laser height again following the Wiki guide, or changing the processing parameters or adjusting the flame detection threshold to a much lower value or even zero.
https://wiki.snapmaker.com/snapmaker_artisan/manual/adjust_laser_height_of_3-axis_20w&40w_laser

Wrong Time Estimate
This is abnormal. Please contact our support team and provide the related G-code file and Log: Support Ticket Form

Air Assist Plug-In
Sharing the air assist pump interface with the heated bed interface is a balanced solution that we have evaluated. It allows the G-code control of the air assist pump. However, the disadvantage is that switching from 3DP to 20W/40W laser would require an extra step of plugging-and-unplugging the cable on the heated bed interface on the controller. We’re sorry that we don’t have a better solution to improve this plugging-and-unplugging experience at the moment.

Thanks again for your feedback. If there’s any update to the solutions/improvements, we will share them with the community.

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Jade, thanks for all the feedback. I have an open support case with Simon due to some trouble with the 10W module. I ended up getting the 40W module while the case was open and ran into these troubles, so there is overlap between what you and he have mentioned as solutions.

Troubleshooting will be next week, I’ll keep you in the loop.

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@GAB Thanks for your reply. May I know if you have noticed this instruction when you fixed the material on the laser bed?

No, even after you linked me to the page I didn’t see it the first time. I could be wrong but I don’t believe that particular page is even in the walkthrough for the 20/40W module. But once you do find the page, having that separate tab for the 20/40W module means no one’s gonna see it.

I hate to duplicate content, but I would just put a line in the walkthrough that explicitly says you can’t use the original fixtures. It’s a critical thing to know.

Again though, these are all temporary solutions. You just need to ship fixtures that can be used with the new module. I’m planning on making my own for the time being, so I’ll share what I’ve got when they’re done as a starting place for y’all.

Garrett Broadnax
design@garrettbroadnax.space
512.540.4495

2FDB85C6A036450B9B3899A5260E6F8F.png

What are the official thread specs (TPI, pitch, etc) of the current plastic bolts that mount to the laser plate? I’m making new clamps that require new bolts.

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Continuing the issues list here…

— Wrong Time Estimate —
While originally the time estimate would quickly go to near 0 and stay there, it is now vacillating around a random time.

— Backwards Cutting Path —
Watch this video carefully and you’ll see that the cutting path of each segment is reversed. The curves on this shape form a continuous line - it’s cutting all the segments in the correct order, but cutting each segment from end to beginning. For reference, the path has been cut dozens of times using the 10W module without this issue.

— Fan Running Way Too Long/Loud —
Difficult to tell if it’s the air assist hose or the fan on the 40W Module itself, but the module runs super loud (like CNC loud) for a very long time for seemingly no reason (when it’s not cutting). It will eventually turn itself off, but I’d like manual or better automatic control of this fan.

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I keep running into the Flame detection issue as well. I do not see where you can change the parameters for this, as well Snapmaker does not provided many cutting/engraving parameters at all in Luban (eg the color laser engraving, or engraving concrete, metal, stainless as they show in their videos)

I also agree that proper fixtures as well as a quick lock mounting plate that fits the machine for the 40w laser module should have been provided. I had to remove the mounting plate off my 10w module and bolt it on the 40w module in order to mount it in the machine, effectively rendering the 10w module useless. considering the cost of this module, none of these problems shoul have happened.

Re: Flame Detection Settings
Settings > Maintenance > Laser Calibration Parameters > Fire Sensor Sensitivity. The lower the less sensitive. Support recommended 20 but I went higher.

Re: Everything Else
Yeeeeep

Appears to be M6 coarse nylon. Obviously these are going to be metric and the major diameter is abount 5.75mm which is a bit on the thin side for M6 but close to the lower end of tolerance.

Confirmed. M6 Coarse (1mm pitch)

@Fishstyx can you clarify what M6 you are referring to for GAB? I’m not following this reference. Is this specific to Artisan (which I don’t have)?

He’s referring to one of my earlier requests about the thread specs for the plastic bolts. They have to match the “internal” threads on the laser cutting platform.

FYI Snapmaker Support did respond to that question via email and confirmed them as M6x16. My updated ones (still tweaking for my own needs) are M6x10.

Ah, okay, that makes sense now. Thanks.

Hi @GAB

May I ask have you tried contacting our support team regarding these issues? Have they provided any solutions for this? :thinking:

Visible Flames Detected
I got this from Snapmaker Support:

May I ask if your machine is in an environment with relatively strong lighting? If there’s light shining on the laser head, it might trigger the flame sensor. Please try avoid operating the machine in brightly lit conditions.

In my case this is exactly the Problem. The Printer is placed direct near a large Window. If the sun is shining through the window i always get the Flames detected Error. So i shade the sunlight with a cardboard that covers the side panel of the printer

You can also set the fire sensor sensitivity in Luban connected to the printer in the console withe command: M2000 L16 P10

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I have the same issue on wrong time estimate

Received my 40W module today and attached it to my Artisan.
So far the module is working, tested it on a glass with 30% laser power and 1200mm/min.

worked very well. I put a small towel underneath the glass to avoid cracking in case the rotary module cannot hold it properly.
the glass was engraved perfectly. But also the towel which was almost 10 cm below :rofl:

What does that mean:
The 40W module require a lot more attention about right settings and it shows that a laser is not a toy. Glad that Snapmaker decided to have it operating only with the enclosure door closed.