How to Align your Thunder Laser Nova Series machine - Quick Start Alignment Guide

How to Align your Thunder Laser Nova Series machine - Quick Start Alignment Guide

Preface: This article covers How To align your laser beam in a 3 mirror gantry based Nova laser.

Here are some quickstart videos that will cover 90% of the situations. They do not contain every last iota of detail but should be enough to get most users up and going on their alignment. If you need further information, look further down for the complete guide.

Quick Reference Video 1:

Quick Reference Video 2:

Complete Guide To Nova Series Laser Alignment

We recommend you sit down at a computer to read this information .It is a lot to digest.

Keys to Success:

(Read all of not skip)

1. Make sure the gantry is mechanically aligned else you will have trouble with mirror 3
2. Understand that the Red Dot is secondary to the Laser Beam. Mirrors are set to the Laser Beam, not the red dot. Do not fall into the trap of the red dot.
3. Adjusting a mirror adjusts both the Laser Beam Path and the Red Dot Beam Path
4. Adjusting the Red Dot Pointer is done by adjusting it in the stand it is mounted in and is the last step of alignment
5. Check your alignment first before making adjustment . Pulse a different piece of tape over mirror 3 entry with the Laser head in each of the 4 corners and evaluate
6. Start at mirror 1 always. Do not go to the next mirror until the previous one is set
7. To adjust the burn spot at mirror 2, adjust mirror 1
8. To adjust the burn spot at mirror 3, adjust mirror 2
9. To adjust the burn spot at the nozzle exit, adjust mirror 3 (Verticality)
10. Know that when you initially loosen the stop rings on the adjustment knobs you may inadvertently adjust the alignment.
11. Know that when you tighten the adjustment knob stop rings, you may inadvertently adjust the alignment. Spot check with a pulse
12. When tightening the silver screws for the mirror brackets, do not over tighten, snug is enough
13. Adjust the Pulse Power of your laser depending on your wattage using the max/min settings for the tube from the MENU button
14. Red dot is not the same as the beam spot, see note 2 above. Its worth repeating. You will fall for the Red Dot visual and mess your alignment up worse.
15. Verticality of the beam is more tolerant of deviations with the 2" Lens than the 4" lens due to the distance the beam travels after being focused and the narrow exit of the nozzle cone
16. When starting the verticality step, you may need to swap to the larger opening nozzle cone or remove it entirely to find the laser beam spot
17. You will need tape and patience, lots of one or lots of the other. Be methodical about it. Small adjustments.18. Setting the Max and Min Power for your Pulse


The Red Dot Pointer is a visual only and it is a separate light that is not the same as the Laser Tube. If you find yourself attracted to the red dot like a moth to a flame, place a piece of tape over the Red Dot Pointer for the duration of the alignment until you get to the part where you align the Red Dot to the Laser Pulse Spot.

Common Component Locations:

There are actually 3 parts to this. Aligning the beam from the tube to the head, aligning the beam so its perfectly vertical and central of the nozzle cone, and finally the red dot pointer alignment. They must be completed in that order.

Recommended Min and Max Power For Pulse:

Adjust as needed, default is 20% and will blow through the tape easily. Pulse button can be held longer to get a better pulse.

Tube:                  MinPower1 Percent            MaxPower1 Percent
60watt                        11                                 11
80watt                          9                                   9
100watt                        7                                   7
130watt                        7                                   7

Step 1: Aligning The Laser Beam

Check tube to tape on Mirror 1
Then Check Mirror 2 to Tape on Mirror 2 - Adjust and Verify that burn spot is in the center at both the near and far locations
Then Check Mirror 3 to tape on Mirror 3 - Adjust and Verify that burn spot is in the center at both the near and far locations

The actual laser beam emitted from the tube is invisible so we have a procedure to test the alignment.

Step 2: Verticality  Of The Beam

Please check whether the laser beam is all vertical to the working table’s center and four corners. If yes, please continue to check step two of beam verticality below.

If not all vertical, please adjust the laser beam path (directly adjust the third reflective mirror). Please refer to below video to learn how to check the verticality of laser beam. Please go to step 4 and step 5 of above video directly.

1) When the laser head move to four corners of the working table, check if the laser beam lasers to the same position of the third reflective mirror.

2) When the laser head moves to four corners of the working table, check if the laser beam can vertically go through the acrylic.

Make sure the laser path can meet above two requirements. If not, please adjust the verticality as following instructions (for 3rd reflective mirror)

3rd mirror mount

Adjust screw A: Loosen the nut and rotate clockwise, then the laser beam will moves left; if you rotate counter-clockwise, the laser beam will moves right.

Adjust Screw B: Loosen the nut firstly. If rotate clockwise, the laser beam will moves upward; if rotate counter-clockwise, the laser beam moves backward.

Adjust screw C: Loosen the nut. If rotate clockwise, the laser beam will moves forward and right; if rotate counter-clockwise, the laser beam moves backward and left.

White screws D: Please loosen these three white screws before adjusting Screw A/B/C. After finish, tighten these three white screws (and lock all nuts of screws)

Verticality Step 1:

Adjust Screw A/B/C so as to change the angle of the third reflective mirror. If the laser beam comes out from the bottom center of the laser head, it proves that third mirror is in right 45°. 

Make sure the laser beam comes out from bottom center of laser head, like below:

Verticality Step 2:

Pulse a laser beam on 10mm acrylic, check if the line is vertical or not

If the checking results show as photo 2 and photo 3 Please keep adjusting the laser beam path of 3rd mirror mount until the laser beam’s vertical is working fine as photo 1 as shown.

At last, tighten all the adjusting screws and white screws and move the laser head to four corners to test the laser beam verticality. If the problem still exists, please contact with our tech team in time by email: .

Step 3: Red Dot Pointer

1.Move the laser head on the middle of the working table.

2.Place a square of masking tape over the left side of the third mirror carriage, and mark a dot on the center, like below.

3.Use the three adjustment screws on the Red Dot Pointer Mount to move red dot to the mark dot on the tape, like below.


Visual Aids and Checks:


Mirror 2 Check

Mirror 3 Check

Four Corner Pulse Check

Alignment Technique:

Spot At Mirror 2

Spot at Mirror 3

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