Help Newbie Here

Ok. So I am a new user with my glow Forge. I did my first test print with the little glow Forge measurement tool on draft board and it came out perfect. Next I cut a keychain piece with some acrylic and that came out perfect as well. So I decided to make a piece that I would use to make a silicone mold. Part of it needed to be cut and part of it need to be engraved. My first test piece came out with lots of deep grooves that didn’t really match up with one another and it looked really bad. So I decided to try again with another piece of acrylic. I used the acrylic that came with my glow forge so all of the settings were the preset proof grade settings. When I cut my piece I did it the same way. Cut the outer shape and engraved inner part. What am I doing wrong.? Is there a specific setting where you can etch the acrylic instead of engraving It? The engraving is sooooo deep and honestly looks really horrible. There are random lines and deep grooves and it looks really bad. The pictures are for reference. The one that looks nice and smooth is a piece of lasered acrylic that I purchased from someone prior to buying my glow Forge. It looks like the acrylic is just etched in a very smooth nice way. The second picture with all the lines is my print and how my print turned out. I’m hoping that this is not how it supposed to look because if that’s the case I really feel like I just wasted my money. The look I’m going for is the nice smooth one. I engraved my piece on SD settings so I’m not sure if that’s the reason why. But I’m afraid to waste any more acrylic. I guess I’m just looking to see if there’s a way to just etch the top Instead of deep engraving like that. Any and all advice would be helpful! :blush:

1 Like

Etch and engrave are really the same thing to GF. There’s really only cut, score (which is just a cut that doesn’t go all the way through) and engrave.

The lines your seeing are a function of the LPI (lines per inch) and the laser focus. Most people here are reporting they get a much nicer look with a defocused engrave - search the forum, there’s a lot of discussion:

The depth is a function of speed and power, the SD setting is pretty strong. If you want less depth either lower the power and/or raise the speed.


Thank you. I was actually going to respond and say I think I figured it out. I found some thing in the help section about depth, speed and power. I’m actually going to print out one of the engraving tools so I can keep it on hand. It was pretty helpful once I found it! Thank you I appreciate your response


I’m so sorry to hear that you’re first couple of custom prints didn’t turn out as expected, but I appreciate you including such great images of the results.

As @ekla outlined the behavior you are noticing is in relation to the LPI and the focus of your Glowforge’s laser. I’m glad to hear that you were able to find some additional information on our forums to helps resolve the trouble. I’ll close this thread for now, but if you run into any more trouble, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly at We’re here to help!