Laser isn't cutting

Can someone please help me, im not too computer literate but this is a mind blower. Just got my glow forge yesterday. Laser has been cutting fine. I just put a 1/4 inch piece of MDF in the machine and selected unknown material. It doesn’t cut. I thought maybe it was the MDF so I put the proof grade material in and it cut the same way as if it was only scoring it. I tried adjusting the number of passes, the speed to high, the cut depth to Full and nothing still happened. its pretty much just outlining the material. what are my other options.

THanks you

To make it cut deeper, you will need to ‘slow’ your speed. Or, you can increase your power. Look on your settings to be sure your power didn’t get set to 1. Happens a lot…

Welcome to the forum. Can you share a screenshot of the interface that shows your settings along with the outcome of the print.

1 Like

ive done the speed up and down at highest and lowest as well. quite frustrating

ive done that already. thank you for the input

1/4 inch mdf

That speed will not cut. I suggest you select a proofgrade material that is similar to the material you are using and let the proofgrade setting auto populate.


sure thing. ive had it on 230 speed and it still didn’t cut. won’t cut proof grade material through either. by the way why would it need. be lower speed to cut material?

Proofgrade thick draftboard settings on a pro are 132.


Think of the laser as a blowtorch. If you move it really fast over a material, it won’t cut. If you move it slower, it will cut.


I suggest you read through this from the Glowforge page: Working With Manual Mode – Glowforge


I set it to 100 and it worked, what’s the best way to figure the settings per material?

Read the above post about manual mode and start with proofgrade settings.


I can’t read good, I probably shouldn’t have bought this thing. I need lot of help. I have hard time comprehend words

You will be fine. Here is what you need to know - don’t just “wing” it because you will waste material or risk starting your material on fire. You need to work through the first three prints and get a feel for how the laser works. People here in the forum will help with settings once you have a little practice. We were all new to this once


I can’t find any videos on YouTube about creating the design and how to cut specific shapes out of the piece. it seems like the glow forge just cuts what ever pieces on your item it wants to.

Please try this. Put a piece of the medium draftboard that came with your Glowforge in the machine. Make sure that you don’t bump the printhead or move it when the machine is on.

In your Dashboard, find the Gift of Good Measure and click to open it. This is the file
Gift of Good Measure

Position the file near the edge of the material because you don’t want to waste material.
In the upper left corner where you are asked to choose the material type "medium draftboard and then select it.

When you choose medium draftboard for the material, the settings should set themselves and look like this:

On the left column, you will see that the Glowforge is going to engrave the ruler markings, then score the circles, then score the edge, then cut the little circles, then cut the whole thing out.

The Glowforge performs the operations in the column in order from the top down.

Once the interface looks like this click print, and press the white button when it flashes.

There are some videos to help you. I will try to find one right now.

Try these videos. Glowforge, to the point - YouTube

1 Like

is English your second language? they may have the manual in your native language .


English is my first. I just not good at reading. can glowforge cut painted materials?