Basic cuts Purple heart cleaner than Plus

Let me start by saying that I have a Basic machine, from the Pre-orders era, and it’s been sent in for repair once, and also had the black cable replaced.

I bought a Plus a while ago and i’ve always had it as my “Cutting Machine”. I let it do the wood cutting because it’s supposed to be more powerful. It has served me well and still does great with most of my cutting jobs.

Maybe 2-3 months ago, when things were heating up weather wise, my Plus settings that i’d been using for a long time on many different pieces of wood stopped cutting through. I searched on the forums here to find a reason why and maybe a solution. I did all the lens cleanings, I do auto focus on my material, I checked in with Glowforge support to see if it was a hardware issue. They said as long as it cut through the PG material, then it was doing alright (I can’t really argue with them there).

I also read up on here about humidity and how it can affect materials and the machine performance. I’m in FL so of course, humidity never wants to leave you alone. But my machines are in an air conditioned office. Still, I said maybe it’s the humidity and maybe it got into all my materials. Things have been cooling down here, so maybe that will have an affect later down the road.

I digress. The reason for this post is that I’ve been testing the same pieces of purple heart on both my Plus and my Basic, and the Basic is actually giving me cleaner and more consistent cuts than the Plus. Same settings. I’ve tested several different pieces of purple heart just to see if anything changes. I’m very confused! Can anyone help me out by explaining why this might be happening? The Plus has a stronger FP than the Basic right?!

EDIT: Uploading a photo to kinda show what i’m talking about. The left is the Basic’s Purpleheart cut. The right is the Plus Purple heart cut. This is a consistent result.


If you have a 45-watt Plus, then it’s about 20% stronger and using the same settings for each machine will result in the plus settings being too strong.


Depends on when you got it. Plus was 45watts at first, then they changed it to 40.

Do a material cut test with the plus, and use whatever settings you land on for consistent cuts.

You’re finding out the hard way that purpleheart chars to death. If you dig char then have at it, but those edges are way too messy for my taste.

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Only at FULL power. By the book, anything up to 100 is intended to be the same on all models.


That’s what’s causing my confusion. It’s cutting well on the Basic, but not on the Plus.
It’s a strange situation. Every few months I do have to tweak my settings. I just attribute that to changing seasons and also different pieces of material. I get my supplies from different places but maybe wood harvested in certain seasons will yield different results because of water content (just guessing here lol)?

So that’s what I did a couple months ago. All the wood settings I’ve used all year long had to be tweaked a smidge. Everything else is doing alright now. It’s just the purple heart I can’t seem to get to work with the Plus anymore.

Thank you for the link! I’ll check that out.

The crazy thing is i’ve been cutting and engraving purple heart since I got my basic. We’re on 2+ years now since pre-orders arrived, right? Man time flies…They’ve always charred but that’s fine with me. I just sand them down smooth. Actually gives it a nice black edge before sealing. When I got the Plus, I switched my cutting over to that and the Purple heart didn’t char. It was like a black resin edge? Super nice finish. I was still cutting from that same piece when the charring returned, this time on the Plus.

I’ll keep testing. I just thought this might be interesting for other laser lords and ladies. It certainly has me scratching my head.

Edit: I had to double check but I got the Plus model in August of 2019.


Yeah it’s striking stuff. You should post pics of your work :slight_smile:

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I have an idea of something to try (because I like to experiment… I do more of that than actual making stuff…)

Create a file with a range of cut settings, like you were starting over with that material. Small differences in speed and power. Then run the same file on each machine, on the same material, adjacent to each other.

See if you can find a combination that works best on each machine.

In theory, the same settings should perform the same on both, but that’s obviously not the case, and you’re not the first to discover this.

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Are the speed settings the same for both machines?

Yeah, same exact settings. I was thinking well the one issue would be FP, as it’s different on the two machines, but it’s the stronger laser that’s having a harder time.
Could be that the more powerful laser is producing way more char, which would then add another obstacle for the laser to go through on the next pass. Maybe? But it wasn’t always like that. For a long time the Plus gave me better purple heart cuts.

I’ve been playing Sea of Thieves with my friends, so I wanted to make a pirate legend tag for my pup. I had this really cool piece of purple heart with a lighter streak through it. Turned out soooo cool. I give all credit to the purple heart :rofl:


That really is beautiful! Pup should be proud to wear it.

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