Does anyone have trouble cutting thick proofgrade acrylic?

We only use our GF for occasional projects even thought we’ve had it since near the beginning. We have always had problems cutting through PG materials, but usually sand through the backs or adjust the settings slightly if needed.

But thick acrylic is particularly tough. The cuts only seem to go like 2/3 of the way through the material. We have tried the cleaning process suggested by GF multiple times, including deep clean with tray removal.

Anyone have any suggestions? We’re working on elastic holders to help with a local sewing group making masks for essential personnel and I promised I’d have them done by this morning. But no luck.

Posting here opens a support ticket. To troubleshoot your machine, support will ask you to print the Gift of Good Measure on medium draftboard, and post pictures of the results. If it’s determined to not be operating correctly, it can be sent in for repairs.

A properly functioning machine with clean optics will cut Proofgrade material cleanly. I’ve had mine for over two years and it still performs flawlessly - although I’m sure my day will come at some point, the tube has a finite lifespan.

If you want to experiment with non-proofgrade settings to find something that works with your machine, there are dozens of threads on how to approach this, including:

I’ve not used thick PG, just medium, and the PG settings work in one pass for that.

But I’ve used a variety of non-PG sourced acrylics that are clear & translucent colors in varying thicknesses thicker than “medium”, up to 3/8", and often plan 2 passes, and even up to 4 passes with the 3/8".

I’ve learned to pin well, so I can try to shift the piece I was cutting out without moving the whole piece on the bed–if it doesn’t move or feel free (within the allowance of the kerf), I can run another pass without worrying about trying to realign everything, or having more scrap…

With all that cleaning is it possible you put your lens back in upside down? I haven’t had the problems you describe, and that’s a pretty easy way to weaken the cut. Fingers crossed it’s that easy.

May be obvious, but are you sure you’re using the thick Proofgrade settings? I can see how using the medium settings would only cut so far. I’ve never had an issue with my thick stuff, though.

Thank you for the suggestion! Often my machine does not register or “find” what material is in the bed even though we have only bought proofgrade. I usually turn the machine off and on again until it finally reads the code. Sometimes I choose the material from the dropdown menu if frustrated.

Thank you for all the suggestions. Followed the clean steps for the GF and it worked this time. I often turn it on and off again because it doesn’t “read” the QR code of the PF material. Maybe that is the issue. Just keep rebooting until it actually reads it correctly and then it will cut through! HA :slight_smile:

Our GF has always had pretty bad alignment issues. Maybe it’s an issue for the camera. We can usually get it to work eventually after the reboots, but we have never been able to use for more then once a month projects. Grateful to have the Pro GF, but was never able use it for a craft business as we had hoped. Still glad to have it though, frustrations and all! :slight_smile:

I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve hit this snag, and you’ve had to go through so many reboots in order for the material to be detected correctly.

I’ve extracted the log files from your Glowforge to review your most recent prints, and check on the Lid Camera. The camera appears to be clean and free of debris, but I’d like to see if your alignment can be improved by running our Camera Recalibration.

You’ll need a 12” x 20” piece of Proofgrade material with no markings or stickers. The feature was designed to be used with a flat piece of medium Proofgrade Draftboard, used upside-down (with the QR code side down). It may work with other materials that are the same size and use the same print settings as well, like Proofgrade plywood.

It prints a grid of markings, takes a picture, then measures its height in multiple locations. This data is used to make your camera more accurate for future prints.

To get started, click on this link: Launch the Camera Recalibrator

Let us know how it goes!

Thank you Mark! Just finished the recalibration! Can’t wait to try it out. And glad to know that recalibration is an option.

Fantastic! I appreciate you working through those instructions. I’m going to keep this thread open for the time being, to make sure everything is performing correctly. Let me know if you happen to see the same behavior.

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