Is my print taking too long?

I just uploaded this file… and it is going to take 3 hours 25 minutes. I know it’s not simple but I was very surprised it would take that long. It does seem as though my GF is working more slowly lately even with small prints.

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Seems a bit excessive. The size, speed and LPI all factor in.

It comes up 1 hr 10 minutes for me, using the PG SD engrave settings.

I was not doing it on proof grade, but cardboard to test it. But that is interesting. Thank you

engrave: power 2, speed 170
cut: power 60, speed 170

this is on cardboard. If I up the speed, will I risk a fire? I care less about accuracy, this is just a proof

I generally don’t test engraves on cardboard; that’s kind of asking for it to burn. Since they’re vector graphics, I’d suggest converting them to scores for the testing, so you don’t have any problems!

hmm, interesting. Ok thanks

That’s a really slow engrave speed.

Speed and power share a pretty linear relationship. Twice as fast, will generally be about the same with twice as much power. The caution with that line of thinking though is that the Glowforge units go off a bit different of a scale, so it’s not really just doubling the GF speed.

I have an old spreadsheet that Glowforge made (once upon a time, the speed was in inches per minute instead of 100-1000):

170 engrave speed is 29.8 inches per minute (and your current power is 2)

60 inches per minute would be a speed of 252 and a power of 4.

120 inches per minute (8 power) would be 415.

240 inches per minute would be speed 742 and 16 power.

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interesting, thank you. I’ll try different settings.

big thank you – down from 3 .5 hours to 9.5 mins to print (with score not engrave which is fine for a draft) with power adjustments


Hello @davidsi, it looks like you got some great advice from our awesome community members and were able to get your print time down, that’s great!

Is there anything else you need assistance with or questions we can answer? If not, please let me know and I’ll go ahead and close this thread. Thank you!

I read in a different thread that some SVG files, from Affinity Designer, can be overly complex and thus slow down the print. Even when cutting the outer circle, the GF seemed to drag it’s heels.

I do use affinity designer, is there a way to check if the files are overly complex, or, better still, a tool to simply them?

Thank you for the additional information. Regarding design file complexity, the complexity of a design won’t impact the speed of an engrave as long as the engrave is covering the same amount of material. The complexity will, however, impact how long it takes the app to process the design before the print starts.

For example, these two designs cover the same amount of material. These would both engrave at the same speed, and the print would take the same amount of time if they were both run as engrave with the same settings, but the one on the right would take a little bit longer for the app to process before it’s printed:

Cutting and scoring works a bit differently. For a cut or a score, the amount of time it takes the unit to complete a print increases with the number of shapes or lines that are being cut or scored. Using the same example image above, if the squares and stars were all going to be scored on the surface of the material, the design on the right would take longer to print.

Will you please let me know if this information helps with your project?

not really thanks. The time processing seems very quick, it’s the cutting time that seems slow.

That wouldn’t be Affinity Designer’s fault, it’s the fault of the person using it. I use Affinity Designer for all of my files. :slight_smile:

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I’m sorry that this information didn’t answer your question. What you described with the Affinity Designer files is a something that could happen with any number of files made by different programs. Ivan’s details described how file complexity - in Affinity Designer or elsewhere - doesn’t impact cutting/engraving time. Slow cutting/engraving time usually points back to print settings.

If you run into issues with other files cutting slow, I suggest that you take a closer look at the settings you’re using. Unfortunately, I don’t have any advice about settings for materials from other sources.

If you want see if the community has suggestions about manual settings, you can post in the “Beyond the Manual” section. Note however that advice in this section is unsupported and is not reviewed by Glowforge.

Of course, if a file is printing slower than you would expect and you’re using Proofgrade material and settings, feel free to share that in a new thread here in the Problems and Support section, and we’ll be happy to take a look!