Jigsaw puzzle help (for charity)

Hi everybody, I am trying to make some glowforge cut jigsaw puzzles for charity. My idea is to get some artists to donate some signed limited edition prints that I then cut into a limited edition jigsaw puzzles. I saw @jbmanning5 amazing posts about making jigsaw puzzles , but I’ve had some trouble when trying to make them on my glowforge. I tried various thicknesses of chip stock as recommended and mounted the photos on with 3m mounting spray. For some reason the recommend settings of 180/100 aren’t cutting through the print and cardboard. It’s taking 3 passes to cut through all of the way, but each pass leaves more scaring and burn marks on the photo paper. Also the more cuts and the looser the pieces fit together. I was able to get some puzzles made by mounting a photo to the bottom of acrylic but those pieces were also pretty lose compared to a pro puzzle.

I’ve tried masking tape sheet on the photo paper, but the tape keeps melting to the photo paper at the edges. I probably need a masking tape with less tack. I have also tried cutting with the print on top and bottom, though I haven’t tried putting an additional layer between the chipboard and the honeycomb (as jbmanning5 recommends).

Anyway any help would be greatly appreciated. I’ve gone through about 40 pieces of various thicknesses of chipboard and photo paper. I’ve got the artist lined up for the charity. Now I need to figure out how I can cut them without ruining the image with a charred up mess.

Right now I’ve tried everything from 100/60 to 200/100 and everything seems to burn and nothing seems to cut through.

I am using svg files generated with jigsaw puzzle generated, edited in illustrator and exported as svg

Not sure what I am doing wrong, or what to tweak to get better results, but any advice is appreciaited.

I use that (175/100) for chipboard by itself, although single pass. All your settings are too fast and/or insufficient power. You need more power or lower speed if you have something attached to it.

I use Grafix 1.5mm (“Medium”).

Edit - as stated below, test until you find settings that work. A simple shape that you can add from the UI itself is sufficient, just increase power or decrease speed until the combination of materials you have cuts thru. I have never used multiple passes for any material. You certainly don’t need to be blowing thru whole sheets of material to find settings that work. I just use a 1/2" circle.

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Those seem like pretty slow speeds for chipboard, if it’s the same thing I think of as chipboard. As always, first thing to try when you can’t cut through, though, is cleaning all your optics (don’t miss the one on the side).

Here’s a great test file you can use to dial in the perfect settings, so you don’t ruin any more materials: New material cut test method


what are you using as photopaper? I am having so much trouble with it. I ran the calibration target and the glowforge cut through perfect at 180/100 without the paper, but with the paper it charred and didn’t cut all the way through.

I haven’t done that combination. But you should run the test with the EXACT material you’re using – adding the paper changes the ideal settings, so use a piece of chipboard WITH paper and do your testing with that. :slight_smile: