I think this is bad_—— REAL BAD

These are the settings, this is the product , and this is the 3rd time I have attempted to cut this. Product was completely flat. This is the only setting that works.

Sparks were coming from the wood when the laser was cutting. Are the sparks very bad? I stopped the cutting after it started the 2nd run. Please tell me how to avoid this.

What did I do wrong?


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something in the wood? Some kind of particulate like a mineral. I’ve seen that before on wood - table saw blade sparking.

Edit: Sandeply?

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Sande is also known as mulberry.

That second cut line looks out of focus or like the lens is upside down. I wonder what is in the filling, if it is solid wood or if it is engineered wood.

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Not out of focus. The pattern pieces are identical and very close to each other. I have perfect alignment when things get cut.

Why is your focal height set to .375”?

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  1. Your setting is close to what I use for 1/8" Baltic Birch and faster than I need for 3/16 Lauan ply (which measures 0.19"), no way that will cut thru 1/4" ply. Edit - I just now see that you have two passes. Yikes.
  2. Your focus height is WAY too high for 1/4" material (how thick does it actually measure?) The 1/4 materials I have used are usually around 0.22". The product listing says it’s actually 0.205".

From what I see, it looks like you’re just setting fire to the surface instead of focusing the beam at the surface to cut thru.

Edit #2: because I like experimenting as much as making stuff, I decided to try your settings vs. mine on a similar material (the Lauan I mentioned above). I dropped the focus from your .3751 to .3601, to account for the difference between my material (.19) and what the listing for yours claims (.205). I also cut at my setting for this material (145/full, one pass, focus at .19).

Guess which is which. Also, the second pass with your settings did indeed result in a lot of sparking as the previously roasted wood particles were blasted away.

… and my cut dropped right out of the material. Your settings didn’t make it thru.

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Sparks? or embers?

Plywood can be full of all kinds of garbage filler.

Your focus setting is way off comparing your screen shot to the product listing, but you need to physically measure the material to verify the actual thickness, or use the Set Focus tool.

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Months ago, someone suggested a 0.375 focus height for their 1/4 wood. Their GF would only cut 1/4 wood with that setting.

I was experimenting with their suggestion.

Sparks like a wheel on the interstate without a tire.

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You are the best!!! Thank you so very much. I am going to try your settings.

I want you to know something about me. I will spend hours and hours researching and reading about material settings. I do not want to come to the community for help because I get personal satisfaction when I complete a perfect GF project.

When I do post a question and ask for help —it is like a dagger to my heart. I feel like a complete idiot that I was not able to complete the task,

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You should get over that (feeling like an idiot). We all had to go thru the same learning process, nobody knows this at the start (and there is plenty more I don’t know than do!)

We’re all here to help because we all know how much fun it is to make things.

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I think some people think that is used to indicate a cutting depth. That’s actually used to set the focus height of the beam (where the beam is at its narrowest), so going to .375” sets the focal point pretty high above the material surface. After it passes that point, it starts to get wider, which spreads out the energy and reduces the cutting ability.

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It’s not a sin to need help, even Grandmaster crafters talk with each other and get ideas. Heard it said more than once in life if you stop learning you start dying.

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Oh my goodness thank you!!! You thoroughly explained it and now I completely understand.

I purchased my GF Pro last September and I did not know what a GF was until May of last year. I had never seen one or even heard of one. Then I saw a YouTube advertisement and instantly I fell in love. I immediately went to the GF website toured the website and then I saw the price. Within 10 seconds of seeing the price I closed out the website and I was thinking “Oh, H**L NO!!!” “I would have to be crazy to pay $6000. “

A month goes by and I am still thinking about the GF. I start researching. From June until I made the purchase I had read over 25 hours of information., watched dozens of videos and asked other owners multiple questions.

I really thought I knew what I was getting myself into. I had done all the research and I was prepared. Read the PDF manual several times before it arrived.

When it did arrive I did not rush the process. We waited probably 3 days before we set it up. I took my time opening the box, reading the literature and setting it up. It took us 3 hours and there was not any problems along the way.

The next week reality sets in ——-everything I read, all the questions I asked and all the videos I watched —-is only 10% of the GF.

There is a big learning curve and I am so happy the community is here. I am always so very grateful when help arrives.I respect and appreciate everyone’s time.

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Yes it is fun to make things. Now I want to start designing. I have all these ideas but I am very confused about so many things regarding the design process. I think I am going take out an ad and hire a teacher to come my house.

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So it was out of focus then because the height was set incorrectly. Interesting.

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I have learned so much with this thread. When you asked about it being out of focus I thought you were referring to how the laser cut aligns with the pattern after it is finished. Everyday I learn something new about the GF.

Your settings are perfect!!! The laser cut the material like a hot knife through butter.
Saying Thank you is not enough. Telling you how much I appreciate you is not enough.

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What I have seen (and done) is set the height high when 3d engraving especially a bunch of acrylic I am currently working with. In that case I am not going through and want to leave a fire-polished surface, Done at the correct height (0.21) leaves a frosted surface But at 0.35 the surface is smooth to almost polished. Still when cutting I go at the correct height,

Also when I was trying to cut regular plywood tiny “chunks” would fly off still burning. Some plywood is like that,

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I have very little experience with acrylic. I have only cut it a few times and I have never engraved on it. I am concerned I will have the wrong setting and then a fire will start.

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