Anyone else about sick of their machine?

Sorry you’re not having fun. There is definitely a learning curve and sometimes it feels overwhelming. You clearly have the skills since you use CNC.

It’s my experience that testing and wasting material to find perfect settings is something that happens with literally every machining option out there, even CNC.

Have you considered selling your machine? One of the things that makes glowforge different is the community of people around here and that doesn’t seem to be working for you. I bet you can still recover a lot of your investment.

Wish you the best with your projects.


I agree 100%, I think their insistence on using their own numbers for settings is bananas.

Even more, I lament the absence of a PPI setting, which other lasers have. It is a critical parameter for some kinds of cuts. I can’t find a good way to cut PETG without it, and there are other materials I want to use which give PPI guidance in addition to power percentage and speed in real-world units.

So I commiserate, but I can also confirm that there is no reason why that you will find here. This tool just is what it is. They wanted it to be different. It is different in some cool ways, and some peculiar ways.

Fortunately, the user community here is a great resource to help you work around the tool’s oddities. I hope you stick around and make the best of it.


They didn’t set out to make a machine to “industry standards.” It’s a completely different machine mainly for a different audience. There is some overlap, but the Glowforge is not the machine for you. Clearly.

Cut your losses, get a machine you can be happy using Cermark with. The GF is only going to *ahem * burn you up every time you use it because you have different expectations. Why do that to yourself? (And us.)


The why is simple:

They wanted people to be able to share settings within the glowforge community on a single standard. This includes both support and users like us. Is this not pretty well established?

They can say “220 speed, 100 power will cut proofgrade X” and there’s no question about what machine you’re on.

Same goes for non PG stuff wth us users in BTM. 220 speed 75 power for X material is universal. Cermark (to roll back to the original topic) has been vetted and discussed and should be doable. If I hadn’t been told to save my breath I might waste another second on thi


That’s (as I understand it) because the GF tube is not being operated in a pulse-per-anything mode. So there simply isn’t a PPI to adjust. If you really need it, you might be able to approximate it with halftoned engraves.


Whoa… :grimacing: Mr. Hyde had a reply all typed up, but Jekyll decided to save my breath - and my attitude.:zipper_mouth_face:


I’m not sure that’s right. If all other 40W tubes are pulsed then odds are the GF is also pulsed. I seem to remember a post that for engraves they pulse multiple times in order to do ‘adjust power’. But I don’t have the time right now to go find it. (It would have been in a post about how file that gets downloaded to one’s GF gets interpreted.)

They could also say, “32 mm/sec and 100% power will cut proofgrade X.”

They’d need to handle Pro vs Basic power but we already have a discrepancy there when it comes to sharing Full power techniques.

They have discarded something useful, and gained nothing by doing so.

“Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

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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.