Giant sucking sound


Turning on the GF is quickly becoming the sound of joy being sucked out of my life. I am now on my second machine. The first was defective and the second arrived damaged.

I occasionally have success with the “defective” machine, though there is no rhyme or reason to why it works or doesn’t. All of the problems happen with calibration and processing the project and I know that others are having problems with this too. So even though I am trying all manner of voodoo to get a job to go through, I am wondering how much of these issues are coming from this black box we call the cloud?

I am bothered that once I hit “print” there is no feedback to what is happing on the backend, and I am starting to suspect that I am spending way too much energy trying to rebuilt my files to be more economical or creatively running the job in parts or …any number of workarounds talked about in the forum when the problem is not in my control.

Given that we are dependent on support to handle things on the server end, it seems support needs to be more accessible and available on weekends. 2-3 days for support responses is not a sustainable plan. Does anyone have any insight on this?


If you could post a file here that’s giving you trouble, that would allow us to eliminate the file as a tripping point.


Trying to engrave this on plexi


I have been sitting at the preparing design stage on this for about 10 mins now. So, this may not be an issue with your machine. I know mine at present if working great. I would not call it a for sure issue with the file yet, but if two different GFs are having trouble then it starts to really look that way.

Edit: As I tabbed back over, the design error’d out.


This is a single file? I’m showing it as 23" x 37" in inkscape, much larger than the bed. I don’t think it will process at that size. What program are you doing your file work in? Best practice is to set your drawing area up to reflect the glowforge bed size of 12" X 20".

The red outline is your bitmap file, and the rectangle at the bottom left is the glowforge bed size at 12 x 20.

I’m not that strong at troubleshooting files, but there are others here that are wizards compared to me, and with the file they will be able to determine if there is a problem.


I just grabbed the design and it was maybe a 1/4 the bed size. Hummm :thinking:


Interesting. I just downloaded it and dropped it into Inkscape.


I got the design to render by decreasing the lines per inch from 450 (the default) to 225. It lists a print time of 29 mins


Which program did you open it in?


Yeah, I just took it right into the GFUI unchanged


I get an immediate error dropping it into the UI… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


So, my reflex is that the file is generating instructions which are too big for the GF to handle. I think Dan said it can hold up to 3 hours instructions and if it exceeds that the GF will kick you an error.


@PrintToLaser & @jakerember The file is 3800 x 2200 @200 dpi, which translates to 11x19" . Does the GFUI have a preferred dpi?


…and though diving into my files is super helpful, it is all academic given I can’t even calibrate right now. So to the point of my initial post - how are we supposed to use a tool that is so dependent on the server side, when the support on that side is minimal? I don’t want to plan a project for my weekend thinking “maybe it will work.”


Do you have any smooth experiences with turning on, calibrating in under two minutes (start with Proofgrade in bed before turning on machine), dropping a Glowforge catalog design in and printing successfully with minimum wait times? Ruler? Gift of good measure, cable ties or whatever small things?


I have done engraves with higher DPI, but nothing that big. :-/

There are probably some clever ways to deal with this, and I am trying to think, but I think the file is just too big.

As for calibrating, I am not sure about how to help with that personally.


Yes, I have. Turning on the machine is always a crap shoot wether it will calibrate. If it does, it’s a crap shoot if it will process the design. GF thinks its a camera issue. I will send it back as soon as they can get an intact machine to me, but I am suspect of that diagnosis.


I’m guessing you’ve been doing all the standard things like cleaning the camera lens with lens wipes?

Also, there is not anything weird on your rails and everything looks normal?

I am pretty sure this would not be a thing, but is it sitting level? I went out of my way to build a bench that is really rigid for my GF to sit on. Also, the crumb tray is sitting completely flat in its little grooves?

I am mostly just putting this here as I think that you will be asked these same things by support staff so might as well get it out of the way now. :stuck_out_tongue:


If you’re getting intermittent calibration failures like that, it might be the wireless connection. Glowforge presumably has access to more diagnostic data, so they may be saying it’s the camera based on hard data, or they may be guessing. But in the meantime, if it were me, I’d be fussing over the WiFi. By which I mean moving things around, buying a new access point, etc.

Yes, the cloud may be (and has been) down, but when that happens you tend to see a large outcry on the forum. What you’re describing seems to be more random and happening to you when it’s not happening to everyone. You may have the greatest WiFi in the world for your other devices, but sometimes you can just get one piece of equipment that hates your router or is being blocked by a piece of metal in just the wrong spot.

P.S. On an unrelated note regarding the file. Not sure if you intended to have this antialiasing or not. If you do, I would avoid the dot dithering modes. (I’d also avoid JPEG, but we seem to have another controversy over that)


Thanks @chris1, but I have fussed over the wifi. I upgraded my account, bought a new modem and router last week. The GF is sitting 5 feet from the router and still no improvement. If you have any other suggestions, I’m all ears.