I have just wiped all the lenses, and major surfaces inside the Glowforge, Using the official lens wipe that shipped with the machine (this is the first time I wipe the lenses). Started a new engrave (identical to before), but results have not changed. Still bad, and very different from how I’ve been printing the last few months.
Machine was not all that dirty in my opinion, although I have little reference. The only lens with visible “dirt” was the one on the side, and it looked like this (zoom in to see some specks of dust):
On the main lens on the print head I noticed a small blemish that did not go away with the lens wipe. Not sure if it’s something that can have such a large impact:
I tested with manual focus (like before, set to 3.6 mm - matching the material and what I have used for months, and the setting used when I dialed in the settings for this wood). I also tested with auto-focus, but that just made it look worse (even darker, and lines look even thicker).
Best practice is to reserve the manual focus for special effects that require non-surface focusing.
Got it. Will do that in the future once the machine works again and I have printed this hopefully final piece for my game board.
Any good way to test the focusing of the machine? Perhaps make a test file with some sample lines, and score them with varying focus settings (auto and manual distance up/down) to see ?