Breaks in cutting

Well, we finally have out Glowforge Plus. It came last Friday, and it hasn’t stopped. I have noticed an issue, however, that is most frustrating. During most cuts, the laser leave some areas, where it doesn’t cut all the way through. Not many; normally one or two approximately 1/2” or so. I am using 1/8” Baltic Birch with Medium Basswood selected for cut and engrave settings. Net result is I have to finish the cut with a box cutter. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?

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Welcome!! When you say: “It came last Friday, and it hasn’t stopped.” You may want to check that your optics are clean. Heavy use and some types of products make them dusty…
Anxious to see some of your creations!


Welcome to the forum.
Sometimes the problem is the material, not the machine. If the cuts are working almost all of the time, I suspect that the material is causing the problem. Make sure your wood is pinned flat against the honeycomb tray as even the slightest warp will influence the cut.


You’ve opened a support ticket by posting in this section, but support will not be able to help you with non-Glowforge materials.

Does it cut through when you use PG material with the appropriate PG settings? If so, you just need to focus on dialing in the correct settings for your non-PG materials, as they’re not always going to cut properly with settings meant for other materials. (Also make sure your optics are clean, as any smudges/smoke on them will decrease the laser’s power.)

If PG settings are not working for you on PG materials, Support will want to see front and back of a Gift of Good Measure cut on PG draftboard using the default draftboard settings, to help them troubleshoot.

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PS If you do a search over in Beyond the Manual (where we are allowed to discuss non-PG settings), you’ll find lots of suggestions for cutting Baltic Birch. :slight_smile:


Well, seems the learning curve, here, is quite steep. Like I said, it hasn’t stopped. So, based on some of the advise, here, I checked the lens’, and sure enough they were quite dirty. So I have cleaned them and now I will do some more cuts to see how it works.

I use PG Maple for my Baltic Birch setting. You may have to slow it down a few points but then you can save the settings and name it Baltic Birch and you can just pick it when you’re using the same material in the future.

As long as it’s real Baltic Birch and not Home Depot or Lowes Birch ply, you shouldn’t have issues cutting it once you get the speed & power dialed in.

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new Glowforge! I see you’ve already received all the correct advice from our amazing community members. Thanks everyone!

Below are some tips for improving cut through performance. If you still have trouble after working through the steps below, then we’ll want to check that your Glowforge is operating normally using Proofgrade material by having you run the Gift of Good Measure test, below as well. We will go ahead and keep this forum thread open while you work through more prints. Please let us know how it goes and if you have any questions along the way. We’re happy to help!

Cut Through Troubleshooting

Please turn off your Glowforge and check the following:

Once all these things have been checked, please perform the following test print.

  • Print the Gift of Good Measure on Proofgrade material, using Proofgrade settings.

  • When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture updates.

Check the completed print:

  • If the Gift of Good Measure fails to cut through, take a photo of the front and back of the print and attach these photos to your reply.
  • If the Gift of Good Measure cuts successfully, please try another print of the design you experienced the issue with, and let us know the results.

Hello @jim.kathy.alexander. I wanted to follow up with you to check if you’ve had an opportunity to go through the steps and requested test print as provided by my colleague Morgan as of yet?

Please let us know if you’re still running into any cut through troubles with Printer, and we’ll be more than happy to provide you with additional assistance when needed. Thank you.

that sounds to me like material issues. You can inspect the wood for irregularities using a bright lamp:

It appears to be a cleaning issue. When I clean all lenses and the mirror, the cuts go great. When they start getting dirty, (and it doesn’t take a lot) the cuts don’t always complete. So long as I stay on top of the cleaning, everything appears to work.

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Thanks for the update. Glad to hear you were able to fix the issue by cleaning the Glowforge.

Here is a link to all the parts you can clean on your Glowforge. Cleaning – Glowforge

I’m going to close this thread. If you run into any other trouble, please start a new topic, or email us at We’re here to help!