Engraving very slow?


I just got my glowforge and have been experimenting on creating products for my Etsy store. But I don’t know why the engraving times are so long for simple designs?

I have the pro and a 4” disc with the image attached is taking 12 minutes to engrave? This is on a 1/8” Baltic birch piece…
Is that normal?? I created my files in illustrator and converted it to svg , is there a more efficient way to decrease the engraving time?

Also when I go to 4000 beta speed nothing happens? The laser starts but no design is being engraved?

Please help!! I’m so frustrated and want to give up :frowning:

1 Like

Yes, engraving is slow. it doesn’t matter if the design is complicated or simple, the laser has to travel over the entire distance of the whole design.

Try setting your artwork to “score” instead and see if you like how it looks.


Welcome to the forum.
Please don’t think about giving up after investing only 17 minutes on the forum and only a little while getting used to the machine. As others will tell you, engraving involves the laser head traveling over the design and firing between 10 and 1335 per vertical inch of design. Scores and cuts are much quicker, so using a defocused score rather than an engrave can also speed up production without compromising quality. There are also ways to group designs such that the engraving time for multiple objects is faster. There may be times when the Glowforge is not the right tool for whatever you are selling in your Etsy store, but it is too early to give up.


Don’t give up! I also recommend giving scoring a go. There is plenty of advice on here from people generous with their knowledge which will save you loads of time. Search is a goldmine…

1 Like

Thank you everyone! I think it was just a frustrating night but won’t give up!

Ok so I’ve been reading that score is something that may work as you all mentioned.

Is there an easy way to convert my designs or save them so the scoring option pops up? Right now only engrave is an option for my designs when I upload them

Thank you all for the help thus far!

1 Like

I’m only a couple months old with the GF, so I may be underthinking this, but are you clicking on the design on the left of your screen? If you brought it up on the Dashboard, it would automatically bring up what you did before, and since you did an engrave, that’s what it would show. But if you click on the design in the settings on the left, you should be able to change it to score. Should that for some reason fail, just bring it into the Dashboard as a new creation and set it to score.

1 Like

Vector lines will cut or score. You may have to change your design slightly so that the outline of the object is a stroke rather than a filled shape.

1 Like

This file may help you get started playing around.
TwoMonths_vector.zip (66.8 KB)

For a defocused score you want to manually set the focus at least .25 inches either higher or lower than your actual surface. For example if your working on 1/8" material you want to select your material normally, use Set Focus to place your art, and then manually set your focus height to .375 in the individual command:


wow thank you so much!! i really appreciate you taking the time to edit that for me and teach me. I am going to try it tonight. many thanks!!!

1 Like

Welcome to the forum @sjaffer22!

Thank you all for the suggestions those look great!

I’m going to move this post to allow other suggestions and advice. Normally for posts in problems and support, we close them out once we’ve responded, but our community forum might have some additional suggestions to help you out.

1 Like

Very true.


1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.