Grayscale help

I am a new Glowforge user. I am attempting to engrave a picture. I am guessing this has to be done in grayscale. When I set my Glowforge to grayscale the print is too light. In most cases it hardly burns through the covering on the proofgrade material. What am I missing?

You can change the brightness/contrast of your image, or you can make adjustments to the engraving settings once the image is loaded, or both.


When you say picture, are you meaning a photograph? If so, tweaking the photo before you attempt an engrave is probably the most effective means of getting good results. Photos can be very tricky to do successfully. @randy.cohen gave good suggestions. I would also suggest that you try making a copy of the photo, then cropping the copy into a small square that you can test on some scrap. Personally, that’s the only way I would try doing it.


Thanks Randy! I will give it a shot, and let everyone know.

Thanks Xabbess! It is a photograph. I will attempt cropping also. Good idea. Thanks!


For some additional help with photo engraving, check out Glowforge support docs. This will get you started:


Contrast is everything. You want a full range from black to white, so every photograph will do better or worse depending on that at least. If you don’t have black blacks and white whites you will not get the full range. With a photograph, if you choose Dots and a very high lpi all the dots will be equally black but be more scattered in light areas so you can move the range a bit darker. If you have areas just burned out from too dark black, you would need to move the dark end more to the center, but that is apparently not your problem. However, to sort out a photo scanned directly to Glowforge, that is where you have the most control.

Hogher LPI will take a longer time but will likely make a very much sharper image. Using dots will not increase the depth of the dots, just make them more numerous and smaller.

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There are lots of great forum posts about photo prep, and here’s one with some links to good videos that show the process.

And here’s a good site where you can process your image and see how it looks when it’s prepped for the laser.

Good luck!


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