Jagged cut?

This is the coaster set template. My machine is clean, this was the 2nd bad cut. Anyone have this issue? And the excessive smoke when cutting wood even with the ventilator? Not even 2 months old? I’m a little frustrated. Any suggestions from the Pros out there?

Please any advice would be great!

Is that Proofgrade material? (Photo is a little unfocused…are you talking about the slight ridges in the edge? Do they go all the way around the circle.)

I have seen that frequently and suspect many causes. just the normal vortexes as the smoke etc tries to get out of the way, Minor variation in the hardness of the material, the laser firing in pulses ( may not be the case, but not sure) the higher the speed the more I see it but only visible until the first pass of the sandpaper.

As to the greater amount of smoke that too is extremely variable depending on the material, the thickness. the speed, and even in different places in the same piece, much less different pieces of the same species of materials.

In general I do at least minimum sanding and cleaning up on any wood I use.

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Yes, it is proof grade material. I only use PG I am scared to lol use anything else. I have just totally cleaned my GF and hopefully that will fix the issue. I looked online and through several posts about the same issue… No, the ridges do not go all the way around. I’m praying that it is fixed. Not sure what to do about the smoke but IT IS HORRIBLE! Only on Wood… I haven’t changed any settings, as Proofgrade materials are pre-set. I’ll keep pushing forward, though my excitement is dwindling. I am cleaning and troubleshooting more than I am creating. I have only had me GF for a month and 5 days. I didn’t think it would so high maintenance.

Okay, let’s talk about the smoke issue first - that’s actually a larger problem.

Are you having visible smoke coming out of the machine while it is lasering?

Are you using a Compact Filter with the machine?

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Thank you. I am not sure why all of the smoke isn’t being sucked out. I have the ventilator and it shouldn’t be full after a month of use, not everyday use at that. Disenchanted with the almost constant maintenance but I refuse to give up! Thanks for commenting.

here is a better pic…Sorry it shouldn’t of been blurred.

Well CRAP this pic is still blurred… LOL but it’s not on my pc… Sorry guys and gals! I suck at this!

That’s okay, let’s talk about the smoke issue first - that’s actually a larger problem.

I take it from your later comment that you are using a Compact Filter, correct? As soon as you start to see ANY smoke come out of the machine, (or puddling inside the Glowforge), when you are using the Compact Filter, it’s a sign that the cartridge is starting to fill up. Once that happens, it can go very quickly from full suction to zero suction and you are going to have a room full of smoke. (Which isn’t healthy for you or the house.)

It’s an indication that you need to replace the filter cartridge promptly. So if you start to smell anything while using the filter, dial up the suction power on the front of the filter box and order a replacement cartridge. (They sell them in the Glowforge shop under the Spare Parts section.)

And sorry to have to tell you this, but depending on what you are cutting and how frequently, you can fill one of those things up in a couple of weeks. They generally run from 20-30 hours of actual cutting time on the machine, for non-Draftboard materials. Draftboard throws a lot of particles and glue and can clog one up to ten times faster. So try to avoid heavy cutting on draftboard if you can.

It’s also been suggested that continuing to run the fan on the filter for an equal amount of time to the cut will keep it from clogging as quickly. You can open the lid and remove your print after the cut, just leave the filter running for a while.

Okay, having said all of that…if the machine is filling up with smoke, the laser beam could be being deflected, resulting in wavy cuts. Also things are going to get terribly dirty in there, requiring more cleaning after every cut. You need to get the smoke back under control in there.

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Sadly, yes it’s Horrible! I cleaned it and walked away today. I think I’m having GF withdraws. Lol guess I’ll have to buy a replacement filter!:dizzy_face:

Ok, I have to ask. When you say you’ve cleaned the machine, what exactly are you cleaning? I have a Basic, and when I started using MCEtcher, it seemed that the list of things to clean kept growing. I was out of warranty before I realized that there are 3 fans I needed to be cleaning.

So my cleaning list is:
The camera lens in the lid
The mirror up in the left side
The left lens on the head
The two small windows on the underside of the head
The removeable lens on the underside of the head
The exhaust fan in the lower left side of the frame
The tiny fan at the rear of the head
The air assist fan at the base of the carriage plate (must remove carriage plate from the gantry)
The ledges that the carriage plate ride on (side to side)
The ledges that the gantry arm ride on (front to back)

Also, just because I prefer it not to look gunky:
The lid glass
The laser tube

Then I also use a soft bristle head on my shop vac to run over the track and other bits inside the left side.

So yes, as Jules says, the filter can fill up quickly, but you will also need to clean things regularly. Not everything needs to be cleaned every time. But they will need to be cleaned.


Well after chatting with GF, I now clean everything daily! I, like you, can not stand funky equipment. All lenses even the one inside on the left. The tube, I blow the belts, all 3 fans, I really get into deep cleaning it. Takes a few hours for me, because I want it to look brand new. After I cleaned it the jagged cuts stopped. So thank you and all the commented! I even tightened the laser belt. Live and learn! This forum is truly the BEST! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

How big is the pictured object? If that stuff is 1/8" thick and you are zoomed way in, yeah, you will see some texture on the curved edges.

This is the edge of a 2" diameter circle cut from 1/8" acrylic.

Thanks for all the help folks! @purpledrega72, I see you have also reached out by email to us about this and I have just followed up there. So I am going to close this thread.