Laser No Longer Cutting Through

So I’ve been laser cutting Columbia Forest 1/4" Maple for several months now. It cuts fairly well with 150/FULL settings and 1 pass.

Late last week we noticed that it was no longer fully cutting through the wood. We have cleaned the 4 laser/camera lenses and fully cleaned the machine.

It seems the Glowforge is able to cut through Proofgrade Draftboard fine, but not the wood. I have tried various speed settings and am not receiving consistent cutting results.

I wonder if this might be related to the Glowforge app software update last week. Is anyone else having this type of issue? Any ideas for what I can check on my setup?


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Most likely it’s still cleaning - there are 5 lenses that need wiping (actually 6, but 2 of them are matching so folks treat them as 1). The mostly commonly missed one is the one under the side of the machine.

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Unfortunately support can’t help you with non proof grade products. If you do a search on here for “cutting plywood” you will find some answers to your problem.

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If it cuts through draftboard fine, it is working. As others have said you probably need to clean the optics and fan. Also, it could be you got a bad batch of material.

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Hello @bsalmanowitz I am so sorry your Glowforge printer is not cutting through your Columbia Forest Maple. I saw that you printed a Gift of Good measure on your Draftboard Proofgrade material. I’m glad to see that your Glowforge printer was able to cut through without issue.

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 moved this post to the Beyond the Manual section of our community. I will go ahead and keep the forum post open for any other discussion. Note that advice in this section is unsupported and is not reviewed by Glowforge.

It’s not the App.

Just as important as clean optics is that the material has to be flat against the crumbtray.
Different batches of any materials can be slightly warped, especially if your live in an area subject to humidity swings.

Printing a set of holddown pins will really help with this. Once secured to the tray, you should be able to tap all over the material and hear a muted sound. If an area is louder than the others, it’s not flat.


OK, so I think I’ve figured out the issue. I was using the autofocus feature, which works well when I’m engraving. However, for cutting it seemed to be not cutting all the way through. I have 1/4" Columbia Forest maple plywood (which is actually 0.20" thick). I changed my focus and material depth to 0.25" and the glowforge seems to be cutting fine again.

Now I just need to figure out an A/C solution so that it doesn’t keep pausing to cool down.

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