Difference between pro and basic?

So I currently own a basic from being an original backer. I also own the pro but honeslt I see no difference in speed and that is kinda crazy when its advertised its 3 times faster… Can someone please explain how?

Using the same file, same material, same location on the bed yet the basic is 1 sec faster than my pro…

Speed (Pro is fastest.) The Glowforge Pro top engraving speed is 3x as fast as the Glowforge Basic, and cutting is 1.2x as fast. The Glowforge Plus top engraving speed is 2x as fast as the Glowforge Basic.

Please help me understand why this is happening and I am not getting my 3x speeds.

The Proofgrade engrave settings for all materials are the same on all Glowforge models. If you tell a Glowforge Basic to engrave a design at 535 speed, and you tell a Glowforge Pro to engrave the same design at 535 speed, both are going to move at 535 speed and finish the job in the same amount of time.

To see the difference in “top engraving speed”, you have to select the top engraving speed yourself. And this 3x faster speed is available only for raster/bitmap artwork (PNG, JPG, BMP, etc), not vector artwork.

Upload a photo to the Glowforge app. On your Glowforge Basic, the top engrave speed you can choose is 1400. On your Glowforge Pro, the speed slider goes all the way up to 4000. This won’t cut the job time by 3x since a lot of it is spent with the head speeding up or slowing down between passes, but it does have your print head on the Pro moving 3x faster than the Basic can go for some amount of each pass.

Cut speeds are the only place you’ll see a speed difference while using Proofgrade settings, since those are different between models to take advantage of the extra 5 watts of cutting power on the Pro. The cut speed for medium draftboard on your Basic is 168 while it’s 183 on your Pro. So that 1.2x speedup will be seen any time you cut something with built-in settings.


There might be slight speed improvements in the real world and the company makes other minor claims but honestly the only three reasons I can think of to get a Pro is the passthru, the additional active cooling and the small increase in power. Which begs the question of why the Plus is even sold since it has none of those three.


Thanks for everyone’s replies!

Cutting speed can depend on many things. These are 2 that are relevant here:

  • The 45-watt Glowforge Pro cuts about 20% faster than the 40-watt Plus and Basic.

  • The faster the laser moves, the more power is required.

For engraving, speed can depend on three things, but the one in question is:
  • Your Glowforge Model: the top speed of the Glowforge Pro is 3 times faster than the Basic, and the top speed for the Glowforge Plus is 2 times faster than the Basic. Like @dan84 mentioned, our standard settings will set the speed - which will be the same on either machine. If you were to max out the speed on each machine, you should see the difference in time.

If you do a test and find that the timing is still similar or your pro is seemingly slower than expected, let us know. We can do some troubleshooting to make sure your Glowforge is working as expected.

If you run into any other trouble, please start a new topic, or email us at support@glowforge.com. We’re here to help!