An engineer's perspective on photo engrave settings for wood

Thank you so much for putting these settings out ther and for all of those who added to them in the comments! This is my first attempt at a picture, did it on med maple ply scrap before I put it on the final piece. I think the settings turned out great! Thanks again!fd3dcc7c-61d4-45e1-9e47-46261defea69


Hi kathy. I am glad that the information was useful. Your engraving came out great!


What improvements were you guys able to come up with and implement in the last 2 years for the photo pg defaults? I curious as I’ve found that the majority of the PG defaults (especially the cuts) are far off mark and dont actually cut. I was hoping to get some insight into the improvements made in engraves?

If this is the case you should be opening a ticket with support and posting pictures - the PG should (and does for the majority of machines) cut/engrave/score perfectly every time. People have found that if they let their machines get dirty they sometimes have to lower the speed or raise the power slightly to address it - but those are heavy users.
If you want to read about all the improvements you can do a search for Dan’s tag’s and “Discussion of” in the Everything Else category ("discussion%20of"%20order%3Alatest_topic) you’ll have hours of great reading ahead of you! Sadly AFAIK you can’t sort from oldest topic so you’ll either have to scroll down until it stops filling, or request it to only show you ones from 2017 first, then 18, etc.


If you want the best “unretouched” photo engraves, I find the Draft Photo setting to give the best results.

If you want to take it a step further and get really professional looking results, it can require making a few quick tweaks to the photo for contrast first. Glowforge has a guide for doing that here for Photoshop and here for GIMP.

(And there are simple plugins for sale that are used by the Pros to prep their photos in Photoshop. Fabulous results…just send a PM to @jbmanning5 and ask about it. I bought it, and I love it.)

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Thanks for the reply, I was asking @dan though. It seems as if there are so many posts where a user asks a specific question, to a specific person and another hops in an answers it rather broadly than specifically. I’m NOT just referring to you, just something I’ve noticed while reading a lot of posts. I appreciate the reading material though :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info. I actually have @jbmanning5 actions :slight_smile: and I TOTALLY love them. I never got any good results from the presets even when my machine was fresh out of the box, purchasing the extra software and actions was a ridiculous improvement!!! Amazing processing and simplicity!

Side note: Hey @jbmanning5 we normally interact on facebook, Ididn’t even realize, although I SHOULD have realized you were over here!


Dan isn’t here as a general rule. (The post you linked to was made in 2017).

If you want a timely answer, in general, you’ll get it from one of the regulars who hang around here long before you hear back from Dan. If he even sees it. The Beyond the Manual section is for the customers, and he might occasionally drop a comment, but he doesn’t read everything here. :slightly_smiling_face:


Just a different data point… I’m pretty anal about keeping my unit clean. I thoroughly cleaned it and immediately engraved 24 beer tap handles. Only about 2 hours worth of engraving. It would not cut through medium PG ply afterward. The laser lens was badly coated from 2 hours of use. Cleaned it and cuts like a dream. So doesn’t take much use to need cleaning.

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When I do silicone rubber gaskets for an aerospace client, I need to clean it after every sheet of 6 gaskets (6"x3"x2mm). Doesn’t matter if I’m using black or clear silicone rubber sheets.

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You’re requesting the CEO of a company to answer a direct question that can be answered if you take the time to do research. The likelihood is very small. You can always send a private message to or send him a message via the forum as opposed to a random post. The chances are still tiny, but certainly more likely than posting here.

“Just email and we’ll get right back to you. Finally, if you’re curious what our voicemail message sounds like, you can find out at + 1 (855) 338-2122”

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Exactly. I know the chances are tiny. But, the CEO is better than us? You are pretty defensive on Dan’s behalf. It was a request for information, not a demand. I know it’ll never get answered. Who cares who I tag and when? lol. IT’S JUST A TAG. Dude, it’s not that serious. Take a deeeeep breath. Dan is a big boy, if he sees the tag, cool. If not, that’s cool too. I just don’t understand YOUR need to reply to me about tagging Dan. He’s not a god. He’s a CEO. It’s all good man. You do you. I’ll do me. Have a good one man.

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i think her comment was in light of your earlier response, where you kind of hammered someone else for answering because you specifically tagged dan and, i guess (???), only wanted to hear his answer.


