Cuts Not Going All The Way Through

Edited: added new pictures from last attempt today at 5:25pm.

Edited: added new details of cut attempts.

This past weekend I cut a design on non-proofgrade 1/4” Baltic birch. About 3/4 of the cuts went through, but the other 1/4 did not. I chalked it up to warped wood or improper settings as we’ve only had the machine for week so I was sure it was on my end.

Today I tried to fix it. I calibrated the camera as I felt the alignment was off as well then tried to cut the honeycomb pins on proofgrade medium draft board. It cut, but not all the way through. So I followed the steps for the cut not going through from the GF website and tried again on proofgrade. Same issue - partial cut, not all the way through.

So I tried on a 1/4” piece of Baltic birch again and set my speed to 120 - it cut all the way, but barely. I had to use a bit of muscle to push it through. Now that I knew it would at least cut through someone, I tried the gift of good measure on two different pieces of proofgrade medium draft board and couldn’t get it to cut all the way through.

We were able to do some cuts and engraving while we were learning the machine and had zero issues the first week. We didn’t move it after that either so I don’t know how/why the issue started.

Is there anything else I should try?

Thanks in advance for any help!


5:25pm CST attempt:
image image image image image image

5/29 - Attempted to try a few different cuts. 120/Full power won’t make it through Baltic birch now. I got through a few and had to muscle it through. But most don’t cut all the way through and the last one I did only cut through one side of a rectangle. Tried setting focus for it (the last cut at 2:30ish) as well.

Have you cleaned all the optics, including the one on the inside left? That’s always the first thing to do when cuts don’t go all the way through.

To speed things up when Support gets here to address your problem (you’ve opened a support ticket by posting here, so they’ll be along soon), you should cut a Gift of Good Measure on PG medium draftboard and upload photos of the front and back. Include date and time (with timezone) of the print so they can look it up in the logs and see if any errors show up there.

Good luck!


As you’ve already tried the Gift of Good Measure, take pics of the front and back, and if possible, note when this was attempted. Support can look at the logs to confirm all was good with the file/print.

Thanks, @eflyguy and @geek2nurse. Just tried cleaning again and making sure we didn’t miss any optics. No go. I’ll add new pics and a time stamp to the initial post.


As @Jules has noted, Humidity can affect material so that default settings are inadequate. Not a fault of the company, the extensive testing, and tweaking of settings they did on materials occurred in different environmental conditions than you (and Jules) exist in. Me? I got lucky. High plains of Colorado. If anything, my climate would be sucking moisture out of the materials, no swelling.

Testing is essential. Your machine, your environment, the only way to know is test all the things. :crazy_face: I keep scraps for that occasion.


Thank you!! I hadn’t even thought about the humidity changing, but it has been incredibly humid this past week and that’s when I noticed the difference.

The proof grade setting was 183. I tried at 170 and it didn’t work. 160 barely did and 150 was no problem. Is it safe to assume then that there are different cut settings for different ranges of humidity?

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Proofgrade should work under standard conditions most of the time. But keep in mind that the settings are for when all conditions are met. The laser really has no way of knowing whether it is going through, and short of having a sophisticated feedback system that’s just the way it is.

I have not run into humidity problems but I imagine that swollen material would take more energy to cut through due to increased thickness, then add to that added water content which will certainly reduce the efficacy of the laser. Seem reasonable… Efficacy is a real $5.00 word huh?

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Not really; it’s more that the draftboard can swell due to humidity, and you need different cut settings for different thicknesses. :slight_smile:

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I’m sorry that you’ve run into trouble with your Glowforge. I see you already emailed us about this and we’re working on it there, so I’m going to close this topic.