This is going to be a little warning to others using laser cutters/engravers….

A couple of weeks ago my X700 from china caught on fire during a job, but let me be clear about who’s to blame for this…. ME.
The machine is placed in my garage, and i usually sit in the next room while it does its thing… Even though i know not to leave the machine alone while its cutting, i have become pretty relaxed about the machine beeing safe to use during the years ive had it.

I was going to make a simple, small name sign for a house in white acrylic. After the first test i saw that there was some deforming of the acrylic where the acrylic touches the honey-comb surface, so i decided to place some wooden blocks under it to lift the acrylic a bit so that the deformation didn’t happen.

Then i had another problem… The letters contained some small parts that fell trough the honey-comb and dissappeared, so then i had this genious idea to put something under to catch the small parts… Now in hindsight a cardboard box was probably not the best choice, as it ends up directly in the lasers path….. (Note to self: Stop beeing an idiot).

I started the cutting and sat down in the next room and after only a couple of minutes i went back to see how it was going. What i saw was a large flame about 30cm in diameter and about half a meter tall right in the middle of the machine… Luckily i keep a fire extinguisher close by and quickly put out the fire.

Here are some photos of the aftermath:

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You can still see the residue from the powder from the extinguisher. Luckily i didnt have to use it to much to stop the flames.
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The acrylic got burnt to a crisp.
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Underneath you can see the culprit that caught fire.

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How could i put a CARDBOARD box under there… It blows my mind to this day.. What an idiot.

The only real damage to the machine was incredible enough only that the insulation for the cable that goes to the X axis end switch melted off, and that was easily repaired

The lesson to take from this is that whenever you try something new with a lasercutter… Watch it like a hawk.

Author: Christian Arnø

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