First print without draftboard

:glowforge: is arriving today, but the proofgrade materials are not coming until next week.

I would rather not wait that long, so I wanted to ask for recommendations of a good material to use for the first prints. I have lots of bits of wood and acrylic and random things laying around, but not being familiar with settings yet, I am wondering if anyone has thoughts on a good material for a successful first print and to check that all systems are go.

If you have 1/8" cast acrylic, it will work well with Glowforge Proofgrade settings as is. Most acrylics are pretty similar in that, in my experience.

Cardboard works great. I do 200 speed and 80% power and that goes through .15" cardboard well.


Thank you, that’s very helpful. I do have 1/8" cast acrylic (as well as a horde of amazon prime boxes to choose from).

Amazon prime box settings have been discussed at length (search for “cardboard settings”, and you’ll be busy for a while), there’s no real consensus because there are lots of weights of corrugated out there.

Mostly, I use about 300 speed and 80-90 power. Be careful with corrugated, it does flare up if you’re cutting really intricate or closely spaced lines.


1/8" birch ply from a big-box store works pretty well with the PG settings for Medium Maple Plywood. I usually slow the cut down by 5-10 ‘zooms’ and make sure it’s flat against the bed. As always, have a damp rag handy in case you get a flare-up.


Thanks, lots of reading for me :slight_smile:

this is helpful information too, thank you!

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I agree with marmak3261. Unlike wood, acrylic is pretty universal and I have found the using the PF settings for medium acrylic works like a charm on 1/8 acrylic.

Have fun with the new machine and be sure and show us some of your creations when you get cutting. :slight_smile:

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I bought some .25" MDF from Home Depot and it’s been a blast, cuts perfectly with thick :proofgrade: MDF settings. My understanding is that MDF can vary in quality and composition, but I have no issues with this batch!


I have about 18 and growing non proof grade materials and settings on my facebook page with pictures of what each look like on the notes tab on the page. I created the notes tab strictly for all glowforge users for quick access for custom tested settings. Quite a few have joined already it seems helpful to most. Hope it helps you out too. Some reason the notes page doesn’t load on iPhones but if you open it on an android or any computer you can check them out anytime, I just leave it bookmarked on my phone for quick access versus having a book I have to flip through each time.

Facebook page link:

Direct Link to the notes tab with all the settings:


super great, thank you for doing this.

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No problem at all. I figured I would be doing it anyways so why not share.

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Thanks for the help, everyone, my first print came out great.
Best community of users ever.


Oooh! Like that fluorescent acrylic! :grinning:

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it’s super nifty, fluorescent pink from Inventables. I only figured out how to mirror the design later, but the ruler would be really neat with the engraving on the back.



I recently bought the .25" MDF from Home Depot too. What settings did you use to cut it? I’m finding it hard to figure it out.

Thanks :slight_smile:

PG thick draft board…

Thanks so much for the prompt reply :slight_smile:

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