A Question on Scoring

Now this might just be me, but I think that the scoring on the GF is WAY too deep. The proofgrade settings on most materials seem to go 99.5% of the way through the material.

I personally think of a score as a quick shallow run on piece of material that is only visible on the surface and wont damage the structural stability of the piece. The current scoring settings commonly leave me with pieces being punched out that should never become detached, etc.

So, I wanted to ask what all of you think should happen with scoring (maybe they make settings on proofgrade by depth %)

What depth should scoring go to?

  • I like the current score functionality
  • I think it should be 75%+ depth
  • I think it should be 50% depth
  • I think it should be 25% depth
  • I think it should be 10% depth

0 voters


Are you still using your original PRU? The new settings don’t cut as deeply, but you might not be able to access them yet with that machine.


Yup if you are still on a pru all bets are off. Some are okay, but others need a bit of adjustment.


I haven’t used the GFUI, but I wish “Proofgrade mode” would have a 0-100% slider for the power level to specify depth on scores.


That’s a phenomenal idea.


Can’t say I don’t agree =)


Different meaning for different industries.

“score fold” or a crease, or to score to make a light scratch or mark.


I have the new settings and have tested them all to see how they work.

It appears that quality mode has a consistent depth of like 80-99% depth on materials (depending on material), while the rest of the score modes burn with that same depth at corners, but shallower in between.

Changing these settings manually from the quality setting causes the burned corners to reappear, so I fear they might be hardware limited in this case to only have consistent score depth at the deep level. I can’t confirm otherwise yet as I am still on the PRU.

Prior to having a Glowforge I would always run my scores incredibly lightly as I felt it better to have only visible changes to the material without sacrificing it structurally.

I’m wondering if/hoping this will be possible on the GF at some point. It seems quite a number of others are in agreeance

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Well in my time using lasers I haven’t found a reason to score deeply into any of the ply materials etc.

I guess it would be helpful to know if there are any good reasons to score that deeply that I’m unaware of.

Anyone have any?

I agree. Even with the new settings I just do scores manually. But it’s a PRU so maybe it’s just too hot. I don’t believe that to be true since the other PG settings are all working as expected. Scores just seem to be shallow cuts, not markings.

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Nah, I’m with you, default score should be more like vector engrave than an almost cut.


Huh, I always thought of scoring as basically what you described the current operation to be. Like, you score something when you want to be able to snap it out later but don’t want to cut all the way through right now.

In the print design world, you score paper or cardboard so it folds neatly along that line.

In construction you score ceramic tile so you can break it along the line. Stained glass you score the glass so it breaks along that line.

GF scoring sounds more like the construction and stained glass examples. So maybe it’s to keep a part intact until the user is ready to remove, such as the postcards that you snap Christmas ornaments out of?

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Not typically in the laser arena. For that (flat pack pop outs) you do a tiny (like .01mm) “tab” or interruption in the cut line. A couple or three of them per piece keeps the part in the base material. Then when you want it out it takes just a little pressure and because the tab is so small you don’t have an issue with needing to sand the edge or anything.


I was thinking this was only being applied to one side, not to the whole object being cut out.

The only possible application for a deeper score I can think of might be in acrylic edge lighting where the depth would be visible and desirable.
For an opaque material I think a depth to present a distinct line is all that is necessary. 10% of material thickness would be plenty.

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@takitus, your prerelease unit’s behavior is different from production units.


Great idea! Into the hopper!


@dan I know its a bit different, but it cant be by much.

Even the pieces Ive had cut by glowforges from the booths at makerfaires have had the scores going most of the way through the piece of material. Is this as intended, or are we going to see scoring change to be something more akin to a 10% depth instead of the current offering which goes most of the way through the material?

What is the goal of a score in the eyes of glowforge?

I’m definitely seeing different results. I haven’t seen any proofgrade scores go “most of the way” through any material. I just cut test pieces in some scraps of medium cherry ply, medium maple ply, and medium draftboard using each of the current score settings:

The fast and draft settings (in the middle) barely made it through the plywood veneer, especially on the maple. The deepest was “high quality score,” but even that didn’t make it half way through the sheet on any of the materials. If I have a chance, I’ll do the same test on a few more :proofgrade: materials this evening.

I’d love to see what results other people are getting. Here’s the SVG I used: