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Focusing your laser and motorized Z-axis

The Laser beam moves across your artwork moving in both the X (left-to-right) and Y (back-to-front) directions. How about the up-and-down position, i.e. the Z direction?

Why move the Z-axis?....Because this is how the laser beam is focused on the material you are engraving/cutting. The material you are working on is placed in the laser on the artwork platform. After you put the material in the laser, you move the Z-axis of the artwork platorm (i.e. move the platform up or down) and use a "focus tool" to assure that the material you are cutting is at the correct distance from the laser lens so that the laser beam will be in focus on your artwork.

The ILS-R allows movement of the the Z-axis by 0.8 inch (20mm). This adjustment is not very much because the ILS-R is an entry level machine that is intended for relatively flat items. The adjustment of the Z-axis is done manually.

The ILS-II and ILS-III allow the artwork platform to be adjusted by 4.7" (120mm) and 8.4" (210mm) respectively. So each of these lasers can accommodate a much more variety of shapes and thicker materials. The ILS-II and ILS-III have a Motorized Z-Axis adjustment, i.e. a motor inside of the laser engraver is used to move up/down the artwork table. The control panels on these lasers have buttons for adjusting the artwork table position.

Once the artwork platform is adjusted for proper focusing, the platform is not moved again until new thicker or thinner material is placed in the laser requiring a refocusing. The focusing operation takes only a few seconds, and only has to be done when you change the material's thickness.

The movable artwork table also permits the unit to accommodate the rotary attachment for engraving on round and cylindrical shaped items like wine bottles, baseballs, etc. The rotary attachment is about 4" tall, and thus will fit in either of the ILS-II or ILS-III. The rotary attachment cannot be used in the ILS-R.