Brand new Glowforge not cutting through Proofgrade

Good evening!

I have measured the board in question and it came out 3.4mm thick. Measuring another draftboard, it was 3.3mm. Then I measured a piece of medium basswood plywood included int he starter kit and it was 3.4mm.

For the heck of it, I put the thinner board into my Glowforge and tried to print a reset design of the GOGM. It once again failed to cut through just now (roughly 10:30 pm Central time). If I hold that board up to the light, I can see 5 tiny dots on the back side, seemingly where the laser attempted to cut through on each circle and failed.

I then put the original board back in and tried a different design - just a blank pico 12 piece puzzle design. That cut through entirely, leaving only a bit of the bottom side paper uncut.

It seems to be some designs, but not others, and that gives me reason for concern, as an intermittent issue is really an issue when you have material costs for oopsie cuts andonly a six month warranty on the laser tube.

Before cutting tonight, I once again checked my optics… all clean, no scratches or smudges. I welcome your advice.

Try measuring the different items you’ve cut out, or for the ones that failed, the thickness at the point where they were cut. Humidity can cause variations in wood, and it could be there’s a tiny bit of difference in thickness in different parts of the board.


I am following the post closely as I am having the exact same problem as Joe. I set up my new Glowforge Plus yesterday and tried the Gift of Good Measure with the same result in that it wouldn’t fully cut through the Proof Grade material. I will attempt the suggestions above, but it does not seem like an issue with the Glowforge rather the file for the design.
Thanks, for all the helpful posts and I’ll continue to check back.

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Expanding on what Ruth has said here - the default settings for Proofgrade are set up to cut through “medium” material that is 0.125" thick, and because of the ambient humidity in a lot of locations, the material is rarely exactly 1.25" thick. It swells.

@joe.lamberson, my material is also 3.3 - 3.5 mm thick, usually around 3.4 mm or 0.14". I can’t use the default settings either except in the winter, during the dry month, on material that I just ordered. (It’s rare.)

So since I want to use this thing year round, I worked out a good setting for medium proofgrade draftboard that works when the material has swollen to 3.4 mm. I can either post them here and shift the Topic to the Beyond the Manual section or send them to you in a Private Message. Which do you prefer?

You can try them and just see if it cuts through in one pass. (If not, it might be an issue with the machine and not the material.)

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Thanks again for this great information! I would certainly love a private message with the settings. For me, The fact that the same piece of wood is cutting fine with some designs but not others makes me want to leave this thread right where it is. I am certainly happy to try a test cut with this pattern and these settings, though.

Okay, keep an eye out.

Joe, I too just cut a different design, the 12 piece puzzle, on the same board of medium draftboard that I used for the Gift of Good Measure. The puzzle printed without a problem. I am led to conclude that this problem with the Gift of Good Measure is not the material or the machine.

You can reset the Gift of Good Measure by clicking on the little information icon (looks like 3 dots) while the file is opened in the interface and then choosing Reset in the popout.

Yes, thank you. I have tried that too. I am however, having success with other designs, but I appreciate your help!

Can you open that file while the Proofgrade draftboard is selected, click on the Proofgrade settings and take a screenshot of them? I’m curious to see what it lists.

Also, are you Basic, Plus or Pro? :slightly_smiling_face:
(Never mind…Basic…just checked your profile.)

Jules, I will next week. Mine is at school and I won’t be in until next week.


Thanks for running those tests. Unfortunately, it looks like your unit is experiencing an issue that we can’t resolve remotely. I want you to have a reliable unit, so I’m recommending we replace this one. I’ll be in touch via email to sort out the details. I’m so sorry about the bad news.

@lzwiesler , we’re happy to help investigate your issue as well. We try to keep the Problems and Support section of the forum limited to one issue per thread, so it would be great if you could start a new thread regarding this. Thank you!