CHEAT SHEET - Important Preparation & First Steps

CHEAT SHEET - Important Preparation & First Steps

It is important to initially set up your machine with only the factory-supplied peripherals and ensure proper operation. Then you can evaluate what (if anything) you may want to do to your machine to enhance its performance. Complicating the initial setup also increases the operational difficulty, and creates rabbit holes when troubleshooting, should that become necessary.

There are some steps that need to be taken into consideration before operating your Thunder Laser Nova series engraver for the first time. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with these things. Even after being given these resources, questions still arise that are covered in this information so please utilize this data to its fullest potential:

If you are coming from glowforge and the like, take all that you know about that and toss it :). Thunder is not harder to learn as long as you go at it with no preconceptions based on "what my other laser did".  But don't worry... We got this!

The manual has 99% of the information you will need like how to unpack, install, setup, and run the machine as well as optics specifications, dimensions, PM, troubleshooting, and more. Refer to it before beginning and frequently thereafter. 

Here is the manual:

Nova Series Users Manual

Here  is our 2020 video on setting up the machine:

And,  here is a recorded 1 hour Initial Training:

Please see this: The Usual Suspects and Preparing For Your 1 Hr. Training

There is safety information that must be understood and adhered to in the manual and we expand on protective eyewear, fire suppression, etc... in this knowledge base article: SAFETY INFO: C02 Laser Radiation, PPE, & Fire Suppression.

First Steps

Whether you are a seasoned laser operator or brand new to lasers, Thunder Laser has a support system that is developed on over 14 years, and this article will have all the brand-specific information you will need when prepping for, setting up, operating, maintaining, and troubleshooting your machine.

Inspect & Clean The Optics

You should clean your optics prior to test firing your machine for the first time. Here is an article on how to do so. Click the following link(s):

This is what can happen if you don't frequently check your optics. Click the following link(s):

Make sure you have the proper electrical and exhaust connections, and that your space is ready for the machineClick the following link(s):

You can begin exploring LightBurn even before your machine arrivesClick the following link(s):

You will need to do some important steps within LightBurn as soon as your machine is connected to your computer
before you operate the machine. Click the following link(s):

Heads, Focus, Crashes, etc...

To help with focus avoid head crashes please see these important articles before you operate the machineClick the following link(s):

The dual-stage air assist will need to be understood and adjusted before you operate the machine. It is critical to help keep the lens from becoming fouled so quickly. You can find out more about how to set, select, and correct a sequencing issue hereClick the following link(s):

Here  is our 2020 video on setting up the machine:

And,  here is a recorded 1 hour Initial Training:

Here are some resources for our rotary devicesClick the following link(s):

Here is info on the camerasClick the following link(s):

Preventative maintenance information can be found hereClick the following link(s):

Should you require support, we have some best practices and links that can help you resolve your issues most effectivelyClick the following link(s):

If you still need technical assistance, the best way to get assistance is by submitting an email to This will generate a support ticket in our system and our agents can respond.

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