Cutting PG Wood

I’ve cleaned my lens and all, but the standard settings for cutting my PG Medium Maple Plywood don’t seem to get the job done… If I push hard, I can get the pieces out, but sometimes it splinters. The cuts do go through, but they are so faint that the tape on the bottom side remains barely scored, let alone cut.

Is this something being worked on? Are there suggestions for settings to use to get around this issue? My engraves go fine and for the MOST part, cutting PG Medium Draftboard works well enough… though there are still some cuts that don’t seem to cut all the way through the Draftboard either.

You mentioned lens… how about all of the windows? The one on the left side of the gantry - hidden away under the case? The window on the left side of the head? The mirror under the removable head? Any scratches on any of them, including the lens?

Material dead flat?


Yep, material is dead flat, I’ve given a thorough clean, the head, the side lens, even the lid camera, etc. No scratches.

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Environmental conditions (humidity, etc.) can affect all natural products. I’ve gone through periods during which I had to reduce speed ~5-10 to ensure complete cuts. I’ve also had a couple of batches of PG that were slightly thicker than normal – same remedy.

Another workaround is to use a piece of tape to check if you can easily remove the cut parts. As long as you have not moved the PG and have not made any changes to the file in the GFUI, you any repeat cut operations in place to free the pieces.


I live in Northern California… My garage is typically 60-75 degrees… I don’t think that’s the issue. I’ll try the reduced speed, though.

Which would be more effective for the cut? Reduce speed? Or increased power? I don’t have much scrap left to test…

Average daily Relative Humidity in much of Northern CA is > 40%
ADRH in my neck of the woods is < 20%


YMMV, but I go slower rather than muck with power settings. Test material is always cheaper than a failed product. :wink:

Best of luck.


It’s the humidity swings that are killer!


Is this a new glowforge or have you had it for a while? If it is new and your material is flat against the honeycomb there could be a problem with the unit. In the beginning at least, some units were replaced for this type of behavior. If you’ve had it for a while and this behavior is new, then yeah lots of possible reasons.

One note on relative humidity, even in fairly dry areas, during the fall and spring when the temperature falls at night the RH climbs a lot - and materials absorb it. Where I work we have to explain this to hospitals who store their supplies against outside walls, under a vent, in the basement. If your material is in a garage it would be even less protected and more prone to suck up the moisture.

I’m so sorry you’re having trouble with your prints not cutting through on Proofgrade Maple Plywood.

To cut successfully, there are three important things to check. First, your material must lie flat. This requires a clean, properly installed crumb tray and flat materials. Second, there must be no obstructions, dirt, or damage preventing the laser light from reaching your material. Third, your design must be set up properly - for example, with lines that are fully on the material and that are set to cut. It’s hard to know which issue might be affecting your print, so please thoroughly inspect your unit and design according to the suggestions in our Troubleshooter, which you can read here:

If you’ve fully cleaned and inspected these things, I’d like to have you try a test print for me - we’ll pull the logs from this print once you’ve completed it so we can investigate the issue further.

Could you please print the Gift of Good Measure on Proofgrade Medium Maple Plywood and let us know the result? If it doesn’t print well, please let us know the date and time of your print and send photos of the front and back of the print.

Thank you!

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email