Engraving bamboo boards faster, with settings

I’m continuing to experiment to find (what I consider to be) the best settings for bamboo.

Previously, I used 300 speed, 22 power and 225 lpi, 2 passes. It worked, but it was slow, really slow. 2 hours per board is a long wait, especially if you want to do more than one. So I dug around in the forum and came up with some settings that cut the time by about 63%. I engraved these at 1000 speed, 100 power, 340 lpi, 1 pass.

The designs are slightly off center on two of the boards, I think that may be due to using the camera to find center, while the board was off center axis. I’m thinking that for each board, I’ll have to center it under the camera, and do one at a time.

The designs were purchased from Design Bundles.


Bamboo is fun, since it’s a grass you can frequently find that the same setting works on parts of the same board but not others! You seem to have found a nice one for yourself.

As far as placement - the camera defaults to a focus directly under the lens in the center. If you want to place multiple items you put them onto the tray, click Set Focus (under the 3 dot menu) and aim that for the center of one of them, place your art, then click Set Focus and aim for the center of the other one, and then place your art (do NOT move the art from the 1st one even if it now looks incorrect).

OR - cut two rectangles out of a large piece of cardboard, and then place your cutting boards into those rectangles and place your art into the rectangles in your GFUI, ignoring how it looks on the boards entirely - that’s a simple jig and if you’re doing a lot of something is a great timesaver!


Try out even lower LPIs, as you’ll see speed improvements from that too. Bamboo doesn’t hold fine detail very well with the way it burns, so you might not be able to tell the difference in the final output. 270 LPI is the default “SD” quality for wood on a Glowforge, but 225 should be enough here IMO.


Thanks for the advice. I’ll give it a go next time


I’ve been having a very difficult time centering my graphics on Bamboo (missing my an inch or so and always lower right). Not an issue with anything else I’ve done. I was wondering if it’s because it’s .75 thick and I have the honeycomb tray in? I’m going to try your settings without the tray and see if that’s any better. Thanks for the tips!

Welcome to the forum.

Any material thicker than 1/2" requires the removal of the honeycomb tray. The surface to be engraved must be within the 1/2" focus range of the Glowforge lens, so you must remove the tray and then elevate your material. The surface to be engraved should be between 1.5" and 2"from the floor of the Glowforge. Use the set focus tool before placing your artwork.