Engraves are suddenly bad

Just to clarify… if setting the material thickness (for non-Proofgrade), if you set the focal height to the same value, it will use auto-focus, or, at least that’s always the way that it has worked before. To override the autofocus, the focal height needs to be different than the material height. For example, 3.6mm material height and 3.5mm focal height - where the 3.5 will be respected.

Hmm, that’s interesting. It might have changed then considering it looked even darker when I used auto-focus (material and manual focus were both 3.6 mm). Will have to test that separately tomorrow.

What can cause a blemish like that? Nothing has touched the lens, and it (the quality drop) somehow happened between two prints.

Edit: I got it off.

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Test of scoring on draftboard. I guess it’s not the best test.

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One more variable to consider is whether or not your material is completely flat to the bed. Here’s a good post on the subject…

Manual focus will exacerbate focus issues anywhere the material is even slightly warped.

One more variable to consider is whether or not your material is completely flat to the bed. Here’s a good post on the subject…

Already considered. There is some warping of these poplar pieces that I am fully aware of. It’s within a certain range at least, and I have tried to use the flattest pieces and position them as best I can. But the surface height variation has not caused any variation nearly this large. I have printed a whole stack of these pieces cut from various parts of the board over a long period, so I know.

Here are some of them, and the bottom right is how it printed today:

(same piece of wood, same settings - the grain direction and light made it look a bit brighter)

It seriously looks like the difference between material you’ve cleaned the soot off after engraving vs straight out of the machine - there definitely shouldn’t be so great of a difference with the same settings :-/

I’m hoping if none of the things suggested above help that Staff can look at your logs to see what’s up in the background!

Yeah, and if you look closer at the bad piece, the “planet surface” should all be the same medium/light color (it’s all a single shade in the file), as you can see if comparing it to the light shade on the other pieces. Yet on the bad piece it varies between very burned and full of white specs…

Good news though. With some gentle convincing I was finally able to get that last speck off the lens. It’s late now, so I will not run new tests until tomorrow.


Really appreciate all the work documenting this puzzling situation. I hope it all works out. It is weird when something different happens from what is expected and customary. So many possibilities. A good trouble shooting example here.

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I wipe the 5 mirrors/windows every morning that I cut. Takes less than 2 minutes, and then I’m absolutely sure they are clean.

It is printing correctly again today. So might have been that tiny speck on the lens that was responsible! :smiley:

Thanks for all the help.


Thanks for the help everyone!

@jonas1 I’m glad everything worked out! I’m going to close this thread. If you run into any other problems please either open a new thread or email us at support@glowforge.com and we’ll be happy to help!