Acrylic Questions

Good Morning All,

I really need a little help, and at this point I’m kinda frustrated because it seems like I can only use certain material and it’s not what I want for my project.

Anyway I have a GF Aura and I’m in the middle of a very important project. I’m creating a gift for the Seniors on my sons school football team, that being said I started with the Red Acrylic sheet thats included in the Proofgrade pack and quickly realized I needed another color or something to make it truly stand out and I wasn’t up for using wood, I really wanted to keep it acrylic on acrylic so I was like let me go with another color, like the other color of the school, Blue or white and paint it blue or something.

Good idea right, no? it’s not after putting in a order on the gf website, the support team then told me that the materials are incompatible regardless and the only thing that might work is the leather I ordered but the leather is for another project so I’m kinda out of luck.

So at this point I’m wondering if anyone has successfully cut with a piece of white, clear, frosted or medium blue acrylic with their aura and if you did could you please consider helping me complete this project! I’m truly not sure what to do


Were you able to cancel the items? I didn’t know you had a GF Aura. It is a diode laser that won’t cut any of the colors you mentioned-I think…I didn’t know about blue until just now. I think you can get a thin wood and paint it. How big is the football? Maybe instead of making a backer, how about a holder, like a mini easel or a small stand that the current football can rest in?

I see it can cut the thin plywoods. Has anyone tried cutting Baltic Birch with it? Maybe head to Joann or Michaels (or Hobby Lobby)-whoever has the most usable coupons, and try a piece of their thin craft wood and cut that? I really hope they let you cancel those parts of your order.


Good morning! I discovered early on that the Aura cannot cut or engrave on light colored materials at all. The Aura is a diode laser which emits a blue light…which will pass through any clear or light colored materials. I was disappointed, too…but, it’s not something that we can change. Fortunately for me, I still have my old original Glowforge, but it’s going to be an adjustment for anyone who doesn’t have one for any alternative uses like you describe.

Perhaps another owner might chime in with some ideas for you. Best of luck.

  • I can see now that @CMadok has offered some valuable assistance

Have you tried cutting baltic birch with it? I’m just wondering if there is a wood cheaper than proofgrade that anyone has had luck cutting through. Since the proofgrade wood is finished, it’s impossible to paint nicely without sanding off all the finish…one of my first hard-learned lessons…


No, THEY were not able to cancel the order nor did they state they were incompatible


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Ouch, that’s awful. I have never returned anything to GF, but I’m thinking maybe you can reach out to support and see if they have a return policy?

I was thinking too that the football you might be able to display with a simple stand… It might be cheesy, but maybe a field goal stand? I whipped up something really quick for 1/8" materials, though it would need to be tested…like on cardboard.

Field Goal


This would definitely take more thinking through, I was thinking the football can lean against the field goal…but it’s after midnight here and I’ve only given it a couple minutes of thought.


I guess that’s where I’m lost! After doing my research on Diode lasers, it should be able to cut the Medium BLUE acrylic, seeing as thats not light or light colored but maybe the blue light from the laser is probably the culprit, I still dont get the white, Again that’s not clear, It’s opaque so at this point I’m truly wondering. How can they say it can cut yellow or orange acrylic but not the blue or white? Yea makes no sense. The clear I understand due to the fact that the light passes through the material.


Thats actually not a bad idea. My only problem becomes what other color will I use because I’m not sure red on red is great and I was thinking of black but that’s not their school colors. :woman_facepalming:t5:


I learned something new today. I also didn’t know diode lasers used blue light until this thread.

And I’m not really a visionary, so I was thinking wood, so you can paint the base green and the post white :sweat_smile: Maybe you can engrave the names of the teammates into the base and paint those school colors…how many seniors are there? This is a lot of work to do on an Aura.


I would definitely reach out to support about either returning or exchanging any unused materials that you can’t use. Ask them too to address the descriptions not stating anything about being Aura-compatible. I hope it works out. I’m off the bed! Have a good day!


I knew what a diode laser was before this and all but I didn’t know the Aura was a diode laser before purchasing it. HUGE mistake


I had never seen any kind of laser beside the CO2, so it was quite obvious that something was very different looking with the Aura…with no laser tube.


To an approximation:

White reflects the full spectrum of visible light. It’s not a color but, all colors at once.

Black absorbs the full spectrum of visible light.

The laser cutting a material is about the degree to which it can deposit energy into the material, the degree to which the material absorbs the high energy light the laser emits.

The Aura’s diode laser light is in the blue part of the spectrum. It will cut things that absorb enough blue light.


It doesn’t help for this project, but it’s literally the first question in the FAQ

They also have a specific “Aura” search in the shop for the next time.

For this time - you talked about painting so stick with that! You can cut it out of any colour acrylic and use an acrylic spray paint in the exact colour you want.


I am not going to sit here and say that I read the faqs before ordering my materials, especially when I asked a support representative about the materials before I ordered. They didn’t tell me they were incompatible until after I ordered, with that being said tho, The materials for the Aura, when you search are very few and limiting if you don’t want to work with wood only and I already stated that I don’t want to work with wood. I’m truly trying to understand how a company start off by saying what you supposedly can’t cut that’s is proof grade and then tell us everything it can cut and is not proof grade and in the same breath say we can’t support any non proof grade materials.

They have never supported non-Proofgrade materials for any of their lasers…it’s imperative for legal reasons. I do agree with you though…that somewhere in the exchange between their staff with you about compatablity, it was missed about which laser (Aura or regular Glowforge) you were buying for. That’s a pretty big distinction. I’m sorry this happened to you and hope you can work around it in some way.


The other solution I’ve used is to go ahead and cut the piece you need in black/red. Remove it carefully to not disturb the left over, and use as a jig. Cover the piece in laser safe vinyl, reinsert and recut on lowest setting. I’ve done this many times with felt as well, using spray glue, to give a surface a nice soft texture, in virtually any color you want.


wow, wonderful. Thanks. life saver :smiling_face: