Changing laser head

I have a chinese 100W laser cutting machine which is almost 18 months old, and I’d like to change the laser head. I think the lens is getting old and the performances of the laser are decreasing.
Here are some pictures of the current one:

Does anyone have suggestion of where to buy it, on Aliexpress, but which store ? And which model?
Thanks for your help.

I don’t have any specific recommendations but cloudray is a good place to look.

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Thanks Don, this head seems similar to the one I have

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You should be able to just buy new lenses & mirrors.

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I think the mirrors are ok, but the lens seems in bad shape. But I don’t know how to change it with the head I have. So I think I’ll change heads as a whole.

Just disconnect the air line (push the blue ring down and pull the tubing out) and unscrew the lens tube. It comes apart like this:

Edit: By the way, the C&E heads do not work with your bracket. You’d need to make a new one.


What is the bracket ?

It’s what I do when I clean the lens, but it seems the lens is somehow attached to the lower part of the tube, and I don’t see how I can remove it.
I’ll post pictures soon.

What is the bracket ?

The piece of metal the head is attached to. You can see which kind of hole pattern these C&E Series heads use on Cloudray’s website.

The head you currently use should use four screws in a 20x20 mm pattern centered around a 20+ mm hole.

A C Series head uses a 36x21 mm pattern centered around a 24+ mm hole. The E Series head uses a different pattern and there is also a version which got its mounting holes on the side.

If you want to use one of those heads, you have to figure out how to attach it to the head carriage. Depending on mirror mount #1 & #2 and the tube mount, you may not have much wiggle room for the exact position of mirror #3.

Cloudray sells an adjustable bracket which lets you adjust the Y and Z position of the head:

However, the question is of course if you can make that bracket work with your machine.

[…] seems the lens is somehow attached to the lower part of the tube, and I don’t see how I can remove it.

The lens should be held in place by a locking ring similar to the silver one you can see in this exploded view:


Thanks for your help @tomatsu !

Yes, here is a closer picture:

No I’d better find a head that fits the bracket. But the best would be to change the lens. Here are some pictures : how can I remove the lens? How to unscrew this locking ring? Do I need some specific tool? There are 2 small holes on the surface of the ring, maybe not easy to see on the pictures.

A pin wrench (US) or pin spanner (UK) is the canonical tool for this job. Or just poke with something the right size and turn it…

Thanks Micheal, the tool must be able to reach the holes inside the cylinder. I’ll go to the nearby DIY store (Leroy Merlin if you’ve heard ot it) to see if they have anything that would fit in.

A snap ring tool might work.

I have removed these rings before by:

  • Hold the assembly in a vice.
  • Use a small but long enough Philips head screwdriver
  • Put the screwdriver in one hole and tap counterclockwise (unscrew).
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Cloudray sells one which should also work for this (check the dimensions in the technical drawing):

The locking ring which holds mirror #3 in place is similar.

I got a similar head (it’s the telescoping 12 mm variant). I 3D printed a tool which uses two small 2 mm screws for the pins:

There are some designs on Thingiverse with more reach like this one:

(Edit: That one is for 25 mm mirrors. It’s too large. Can’t find a 20 mm one. Well, you basically just need a cylinder with two holes for the pins. It doesn’t need to be fancy.)

Since it only needs to be finger-tight, the tool can be also made of wood or whatever. E.g. you could also laser cut a small disk and a handle and use two nails or screws for the pins.

Some people just use small needle nose pliers, a bent wire, or whatever, but that’s a bit awkward in my opinion. There is also the risk of damaging the lens if you use pliers etc. With a dedicated tool, you are physically unable to touch the lens with either of the pins.


Thanks, I don’t have a 3D printer.

Looking at the tool from Cloudray :

I measured the inner diameter of my lens tube: 18mm, so the toll won’t fit in. The spacing between the holes is 16mm. I’ll ask them if they have such a tool, but a little bit smaller…

There are lots of options for making such a tool. It only has to hold two pins and be able to reach the locking ring.

You could, for example, use some piece of wood which is thick enough to hold the pins, cut off a strip which is wide as the diameter, and then sand down the corners to make it fit. It doesn’t need to be super precise or pretty.

Or you could use some dowel for alignment and a stack of laser-cut rings. And then you just glue that together.

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The caliper police will try to arrest me for this, but… If you have a set of cheap calipers you don’t care about (I have some where the electronics failed), you could probably just use the inside measurement jaws to engage the pin holes and act like a pin wrench. :grimacing:

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I’ve got the same head on my laser. This is what I use:

It’s not fancy, and there’s a risk of scratching the lens if you don’t pay attention. I bought the CloudRay tool, but as you pointed out, it doesn’t fit.

Buying a new head can apparently involve a significant optics change, if your new head isn’t sufficiently adjustable. Your beam path all the way from the tube to the third mirror needs to be on the same plane. If it’s not, trying to get your system aligned can be impossible. I’ve been thinking of replacing my laser head because I want an adjustable lens nozzle so I can better use my passthrough. But I’m waiting to re-do all the optics from the tube mounts to the laser head before I do that.


Thanks @lesept for sharing this.

Laser head with red point cutting head always follows the material to keep the cutting point location unchanged