I realize that, and thank you for not replying to me like I’m an idiot. :):smiley: I realize that @dan the man won’t see it or reply to it. But it’s whatever. It’s the members that make a community great, and not being condescending is a good approach, so thanks for that. I was looking through a bunch of different posts from 2017 and Dan was replying to about 50% of them, I realize this is no longer 2017 and he was much more active then than now. It’s all good. I’ve had more help than I ever dreamed from members like @jbmanning5 and others from facebook groups than I’d ever imagined. I just have a bitter taste in my mouth with spending $5,000 for an item and it was antiquated the day it was delivered (doesnt recieve 5 Ghz wifi, no LAN port, no USB port, bed size marketed as 20x12, but reading more shows smaller) I’ve had lots of cool things that I’ve made and I’ve learned an incredible amount of things, I just expect more I guess. Chat support I hear is getting better, I even heard a user getting a phone call from support within 5 hours of submitting his issue.

I also realize ALL of my post is off topic from the main thread, but it started as a question to Dan about photo engrave and devolved into this with the assistance of another users condescension, but it’s cool, I’m out!.. Yall have a good one. I don’t forsee myself coming back to this forum for any type of interaction at all. Meh. Peace and love all :slight_smile:

Hold up… what? Who did I hammer? All I said was “thanks for the reply, i was asking dan though” If that’s your idea of hammering…jesus. You should chill too man. It’s legit NOT THAT SERIOUS.

If you want to go back to the beginning with me, lets go. I said "PG defaults (especially the cuts) are far off mark and dont actually cut. " to which I replied “thanks for the reply”

Not one part of that was hammering anyone, at all. So, you are slightly off base. Go back to my first post in the chain and see who I was replying TO and what my comment WAS.

And, of course I wanted to hear HIS (Dan’s) answer, that’s WHY I TAGGED DAN and not you or the other users. lol. Why else would someone tag someone unless they wanted to see their response.

This is getting out of hand. Please don’t reply. I truly truly truly do not care enough to continue replying to “Dan’s super defender squad” Jesus.

We all kinda wish Dan had the time to hang around that he used to. :wink:

Lots of misunderstandings going on here, I do hope you don’t write off the forum. Folks are feisty, but generally only trying to be helpful when they jump in with suggestions or answers.

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To be fair, I don’t really know that those things antiquate the device.

I can only imagine the connection issues we would see with 5ghz connections; range/weak signals already seem to be a significant issue with 2.4ghz (yes, I’m ignoring congestion). For the small amount of data the device moves, I don’t see how a 5ghz connection would improve things.

One could definitely argue that LAN and USB ports/tethered connections are antiquated methods, couldn’t they? Not that I wouldn’t mind seeing those, but they definitely aren’t cutting edge.

The workable area was disappointing to see change. That did change before any production units were ever released though. Dan has said recently though that the plan is still there to go up to 20.4”, I believe. Which will be nice. But I also don’t feel that a dimensional change necessarily antiquates things either.

On the editing side/PG (engrave) settings, I think it’s a pretty tall order to hit the mark. I think they had a lot planned for optimizing images that were just uploaded “as-is”. They’ve got some great programmers, but the “auto-optimization” feels so tough based on a lot of the images I see people engraving. The auto-optimization worries me for other reasons, which may be me wanting all the control. I don’t want my images being changed from run to run - but, I can see the desire for that to make it just simple - upload and go.

I’m glad the actions are working out well for you! I feel like they make life so much easier in getting from point A to B/final output and aren’t overly intimidating even for people new to Photoshop.

That said, I feel like the PG engrave settings are definitely hot - but that’s a personal preference thing. I like the “printed look” more than the carved look.

A lot of great points. I’m only going to address the 5ghz and LAN ports. My ISP router this week decided to no longer push out 2.4ghz. Had 5ghz been available, it would have been no issue at all. Or if I had an ethernet port it would have been no issue at all. But it was an issue. Albeit it was an ISP issue, there was ZERO fallback method other than to change my data plan on my cell phone provider to enable 2.4ghz hotspot on my cell phone so the GF would see the network. They are for sure not cutting edge, they’ve been around forever soooooo, why not include them on a $5,000 machine?

Until I got your photoshop actions and other advice from you and the GF users group, photos pretty much just sucked. So, thank you for all that! Have a good one, I need to get some sleep.

I’m not trying to resurrect something that I literally asked for no one to reply to, but If you can just check this thread from TODAY. You can see that Dan actually DOES see and reply to posts. So, next time someone has a question specifically for Dan, please don’t jump down their throat and make them feel stupid that a CEO is too good for us little people. Glowforge says offline but is on

So, have a good one, try to be a little less judgmental and realize that CEO’s are people too. People that are able to answer and reply to forum questions as simply as you did.

This is very useful. I have found that photo engraving is the biggest thing that people like so this will help me out greatly! Thanks!

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