1/4 inch MDF board wont cut!

I am trying so hard, i have read threads ablut this and nothing suggested. is working. I am very new to glowforge, but this is getting frustrating. I can’t even come close to penetrating the MDF board!!! I have tried using the thick draftboard settings, i just dont understand. I have set manual focus to 0.25. as. suggested in one. thread, no luck. I have. no. idea what to do. I need this stuff. to cut! please help me!!!

Hello Rachael. I see you joined the forum last month. Welcome!

It would help if we had a little more information.

Have you had successes with other materials?
Is this MDF proof grade material or is it from a lumber yard?
Is the laser cutting through the material at all?
Does your material lay flat on the tray?
Have you measured the thickness? 1/4" translates to 0.250, but in wood it rarely does.
What speeds and power settings have you tried?


Also, Rachael…do you use the ‘set focus’ button?

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MDF is a manufactured material. It’s glue/resin and sawdust. If you’re not using Proofgrade (Glowforge), then the settings could be far off from “standard”.

1/4" is also pretty much pushing the limits of the machine. Many people do use it but they figured out the settings that work for the specific material they have. I avoid it completely.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of threads here on how to test to determine settings for your material. Generally when it won’t cut, increase power, lower speed, or run multiple passes.


I did. I set it for .25 which is something i read on a previous thread

thanks. that. probably is the the best answer.

No…not the same thing.

That’s using manual focus. Set focus is this;

Second option down…past refresh bed image

You should seldom-to-never have to put in a measurement if you just use ‘set focus’.


Unless you have a set of calipers to measure the thickness of your material you don’t want to just guess at a thickness. Use “set focus” as others have said. Watch to see where the red dot lands. If it lands anywhere other than exactly where you want it to, adjust the location for it and do it again


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