Inconsistent Print Times on Production Work

Wondering if anyone has any words of wisdom. I have 250 cheeseboards to engrave and have done 10 so far. I am using Snapmarks for alignment so that I can do 2 at a time with more precise logo placement (works really nicely, by the way!).

Here’s what the SVG looks like:

The first time I ran the job, it was 10 minutes 2 seconds total engrave time. The printer head basically traveled the entire length on the X axis, engraving both logos simultaneously from the bottom up. The second time I set up the job to run, to my surprise, it indicated 8 minutes 40 seconds; and this time, it engraved each logo separately. And then the third time I ran the job, it was back to 10 minutes 2 seconds.

It’s the same SVG file set up to engrave the same way with the same settings. Results are identical to the naked eye both ways.

With 240 boards to go, I obviously much prefer the shorter engrave time (it’s almost 6 hours saved in total). Any idea why there’s inconsistency, or how to trick the machine into the shorter path?

I would guess you’re getting a little rotation, aka not perfectly straight, when you place your work pieces. A little off alignment can add a lot of time to your engraves


Make one logo a different color. That will encourage the software to treat each Engrave as separate.


Well that is clever! I will try that. Thanks!!

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Although the proof will be if there’s consistency moving forward, @Jules recommendation to do the engraves as two separate colors looks promising. 8 minutes 34 seconds this time!


Good deal! (Means it’s still following the rules.) :wink:

Make a jig rather than use snapmarks, I’m sure it will be a lot quicker overall on the number you are making.


@sqw, I am curious…I actually have a jig WITH Snapmarks, which I am using to make sure the logos are centered on the boards.

If I don’t use Snapmarks, given the camera distortion, how can I quickly be sure that the logos will be centered on each board without a few rounds of actual trial and error to see if the logos end up centered despite how they look on the GFUI?

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Set up a 12x20 file with everything located properly in that. Cut the jig out of a full sheet of material. Chipboard is fine. Don’t move anything, just place the material and hit print.

For bonus points, you can print out some crumbtray rulers and align the jig to that so you can take it in and out and it basically always aligns.


If you cut the jig and NEVER MOVE the jig, the glowforge will place your logos in the same exact spot every time. The art board has to be 20x12.

The cheeseboards are .75" thick, so I can’t use the crumbtray when engraving, but I need it to cut out a jig. So I can’t keep everything in the same place.

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You can cheat the autofocus system to make an outline (below the actual height limit) of the cutting boards and place them in that outline. It’s susceptible to moving so figuring out a way to lock the sacrificial later down would be needed.

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This is how I do it:

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