Burn marks - air compressor?

Hello everyone!

On the side of the plywood that touches the black “cutting board”, I have more burn marks than I would like. Of course, when I cut, I use air assist, but that doesn’t seem to be enough.
I have read in this forum that some of you use more massive sources of air, like an air compressor, but I don’t understand how that can be done.
Would it be possible for some of you that have solved the burn marks issue to explain how you have proceeded and, if you use an air compressor, could you post a picture of your setup?
That would be absolutely great.
Many thanks for your help!


I tape the backside.

I do a material test beforehand and then use the lowest possible value that still cuts reliably in combination with the supplied AirAssist. This cuts without any problems and without any major smear marks.

What happened to me once is that the connection of the air hose on the laser head came loose in the course of a long job and then the cuts - which came at the end - were unfortunately waiting with smoke marks.

Since then, I would always carefully check that the air hose is firmly attached before the job.

I’ll try to post a photo later today & mention this in another thread, but I use EcoPlus Eco Air7 (200W version) with a 3/8" hose directly to the fitting on the laser head. Since it’s an aquarium pump, it’s been running fine for over a year when I used it with my 20W laser diode.

It’s a loud pump without an enclosure, so I mounted it on top of Rockwool insulation and surrounded it with the same material while leaving enough space for the motor to cool. Later today, I’m installing a Y-splitter so I can control the air output when engraving and not stress the motor.

I have an air compressor, but IMO, since most air compressors are not rated to have a 100% duty cycle (unless you want to spend thousands), this setup has been working without an issue. There are barely any burn marks on both sides.

Thank you very much!! This is splendid feedback.
I will try taping the backside.
I think my settings can’t be reduced very much because on some places I barely cut through as is, while other spots have serious marks (I can sand them, but sometimes I can’t get everything away without damaging the top layer of my poplar plywood).
I am very, very interested in seeing your installation, ToastYourJam! If I undserstand everything right, it replaces the existing Air Assist with a more powerful pump, right?
Thank you again, to you all!

I use an air compressor sometimes, but it’s not running anywhere near 100% as you have a large enough tank to last several minutes between duty cycles.

How do you manage the air flow when connecting to your air compressor? To say it otherwise: what do you put between your air compressor and the Snapmaker in order to get the right amount of air coming out?

I just use a regulator with a water trap (which is very important).

Will do. And I feel that without the honeycomb bed, it adds to the problem of the air being unable to go straight down when cutting and trapping more heat in the process, is my guess. I’ve been thinking of getting a 600x600 honeycomb for that reason. It also vents the smoke down and away instead of shooting from the side, back, etc.

The aquarium compressor has the 3/8" hose out that goes to the machine and sits where the stock air hose went, at least on the X-axis, zip-tied. I tied some portion of the hose to the side of the Y-axis so it doesn’t get in the way when it’s moving around, but otherwise, it hasn’t gotten stuck or caused any issues. I cut a 1/2" ply the other day in one pass with no visible burn marks around.

Here’s the photo of the compressor

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003315119951.html to reduce the pressure and water/oil separation. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32909216006.html as flow control.