Mirror cleaning issues question

I’ve read with interest the various postings on issues cleaning the mirrors on the Form 1+. Mine is on order and hopefully will be here soon.

My comment is: I have a laser engraver/cutter that I clean the mirrors on daily using simple lens cleaner and cotton swabs. No, I won’t do this on the Form 1+. Thing is I’ve had this unit for over 8 years and the mirrors have never needed replacement. There is a lot of dust in the environment as I cut a lot of paper, card stock, resin plastic coated card and various plywood plus basswood sheets. The machine runs sometimes 12 hours a day with one cleaning doing maybe 24-30 various jobs. I do some rather delicate cutting and have little issues with the results. I have even re-aligned the mirrors when I’ve changed out the laser tube which happens around every 5 years or so. It’s the loss of pressure internally to a laser tube that causes them to go downhill not the amount of usage.

Why are the mirrors in the Form 1+ so much more sensitive? The laser cutter has gold plated mirrors. Seems this would be a major issue for FormLabs to get corrected.

Glad that you made it onto our forum!

The mirror(s) in the Form1+ are sensitive because they are first surface mirrors. The reason we use first surface mirrors in the Form1+ is because they offer an incredibly clear optical path due to the fact that there is no extra layers on the mirror itself that could interrupt the path of the laser. We only recommend using PEC*PADS to clean the mirrors only when necessary. If your environment is dusty, I would suggest limiting the amount of time that the cover is open on the printer, and if possible, locate the printer the absolute least dusty space that you can. Instructions on how to properly clean the mirror can be found here.

I understand the mirror surface plus the Epilog laser unit has a focusing lens just above the material where the Form 1 doesn’t have a focusing lens outside the laser tube itself.

Dust is not a big issue as the laser equipment has an external (outside the building) 750 QFM industrial vacuum system and the air flow in the laser is across the item being cut so the dust is evacuated totally.

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