Engraving problems help frustrated

PLEASE HELP… I have these little makeup mirrors 3.5 inches round by .50 thick made of metal. I’m using laser bond 100 spray and I have completed at least 12 … but some with a lot of frustration and wasted time. I have the right settings and set each one in same place but now more than again it won’t mark the steel like previous. ?/??? WHYYYYY??? I’ve cleaned the head … unplugged machine and rest web page. I’m so frustrated now. I’m sure it’s something so simple but I can’t now more patience is very thin… please help. Thank you fellow creators…

I am moving this out of Problems and Support as Glowforge can’t help with non Proofgrade materials.
As for your problem, at 1/2" thick, you are right at the edge of the focus ability with the honeycomb tray in place. Are you putting them on top of the honeycomb tray? Are you using the set focus tool? Could the application of Laser bond be uneven?

Crumb tray is in place … I have made 12 at least . Why did they engrave and some I had to do three time before they engraved? Yes laserbond is even and applied the same as the rest.

It seams as if the laser beam is more yellow than bright white .?

It could easily be that the makeup mirrors are not all exactly the same thickness. Since you are focusing so close to the Glowforge limit, the settings could be incorrect and not enough heat is being applied to bond the laser bond to the metal. It could be that the auto focus is not landing squarely on the mirrors and is therefore incorrect. In short, there are lots of variables, and the Glowforge is probably not the part that is most variable.

So do you have recommendations? Remove crumb tray? Again it has made 12 why those and some I had to do a few times ? Using same setting same position and all?

Are you doing them one at a time or in groups? Are you inputting the thickness from calipers or using auto focus. If using auto focus are you making sure that the beam lands squarely on the mirror? You say you had to do some of the 12 that you completed a few times. I have limited experience with Laser Bond, but I know it must be applied uniformly and dried completely. Were all of the mirrors prepared at the same time or could this be a variable? If this was my project, I would remove the honeycomb tray and elevate the mirrors about one inch. I would use the set focus tool and make sure the beam lands on the mirror, and I would test at the new focus range to dial in the settings that give me consistent results. I really think the problem has to do with focus and/or surface prep.

Ok I think you helped.
I open the mirrors so they are half the thickness .250 and it’s working perfectly.
So just a question , if in the future I have a item thicker than .5 than I should remove crib tray and use auto focus?

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That is correct. Items over 1/2" tall require that the honeycomb tray be removed. The item then has to be elevated off of the Glowforge floor enough that the surface to be engraved is within the 1/2" focus range. Auto focus is your friend whether or not the tray is in or out. The important thing is that the red beam land squarely on the are to be cut/engraved.

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Can you clarify what you mean by the item has to be within 1/2 inch focus range? So from bottom of laser head I can’t be closer than 1/2 inch but can be greater? Like 1-1/2 inches??
Thank you

The distance from the top of the crumb tray to the bottom of the laser head is just a tad under 1/2". If you are lasering something thicker than that, you have to take the crumb tray out and elevate it so the surface to be engraved is still within that 1/2" space.

Search “cutting without the crumb tray” for lots and lots of past discussions as well as some handy tools and elevating gizmos that have been posted. :slight_smile:


Thank you I finally woke up . I had a mental block from understanding it but your explanation work me up😃thank you
Happy creating


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