HD photo settings are useless

This topic has been discussed frequently, but it seems like nothing has ever been done to address it.

In simplest terms, HD photo settings for PG materials do not produce useful results, and owners without experience assume their machines are broken.

Here is the sample image from Glowforge photo editing tutorials, labeled as “This photo would engrave very well on the Glowforge.”

I just printed that image printed on PG Med Draftboard using PG settings, with and without masking. Note - I first scored the right side (“No Mask”) boxes, and removed the masking, before engraving.

This first picture is before the remaining masking is removed. Note, the HD setting barely touches the masking on the left, and only lightly marks the exposed material on the right.

This second picture is after the remaining masking was removed. There is some (expected) loss of detail with the Draft setting, but the image is still fairly clear. Also as expected, the HD setting didn’t even make it thru the masking on HD setting.

These same results occur with other PG materials and the HD settings. It’s pretty well known they are not suitable amongst experienced members, but isn’t it fair for all owners to expect “high quality” prints using the “HD” setting with Proofgrade materials?

I do not believe the HD settings for Proofgrade materials are appropriate, and there is also no official guidance on when masking should be removed prior to engraving.

Here is a recent example where an owner believed their machine was defective as a result of this issue:


Engraving the masking is always a bad idea, tough to engrave through, even tougher to weed.

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Though in the example posted the Draft settings with the masking look the closest to the source photo - so clearly those are dialed in to work as expected - on PG materials which come masked.

The HD settings used in exactly the same way end in a blank piece of material…something’s is broken there


They really should switch the names around; I haven’t used HD settings since I got my machine. I never thought anything of it, but I can see how that would be the “obvious” choice when choosing to do these types of projects. Thanks for bringing it up, hopefully this gets a little traction and the team decides to, at the very least, rename the options to better suit their uses.


Nice post.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention again along with a detailed analysis. I’ll share this with our team and I’m going to close this thread for now.