Glowforge not cutting through acrylic

Hi, I’m using proofgrade acrylic and lately my Glowforge hasn’t been able to cut through it on the default settings. It works fine if I lower the speed. I’ve tried:

  • Cleaning out the breadcrumb
  • Making sure there’s no pieces inside the breadcrumb tray before cutting
  • Wiping all of the lenses with a disinfective lens cloth
  • I took out the inner lens with the lens tool and didn’t see any scratches on either side.

The latest cut I did didn’t cut through with the default settings after wiping the inner lens.

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Make sure you are cleaning ALL the windows that need cleaning, in addition to the lens. A lot of people miss the one in the left side of the machine. They’re all listed in the “Things that need cleaning” section on the support page.

Another thing to check is your air assist fan. If you’ve had your GF for a while, or if you’ve cut a lot of high-residue materials, it might be needing a cleaning.

Thank you, yes I cleaned all of the lens before making the cut that I made my post about

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You have one lens, one mirror, a lid camera and several windows to keep clean. Also, your exhaust and air assist fans should be cleaned regularly. One of the optics that often gets missed is the side window located insice the machine on the left. If you follow all of the cleaning instructions and still can’t get Proofgrade material to cut with Proofgrade settings, print the Gift of Good Measure and post photos of the front and back of the print along with the time and date of the print. Support will use this information to help you.

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Hello, @emly I am very sorry to hear about the cut through problems you are running into. I would like to run a test print to establish a baseline for the cut through problems we are seeing.

There are several things that need to be checked if the laser doesn’t cleanly cut through the material. We’ve discovered that photos don’t always come through well in emails, so I’ve included several links that will take you to reference instructions and photos. Please turn off your Glowforge and check the following:

Once all these things have been checked, please perform the following test print.

  • Print the Gift of Good Measure on Proofgrade material, using Proofgrade settings.

  • When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture updates.

Check the completed print:

  • If the Gift of Good Measure fails to cut through, take a photo of the front and back of the print and attach these photos to your reply.
  • If the Gift of Good Measure cuts successfully, please try another print of the design you experienced the issue with, and let us know the results.

If you would be more comfortable sending the pictures directly to me by email just let me know. Otherwise, if it’s ok with you, you can post the photos here on the forum topic. Thank you!

Thanks! I can’t seem to find the Gift of Good Measure file. Where can I download it?

It should be in your dashboard. You can also use the metric version of the Gift of Good Measure.

Not there unfortunately

You must have deleted it at some point. Either email Support or jump on their chat and ask them to reset it for you.

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Hello, @emly I was able to get those designs manually added back into your dashboard from my end. Let me know if you’re still not able to see it. Thank you!

I’m having the same problem. I hope you are able to resolve it and please let us know what resolves your problem! (For me, the temporary fix is running jobs on the machine until it has “warmed up” and then it will cut normally again. But I should get on the GoGM the next time I use my machine.)

Thanks for the help everyone! It was what geek2nurse and dklgood suggested. Reading it, I thought it was one of the lens I did clean but with the article Ray linked, I realized I never saw/cleaned that at all. Now that it’s cleaned, everything is working fine. Thank you everyone!

@lazurin I attached a picture of it. Cleaning this fixed my problem.


Glad you were able to fix your issue! I clean all the lenses (including that one) every week, so I think I’ll have to continue troubleshooting

Hi @emly. Thank you for letting us know the suggested cleaning was able to help you get your Glowforge to cut through the Proofgrade Acrylic material. I’m happy to hear it was able to be resolved, so I’ll go ahead and close this thread.

@lazurin Feel free to create a new thread, or email us at, and we’ll be happy to work with you to troubleshoot any similar cut through trouble.

Thank you!