Anyone else about sick of their machine?


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This thread (and the links in it) may be pertinent.


Thank you for putting it simply. It’s just frustrating because power and speed are equal across the board as long as the wattage range is the same. Plain and simple. No need to be different unless they have some ground breaking technology that will change the industry.

Does anyone even really know the difference between 100 and full power? I have yet to see it explained other than power even higher than “high.”

I hear your frustration and I hope it diminishes as your successes mount. We all know things are not really as simple as the marketing video or “simple” instructions make them out to be. Golf looks simple on TV, but I am tempted to throw my clubs in the nearest pond almost weekly, and I have been trying to play the game for years. The Glowforge has its problems, but I sure love mine.


I actually started that thread and the resolution was, we just don’t have PPI because of how they do things.

But they do pulse power during engraves. Because of that, it does seem like they could provide a PPI setting for cuts, if they wished.

Some day I will experiment with using an engrave to cut a shape out of PETG. Even if it works, it would be too slow for production though.

but would it be accurate to say PPI?

this implies that the GF doesn’t actually pulse during cuts. it’s continuous. it may be possible that there’s some sort of conversion that’s at least in the ballpark. and it would be nice to know what that was for comparison sake so when you see those other settings for, say, a 40w machine, you have a starting point for what to set the GF. as it is, our starting points are pretty much, “is it similar to XX proofgrade material?” or “is it similar to this other non-PG material i did in the past?” and if the answer is no to both of those, you’re just SWAGging until you find something that doesn’t muck everything up.

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I’ve certainly had my moments of frustration, but I’ve grown to absolutely LOVE this machine. It’s a shame that you basically shut out any advice from @evansd2, because the information and tips he’s posted have been a treasure trove of info, and TONS of help.


Kind of like having to deal with 40W vs 40W. Lasers are notorious for providing the illusion of specificity. My Chinese 40W laser was only 40 if I over powered it and killed the tube doing so. It was really a 32W tube in my “40W” laser. The 60W in the Redsail is closer but still off. Many tubes are rated at their max power which you don’t want to use because it shortens tube life. GF won’t let you over power your tube and kill it prematurely.


Thanks. That’s a more pertinent old post than the one I was thinking of.

100% is the same strength on every GF. Full power is model-specific.


There is a lot that annoys me about the glowforge, but to be fair to it; my new Epilog also has made up numbers for their feed settings (power is just percent) and trotec use a similar decimal number for their machines. It’s not like I type in 80in/sec when I want to do an engrave at full speed.

I vastly prefer my epilog (good lord does the glowforge need a “repeat” setting) but I also paid a lot more money for it. Glowforge is fine for it’s price and all lasers have their company specific things you have to do.


I don’t have that…I have a basic. But, to your other questions…yes, I’ve been able to line stuff up successfully…and when dealing with a more difficult thing, I’ve also made templates. I’m sure we’re different like that, though. I don’t mind doing it. In fact, that’s part of the learning curve and I’m loving it all.


Except approachability for the huge non-technical user base, it definitely gains there. Don’t underestimate that, there aren’t enough of us math-oriented types to support a company like this. I don’t need to tell you how much you can do with this machine (I mean you’re groovestranger, you know what you’re doing), the lack of standardized movement/min amounts hasn’t stopped us from making amazing things; I’d even say it didn’t slow us down.


But do you know how much more powerful it is than 100? Do we know how many watts 100 is?

Ah, I see what you’re saying. While the engineer in me might care, the hacker/crafter doesn’t. I’m too busy having fun, and the little details just don’t seem to matter for how I use this tool. My challenges tend to be in the realm of design, since the mundane details I’ve worked out and written in a little notebook.


Should I care? My notebook of settings for all of my lasers are different. Doesn’t stop me from being productive and if the GF said it was 42W (I have a Pro) and the Redsail said it was 50W and the K40 said it was 40W I wouldn’t know anything because I know the K40 is lying (I have a calibrated laser power probe). Haven’t bothered checking the Redsail and haven’t figured out how to get the probe in a steady beam in the GF for the 30 seconds it needs to read.

My life is not noticeably more difficult.


@iancandace Instead of randomly trying out settings I modified a suggestion by @evansd2 and set this up as just a piece od any new material …
It takes work to set up the first time but I leave it in the GFUI and use it as needed. You set all the cutting speeds to the numbers noted and the engrave speed to twice those numbers (all full power) the last cut cuts across the engraves so you see how deep they are. I sand that face down a bit till I see clean wood and you can see how deep each cut is. or you can look at the bottom and see which cuts made it through.

If you watch carefully you can see if the smoke catches fire and if it starts catching fire at 400 or so you might want it wet while cutting or use some other species.This is Zebra Wood…


Download the SVG above and it will provide all the settings you need @jamesdhatch was just pointing out that the practical application of your experience and notes are what counts. It is interesting that Glowforge does not hype the numbers as much or that you don’t want to run other lasers at full power but if I had another machine I would have to run the same tests and note which machine it was.

Folk here are trying to help and insulting them does not make it better for anyone and can eventually get you tossed from the forum.


Frustration comes when you realize that the 40 W laser is not really in any way the 100 W laser you need to do a Beautiful engrave on Stainless.

The very first thing I did on my Glowforge was to Engrave on my Mac Book at Full Power with a pass over of 10 times.

It was than I Realized the limits and quality of the laser.

Next I Layered four pieces of acrylic with a piece of paper between each , and again I found out the limits of the laser.

Full Power was nothing more than the laser being just a bit wider spread, better for Cutting through thick acrylics

Yes you can do stainless, but its not anything your going to want to show your friends and they are not going to be wowed by the engrave as no one was wowed by my Amazing Engrave on my mac, its just not true pro quality .

With that said the Joy comes from being able to use the Machine to create those things that a 40 W does extremely well, but Stainless is not one of them.

Even if you do manage to get something good it wont be consistent and that means huge waste of material.

We all wish are laser could be converted to 100 W and than we would be Etching away at are silverware especially my guns, its just not going to happen nor worth the results when a 100 W laser was made for it.

We have 40 W, Once you accept that is the challenge , the only real frustration is Lining things up for repeated cuts and knowing that the laser is not 100% consistent and so you have to deal with that .

The glow forge has been amazing for are business. I fired the razor blade, the ruler, the circuit cutter the brother scanner and forbid scissors anywhere in the office.

The glow forge community has been amazing, and have shared with me there bread and wine for which i have been very great-full. Saving me much time and energy but required work none the less

Now take a deep breath, forgive Glowforge for not being the 100 W we all want some day and focus on Creating , an concept work, for which it is perfect for.


My only frustration is when even the Proofgrade stuff, which is supposed to work out of the box, doesn’t. I’m fine with testing my own materials, I expect it. But I also expect the PG stuff to work as advertised, and yet I still have instances where it just doesn’t cut all the way through. The point of buying this,m and using PG was to skip all the test cuts and trying different settings… And yet, still today, I’ll get PG that doesn’t cut all the way through as expected. When it happens, everyone is quick to jump “clean it”, “make sure it’s clean”, etc… I have no piece of machinery that is as clean as my GF because I want it clean and working, but I still get incomplete cuts. All the time. To me, that is the frustration I have with this thing.

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