Engraving Food

Could the silpat be causing a problem?

Okay, no that’s a standard warning for non-PG materials.

Enter the height of the macarons in the Unknown Materials button over the left column, and MEASURE THEM with a caliper to make sure they are under 1/2 inch tall. If they are not under 1/2", you will have to remove the tray and prop them up on something in order to engrave them.

Check the height of one of the cookies first before you try to run the print.

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Uploading problems will not be related to anything in the glowforge. The message you are seeing in the screenshot is a CYA message courtesy of glowforge’s legal team. It may be ignored.

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I don’t recall ever seeing “uploading” on that screen before. It could be I just haven’t noticed.

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When I click HIDE on that warning, it highlights but doesn’t do anything, either. I know the warning has to do with materials… not an issue. But I would like to hide it, and it won’t go away.

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I would expect hide to hide, not highlight. Generally highlight means the mouse moved while clicking, and I believe it can be compounded by responsiveness issues of the system. Clicking Print gets rid of it.

I don’t really even notice the warnings and what not anymore. Unless something isn’t working as expected.

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Okay, guys… so here’s the latest. I have actually had success engraving French macarons. Kinda takes forever… I have the basic; not sure what I was expecting :woman_shrugging: But this is the deal… I am STILL not getting anywhere with the unspecified materials setting. When settings are all entered, image is on the macaron, upper right says Ready, and I click Print, the warning about materials pops up (still am unable to hide it)… Ready goes to Uploading, and Father Time takes over! It just won’t upload when I use unspecified materials! Which makes me wonder how any of you engrave on glass or rocks or metal??? What the heck? This is beyond frustrating to me. I messaged GF on Instagram, I’ve contacted support, and they all tell me the same thing… they won’t give any instruction about working beyond the manual.
So… I measured one of the thin boards that came with the unit, put the macaron on top (I figure that’s okay, since it’s covered with paper), combined the measurements to get depth… and when the unit sees that scan code, it’s fine. Playing around with settings, but I’ve got some decent engraves. But Jules… or anybody… can you tell me how you get the unit to recognize an unknown material and get past the warning and upload stage? Uploading shouldn’t take forever. I gave up after 30 minutes. HELP!

Only thing I can think is that the auto focus is falling off an edge and confusing the machine, maybe…

Using the Set Focus command to position the focus point on top of a macaroon should fix that.

Recognizing an unknown material is just a combination of setting the height and entering the speed / power settings. It’s still going to give you the warning message; just ignore that.


Thanks. Will keep at it…

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If you want to post the file, I can take a look at it. Uploading problems are generally file related.

(Just zip it first so it’s not screwed up by Discourse and then drop it on a new line in the reply.)

(And tag me with @jules when you have it loaded, I might not see it otherwise.)


@Jules and @geek2nurse… tell me this… do you think there is any emission issue that I should be concerned about if I just continue placing the macarons on one of the proofgrade materials? I mean, it’s covered with paper. If I wanted to, I could cover all but the scan code with parchment paper and tape it down, but I think that’s getting ridiculously paranoid. The GF isn’t being used for anything but food. The only question I’d have is whether or not there is any possible emission of questionable fumes from the glue that is backing the paper.

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That should be fine. One thing you’ll want to watch out for though is that if you miss the macarons with the engraving, you might engrave on the sheet, so if you don’t want to waste it by putting unwanted holly on it, make sure you’re using something you weren’t planning on building something with.

If you have never used the machine for anything but food, you should be fine just setting them on a sheet of posterboard, taped down thoroughly so it doesn’t shift.

Let me ask this though, because it is CRITICALLY important. How thick are the macarons? If they are over half an inch thick, you will not be able to engrave them on the tray.


I’m only engraving the tops. I’ll fill and sandwich together later. So, they are only 0.25 thick. The issue is still materials. If I use posterboard… which would be great… I’ll run into the same problem with uploading the design. I’ll admit, I haven’t studied this a whole lot, but I’m watching every possible video I can find. Came across an old thread about using ‘set focus’ but my macarons should (in a perfect world) be just fine on the crumb tray with nothing under them. I just don’t get it… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Having said that… thanks, everyone for your help :heart::heart::heart:

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Okay, here’s a description of what the problem is, and why I wanted to know how thick those cookies are…

The program has a step right before it prints where it goes out and takes an automatic measurement of the height of the item being worked on, so that it can focus correctly for placement of the design.

