Help a newbie


I am BRAND new to GF. I am noticing that anything that I do that is small and detailed it burns bad. I am using this for earrings (hopefully!). My settings are speed -137, full power and 1 passthrough. Any help would be super appreciated, I don’t know what I am doing!!

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Welcome and congrats on your GF!

Oh my, a speed of 137 is pretty slow, especially on full power, so I’m not surprised the wood is getting so charred. What wood are you using and have you gone through the tutorials to learn what the settings are and what they do? If not, I’d suggest using a proofgrade wood with proofgrade settings so you can get a feel for what a good setting looks like.

Even if you’re not ready to use your own manual settings it’s good to understand what each setting does and how it impacts the material, so here’s a good link explaining things. (Notice the ‘learn by doing’ links on the left side of the page.)

And just a friendly reminder; laser can be dangerous, so always be super careful to only use laser safe materials, and always watch it as it’s working in case of fire. I know it seems like a lot to learn, but we’re here to help you along the way!

Here’s some more good info.

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I haven’t gone through the tutorials! Do you have any suggestions or cheat sheets I could follow?

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Yes. Go thru the tutorials and learn how to use Manual Mode. Then use any of the dozens of material test threads to determine what settings work best with your material.

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Also, in the design you have pictured above, it looks like you have engraves over engraves. This will always cause excessive charring, at least in my experience, and at those settings. But I agree with the smart people above me, there is no substitute for going through the tutorials, and any others you find posted by these guys.

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Yes, I edited my comment to include them. :slight_smile:

I know how incredibly exciting it all is, and I’m a jump first and ask questions later kind of gal myself, but a laser really does warrant going slowly and carefully, because you’re literally playing with fire and bad fumes. An easy way to do that after you go through the learn by doing links is to get some files from the GF catalog and following the instructions. Make the project, and then adjust a setting a little (like upping the speed or power by 10 or maybe changing the ‘lines per inch’ setting) and see how it impacts things. (There are some small earring files that might be good for this.) Or something else to try is picking one of the proofgrade settings and using that as a starting point. And I promise you, if you work through the tutorials and really take the time to experiment and learn how things work, and in a few weeks you’ll be making great things!

Oh yeah, also read through the maintenance and cleaning info, because it’s really important info that you’ll need to keep your GF running. The laser is amazing and fun, but it’s a sensitive piece of equipment that needs loving care. :stuck_out_tongue:

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For future reference:
Avoid “DEEP” cleaning. The optics and fans are all you really need to clean regularly. The tutorials show you exactly which ones and where they are and HOW to clean them. There are too many posts starting with “everything was working fine until I did a deep cleaning.”

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