GF not cutting all the way through PG material

First off - I am so frustrated. I waited 5 weeks to receive this unit, spent $3000; made one cut and now the laser isn’t cutting the material all the way through.

I’ve tried all of the troubleshooting steps. The gift of good measure cut successfully the first time, tried to create the box on the approved design and the laser didn’t cut all the way through. I had to forcefully remove the items from the PG board. Since then all other approved designs and other just cuts have failed.

I’ve tried 3 PG materials that came in the kit and they aren’t cutting through. I’ve wasted all of that free material on a defective unit. Not a great way to start with a GF that’s potentially defective out of the box.

I’ve cleaned the cameras/mirrors with the Zeiss wipes as instructed to on the GF troubleshooting website. I’ve cleaned the crumb tray and made sure the feet were clean and no debris was in the way. I’ve slowed the speed down. I’m using full power. I’ve confirmed the material isn’t warped. I’ve confirmed it’s sitting flat against the crumb tray.

What is left? Can somebody help?

That looks like it almost makes it through with the cut, so there is likely nothing at all wrong with the machine, it might be that the material has gotten just a little too swollen from humidity and the default settings aren’t quite enough to make it through in one pass.

I know that Glowforge videos make it look really easy, but there are certain things you need to get used to doing if you want to rely on the default settings…

One is to always pin the material down flat before the print. It can look flat and not actually be perfectly flat. The slightest amount of warp in the material will keep it from cutting all the way through.

Second thing you can do…if it doesn’t cut through completely in one pass, is to just send the Cut a second time. It is very important to not move the material on the bed, or the design on the screen, if you do this! All you do is set any Engraves or Scores to Ignore in the thumbnail column so they do not duplicate, and then hit Print again so that the Cut runs. It will cut right over the last cut.

To accomplish both steps One and Two above…we use these Honeycomb Pins to hold the material down tight. It keeps the backing material from shifting when you check to see if it cut through.

I also use a pick like this to check the cuts…about $7 at Amazon.


Your other option is to just slow down the cut speed by about 5 to 10 points, and it should make it through in one pass. That involves reading further along in the training instructions that you are following until you get to the Manual Settings section, so keep on reading, and it will all become clear very quickly. :slightly_smiling_face:

If you’ve followed all the official troubleshooting steps for working through this issue, then your machine will likely need to be replaced.

It’s great there are workarounds like slowing down the print, but do you really want to start your Glowforge experience with a machine that is not functioning as designed? It’s frustrating, but a functional machine should operate correctly for a couple of years at least.

I 100% agree. To just use the machine. I don’t mind taking all of these additional steps. However, I shouldn’t have to. I should just be able to make sure the wood is 100% flat, use GF’s recommended settings and cut - just like they show on their website.

I’ve already tried slowing down the speed by more than 5-10 points. I’ve confirmed the material is flat. I tried to make the pins that fit into the honeycomb but they didn’t cut out as you could see in the photo. If I’m spending money on the PG wood, I shouldn’t need to manipulate the settings to get this $3000 machine to do what I paid for it to do.

As I said, it’s disappointing, but take heart that there are close to 30,000 machines out there. My machine is almost three years old and has cut thru Proofgrade exactly as it should since day one. It’s biggest challenge was thousands of “ear savers” this year on PG acrylic, not one issue.

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Just for kicks and giggles. I added magnets to flatted the board down and it still didn’t make it through.

Be wary of magnets. Search that out and you will see how they can cause you grief as well.

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I see you already emailed us about this and we’re working on it there, so I’m going to close this topic.