Issues with power settings for engraving-

Hi all-
I’ve had my GF Pro for over a year and within the first few months found settings that worked really well for me. Very recently, within the last few weeks, the settings I’ve used for nearly a year simply aren’t working the way they used to when it comes to engraving 1/8" acrylic material. I’ve tried several different sheets, including sheets I’ve used before, with these same settings and something is just really off. I’ve tried cleaning the machine as well, to no avail. These are the settings I’ve used:
image
Previously, with these settings, the engraving was smooth, a nice matte (no shiny bits or uneven parts), and a shallower engraving that was still deep enough to paint into. Here’s an example of how it USED to be:


Now, with these settings, the laser DOES NOT engrave deeply enough, leaves tons of super shiny/uneven spots, and leaves soot all over the engraved area (which is something that usually only happens when the engraving power isn’t high enough):

These are the settings I’ve used for over a year so I don’t understand WHY all of a sudden they are producing something completely different. The only thing that makes sense to me is that with this most recent update they just COMPLETELY changed the way the laser works for the thinner acrylic?? I tried adjusting the precision power higher, to 90 (which did basically the exact same thing), and tried a higher line per inch number (which actually seemed to make things worse and more uneven somehow??)… I’ve adjusted the focus height multiple times, both up and down. It simply DOES NOT work the way it did before. It’s like the lower power settings aren’t as powerful as they used to be? When I put it on full power, which seems to be the only setting that does more than scratch the surface, it is WAY too deep. It engraves nearly halfway through the material and for what I do, this unfortunately does not work:

I’ve been making adjustments and doing test cuts for over a week now and I’m completely stumped and am trying to… find help, I guess. I LOVED my smooth, matte engraving and it just doesn’t seem possible anymore? From what I can tell, my issues started right after the most recent “update” and I just don’t know what to do. Is there a way to use a previous version of the software?? To go back to the way it was before? I am honestly sitting here crying and terrified. This is my livelihood and if I can’t get the laser to do what I need it to, it could really horribly affect my business. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Probably going to need to rework your settings if the tuning on the machine changed. There’s a video here that might help:

Your settings are for a defocused engrave. Is it possible you are letting it auto focus now rather than putting in .25 focus height?

I entered the focus height manually- I did it the same way I’ve done it for the last year so unless they changed the way that works, it should have still been a defocused engraving?

Yeah, I’ve been defocusing… the settings I listed above are defocused settings with a higher lpi. Auto for 1/8th is .125 and I have it set to .25 with the lpi at 450 but the outcome is not the same as it was a month ago. Thanks for trying to help though!

Since these are unofficial settings on non-proofgrade, support may not be able to help out. There’s a natural degradation that happens when the laser is used, for example, I have to tweak all of my cut settings because I don’t get consistent cuts with the default settings anymore. It’s possible they sent out a performance tweak, they’ve done so in the past, so perhaps they can help you. These are my settings for 1/8 stuff when I’m wanting to defocus:

And I get very smooth results, like this:

Sorry if none of this helps, but I figured I’d share what works for me.

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Thanks for sharing! Will have to give this a try.

Since this problem is being seen on materials that were purchased from another company, we can’t offer support for prints that don’t come out as expected. Materials may vary widely from piece to piece, even if they’re created by the same manufacturer. I suggest posting for advice in the Beyond the Manual section of our community. Note that advice in this section is unsupported and is not reviewed by Glowforge.

Should this happen with a print on Proofgrade materials, please let us know and we’ll help you right away!

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email support@glowforge.com.