This CHEAT SHEET will have 99.9% of all the information you will need when prepping for, setting up, operating, and maintaining your machine.

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 Unified Owner’s Manual (US)

Here  is our 2020 video on setting up the machine:

And,  here is a recorded 1 hour Initial Training:

Please see this: 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 knowledgebase article: DANGER: Class 4 C02 Laser Radiation, PPE, & Fire Suppression.

You should clean your optics prior to test firing your machine for the first time. 

Here is an article on how to do so: Inspecting and Cleaning Nova Series Optics.

This is what can happen if you don't frequently check your optics: Common ZnSe Focus Lens Failure

Make sure you have the proper electrical and exhaust connections and your space is ready:

To help with focus avoid head crashes please see these important articles

before you operate the machine:

The Basics Of Focus

Nova Series Overview - Heads, Optics, Focus

Nova Series Auto Focus 101

Preventing & Recovering From A Head Crash

You can begin exploring LightBurn even before your machine arrives:

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:

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 here:

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 devices:

Here is info on the cameras:

Preventative maintenance information can be found here:

Should you require support, we have some best practices and links that can help you resolve your issues most effectively:

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.