Is grounding just for safety or can it also affect the performance of the machine? I have an ungrounded Rabbit 4030 that sometimes makes a loud static snap sound every once in a while during a job. I can live with the scary snap sound, but what I can't deal with is that when it happens the machine seems to skip a beat. It keeps on cutting the job, but somehow it's reference is thrown off about 1/8" so it starts overlapping and ruining earlier cut areas.
Is grounding supposed to dissipate static or is this snapping caused by something else? I normally would just get to grounding this thing instead of asking questions about it, but it's not going to be a real hassle to get this thing connected to the earth.
Static build-up is a bad thing, and the fact that you're getting an audible snap says there's a lot of voltage behind that arc. That said, the ground for the machine case itself, the ground for the communications board, the ground for the motor control, etc. are all separate... they should be connected at some common point, but it wouldn't surprise me if one of those grounds has come loose. Also, the flying head moving back and forth can, in some cases, create a lot of static due to friction. Not much you can do about that without adding in metallic fingers dragging across the gantries, etc.
My first suggestion is to check all of the grounds are properly connected... while not the cause of your static arc, a loose comm ground will cause the jump when the arc happens. Also, it helps to have the controller PC and the laser on the same phase from the main electrical box to remove poor grounding at the box between phases as an issue. Start there and let us know what you find...
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