Cutting Troubleshoot

I have been having trouble with my Glowforge Plus cutting through leather from used footballs. A friend of mine has been doing this with his Glowforge Basic and has not experienced any of the same issues. I have been mixing and matching speeds and powers to try and solve the issue with no success.

If I try to slow down the speed, it gives me the highlighted yellow markings around my design saying it could cause damage. If I do not lower the speed, then the laser does not cut through the machine. Glowforge has not given much support because this is not “proofgrade material.”

It seems strange to me that my machine cannot cut through the same material that my friends can.

Have you tried the speed/power that your friend uses? Are you holding the material flat to the honeycomb tray? Are your optics and fans clean?

As for the yellow warning, it is just that, a warning that you are making intricate cuts in close proximity to one another. You can simply accept the warning and proceed. Keep a close eye on the cut. With any non proofgrade material, you must test until you find a suitable setting.


Yes, his speed/power settings don’t work. Wondering if the Plus is the reason why.

Material is flat, not sure on the optics and fans clean. Could you post a link to instructions on how to do that?

Thank you for the help!


Clean optics are paramount, don’t ignore them!
The infrared wavelength of the laser is just light - until it touches something, then it’s heat. If the energy isn’t transmitted, it’s deposited. It will eventually burn and ruin the optics.
The number one rule of lasers is clean optics!


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