It will pick a random spot in the center of your design area to take that measurement. If it accidentally lands on one of the cookies, all will be well. If it misses and hits next to a cookie instead of directly on the center, your alignment and focus are going to be totally screwed.

So you have two choices.

One, (which might be easiest), is to simply specify the height of the cookies in the Unknown materials slot (top of left thumbnail column) AND code in the focus height into each individual Engrave operation in the manual settings. The problem with doing that this way is that it might work pretty well for one cookie top, but for a bunch of them like you are showing there, option 2 is going to give you better results.

Option 2 is to create a jig. Because the cookie tops are about 1/4" tall, you will get the best results by cutting a jig out of Thick Proofgrade material, so that you can drop the cookie tops down into the holes and they will be roughly the same height as the top of the cookies. (They’ll actually be a little taller, but it will be a lot closer than nothing.) The advantage to that is also that the lightweight cookies won’t get blown out of position by the air assist. That might be a problem.

Another advantage to using the jig is that if you include the engraving in the jig file along with the cutting lines, the results will always align absolutely perfectly. It’s a sure shot for centering designs.

Couple of mini-tutorials here on creating jigs:


If placing your macarons on top of proofgrade fixes your problem, there is a non-crazy solution you just have to find it. If you can post the file you are using someone will take it to the just before pressing the glowing blue button stage.

If are mass producing these, relatively speaking, a food-safe jig is going to save you a lot of time. A jig could be as simple as taping down a piece of parchment paper to a cookie sheet and cutting out circles from the parchment paper so you know where to place the macarons.


Food grade stuff has no emissions to worry about, proof of concept put same items in over bake it to smithereens… worst case burnt food.best case souffle (joke). I’ve done more than a couple pumpkin pies and they came out just fine. mind you the engrave parts don’t taste great… but they looked awesome.

So, you wouldn’t want to walk me, step by step, through how you engraved a pie, would you… settings and all? Treat me like I’m 4. Seriously :joy: Geez, a 4 year old, these days, could probably work this thing. I’m wondering, though, what on earth you put your pie in. Aren’t pies usually more than 2 inches deep?
As for the emission thoughts, I was just referring to the glue that is holding the paper in place on the proofgrade materials possibly putting off some kind of fume. Food is a tricky business; can’t be too careful…

My apologies for taking so long to get back with you, I saw that you wrote just before I started work.
In answer to your questions, first and foremost I never stop and accept the answer no. I don’t have all answers yet, but I look at things and say to myself okie how do I make this happen.

That said a couple of links

and importantly

With these two I just kept playing with it until it worked. My first pie took 3 passes and about 35 to 40 minutes to engrave. Most pies you have to take out the crumb tray. in fact the only food stuff I’ve engraved that didn’t need the tray out is pancakes.

From there, just have fun and play with it.

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Hi, everyone! My last event of the season was today… an absolutely amazing day, but gosh, am I ready for a breather! I need to do much work on my website, as many products that I’ve been selling at markets and events are not on the site yet. All in due time. And I’ll finally have time to study the tutorials and forums for GF.

I do want to show you some of the macarons that I did this week. I’m a bit too much of a perfectionist. I love that I can engrave on food, but without color, it is just lacking… so of course I had to add some :roll_eyes:

I took the advice about a jig, and cut one with multiple holes out of the thick acrylic. That seemed to do the trick for now (as far as macarons go). I’m still completely confused as to why I can’t get the computer and printer to communicate with each other when using an unknown material setting… when I try to load a file, it gets stuck on uploading. As long as I have that scan code on the PG material, the camera and computer communicate, and everything works. Oh well… I’ll keep trying. Interested to try marshmallows, as that is my primary biz product.

Let me see if I can load these pics… and once again, thanks for all your help!

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