Glowforge Graphic/Photo settings not working

For the past year I have almost exclusively used Inkscape to create bitmap images that I used to make my engravings with my glowforge. I generally use my own settings - 960 speed; full power; covert to dots at max quality; 135 lines per cm; 1 pass (see Picture 1).
All of a sudden these settings nor the glowforge draft/SD/HD graphic (see Picture 2) settings or draft/HD photo settings are making anything but the faintest mark. However, the cut settings and engrave settings (1000 speed; full power; 105 lines per cm; 1 pass) (see Picture 3) are working as normal (see Picture 4 [“Hi” and the “1” next to it were engraved with the settings in picture 3]).
I really am not sure why this is happening. I have cleaned the lens, the mirror, and the fans. I think the laser itself is fine since the engraving and cutting settings are still working just fine. So it seems either my default settings got messed up (not sure how) or maybe something with the software of my glowforge? Or something else I haven’t thought of.
Any ideas as to what is happening would be so appreciated.

(Picture 1)

(Picture 2)

(Picture 3)

(Picture 4)

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I’m not sure what you’re showing here - is the I at the bottom next to “Hi” the old way it looked, and the same I on the right the new ones, or something else?


Sorry for the confusion :grimacing:
The “Hi” was done with standard glowforge engraving settings and the design immediately to the right was done with my own engraving settings. It showed me that my laser is at least working and able to fire the laser.
These two engravings where done at the same time as all the other designs along the edge that were done with glowforge graphic/photo settings.

Hopefully that makes more sense?

Edit: Yes, the way I have been doing it the engraving of an svg and using the image settings looked exactly the same on the wood. They looked exactly they the visible “Hi” and design directly to the right. But now all I can get when trying to engrave an image (not an svg) like before is the faintest mark that can barely be seen on all the other attempts along the edge of this sheet of wood.

And with the amount of engraving I do on a sheet at one time I have to convert all the svgs into an image. Otherwise if I try to do it as svgs on the glowforge site and upload all of them and after an hour or more it gives up and says it can’t upload the file.

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Do you have a picture of the sidebar with the steps showing that produce these results? In the past people have accidentally set them to 1(it’s a safety setting GF has programmed for when people go in and out of the settings certain ways).

Else, I do see the 1 markings in the image on each of those cut outs so, something is happening. But yes, it’s very weak.

If I understand what you’ve typed and there’s no honest mistake, something has happened on the backend to your settings or possibly your tube is failing. I see your join date is 2019 so depending on how heavily you’ve used your machine, it’s a likely possibility but only GF support will be able to help you determine that.

The Support link up above will take you to their main page and you’ll probably want the Connect option.


I’m not sure what you mean by the “sidebar”. The window that pops up to change settings? Or something else?

I don’t think the tube is failing (completely yet). It is an older laser, but it seems to engrave just fine when working with an svg and but has the issue when trying to engrave a black and white image.

But it sounds like I should reach out to GF support proper.

As they looked exactly the same - is there a reason you need to use custom settings instead?

Is it possible you may have doubled up on your layers? While normally duplicate layers will cancel each other out completely, I don’t know if anyone has tested slightly different duplicate layers. So if you have the 1 there and a second nearly identical 1 on top of it? Just a complete hypothesis there.

And usually the tube doesn’t fail at once, it fades over some amount of time as the gases eek their way out of the tube over the years. Heavier use encourages quicker degradation. Could be a few weeks of noticeable decline or over a few months. Now if something with the power supply goes, that’s usually immediately noticeable.

My guess is presumed speed advantage.


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