Dispatches from the front (Pre-Release Report) - Power Lifting

First chance to do a test using the new power profiles on the GF. I was on a business trip and couldn’t play until now.

In case you’re interested here are some cutting power tests from April and today. They show how the software has changed the power delivery over time.

Here’s the results of my calibration testing since I got the PRU. These are all done on 1/8" Baltic Birch plywood.

This first on shows a fair amount of smoke residue from the cuts & scores on the front and serious flashback on the back side. Some of it actually ate into the wood. It was run on 4/16.

A couple of weeks later on 4/27, I noticed it wasn’t cutting like it had been. I ran the test again and power was radically changed. The first let me cut through at 100/80 and the second was down to 100/30 although the 100/40 cut was close. The smoke staining was reduced but the very slow (5/10/15/20 in per minute) cuts really charred the back with divots burned out.

Today with the new profile I ran it again. Cut through was at 100/50 this time with nearly 100% cut through at 100/60 - so something in the middle between the two April tests. Smoke staining was much less with charring on the reverse reduced to only the slowest two speed tests - 10 & 5 in/min. The charring on the 5 in/min test is about half as deep as April’s.


Very nice! I’m running a few as well. Hopefully these will be the final answer. :slightly_smiling_face:

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nice work.

I never did get an answer why the power changed in April. Wasted a couple test pieces trying to figure out what I effed up before I thought to run a calibration test.

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they never said but in guessing they pushed the low power settings out accidentally, or i’d like to think they’d have announced it. i suppose they could have also found a bug and recalled it, but the difference between the two power settings (precision/full) seems like the former.

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This wasn’t the low power day. They machine never reverted. I continued to need to cut using the slower speeds. Faster ones that cut on the 16th didn’t work after the 27th. Occasionally I’d bump the speed up a bit - 5 to 10 in/min more to see if it would prevent flashback but then it wouldn’t cut through.

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interesting. can you do some of the low power stuff? i.e., did it hit your machine and then never return to “normal”, or does it seem like something else happened?

I started using tape on the bed after my first print and I haven’t had any flashback since. It really does help prevent it.


Something happened between April 16th and the 22nd which reduced power but did not get me the magic low power settings. That was my new normal from 4/22 until this week. I believe the April 16th test suggested I have a Pro tube in my PRU and then they dialed back the power on it on the 22nd to match the other tubes.

This week’s change did give me the low power control and I can now do very low power engraving (see my post on the copy paper test).

Chipboard, even the thin stuff, does the same. It provides a sacrificial layer of paper under the material. Heck, even a sheet of copy paper takes care of most of it.


ahhh, interesting.

I’ve got some ugly, crappy colored card stock that I use for this purpose. Only thing it’s good for.


I loved seeing this. I’m going to copy your format. :relaxed: You know…that sheerest form of flattery thing. I won’t have much time to run tests until after our family thing, but I’m sure enjoying seeing what everyone is coming up with. Thank you.

I think I posted the SVG for it awhile back when I first did my calibration runs. But that was before @marmak3261 found the color order so you have to figure out which box you’re setting as you run down the stack. I’ll redo it with his colors and repost the calibration file.

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I just made one for myself…one for engraving and one for cuts. I think I saved Marion’s color order thing, but didn’t label it as such. Does this look like it?

…and while I’m here…why does the color order even matter?


Just makes it easier to know which box you are grabbing when you are running test cases…I loaded Marion’s color palette for the Glowforge into Illustrator and just set up my test cases by running down the list.

When the interface gets ahold of the file, the first one is at the top, followed by number two - etc.

It’s handy when you are varying power for each test case, or speed, or LPI on engraves…all kinds of things. :slightly_smiling_face:


It only makes it easier to enter the parameters for the cuts. With them defined in order, you can just go down the thumbnails one after another. If they’re not in order then you have to look at which box highlights in your design and then specify the correct speed you want for that one. Marginally less tedious (but it will really make you want the “save my project” feature so you don’t need to do it again).

I created a GF color palette in Corel to match the order. Here are the color details based on RGB (255 255 255) or Hex (#000000) format depending on what you can use.

0 0 0 1 black (#000000)
0 0 255 2 dark blue (#0000ffff)
0 100 0 3 dark green (#006400ff)
0 100 255 4 navy blue (#0064ffff)
0 255 0 5 bright green (#00ff00ff)
0 255 255 6 aqua blue (#00ffffff)
100 0 0 7 brown (#640000ff)
100 0 255 8 purple (#6400ffff)
100 255 0 9 lime green (#c8ff00ff)
255 0 0 10 red (#ff0000ff)
255 0 255 11 magenta (#ff00ffff)
255 100 0 12 orange (#64ff00ff)
255 255 0 13 yellow (ffff00ff)


Thank you both…@Jules and @jamesdhatch…makes good sense.

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It’s a bit limited - I need about 30 ordered colors defined for the engraving tests, but it does help. :slightly_smiling_face:


That’s the tricky one. It freaks the GFUI “there are a lot of colors in your project” :grinning:

I’m doing it differently. Only 12 colors (10 for engrave tests & 1 to engrave the text & 1 to cut out at the end). First run engraves the text that labels the engraving tests. Then copy & paste the test engrave boxes to the next row & reset the parameters. Repeat a few more times. At the end, cut.

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Yep! Get the flag every time I run it. :slightly_smiling_face:
(Might need to try the copy and paste …it takes forever to set this thing up.)

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