Laser power drop

I have been cutting a run of the exact same item (See image below)

The top row is from yesterday and the bottom row is from today. The material is a .13 thick quilted maple board. The ones from yesterday cut out easily at 175 and full power. The ones from today required multiple passes at 150 and full power. In many cases the pieces where too charred to use. You can also see that the engrave has barely darkened the wood on the cuts from today.

I have cleaned the optics twice today (side of the machine, both lenses on the head and the mirror), made sure the lens was positioned correctly and cleaned the fan. At this point, 170 at full power looks like a score.

The unit is a basic and it is 11 months old.

Do you have any draftboard left? Support will want you to run the gift of good measure on the piece sent for troubleshooting, with the default Proofgrade settings.

If that doesn’t turn out well, they’ll want to see pictures of all of the optics - the window on left side of gantry, window on left side of head, mirror and lens.

The gift of good measure (front then back):

I would note that my machine has never cut through consistently on proofgrade draftboard. However, it would typically get through in some places. This one didn’t burn through at any point.

My optics follow:

Additional info: Here are two separate GoGM cuts one on the extreme right of the machine and one on the extreme left. Neither cut marked the back at all.

This is 3 separate squares, proofgrade cut with manual focus (left to right) set 0.13, 0.125 and 0.12. None left a mark on the back.

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Your cuts look quite thick - any chance you put the lens in upside down after you cleaned it?
The “bowl” should be up into the head

Was my first thought as well. Just checked for the 3rd time (since it is always possible I am losing my mind). It is in place with the bowl part up in the head.

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That’s definitely correct. Too bad, that would have been so easy!

Are you using Set Focus when you place your material in or using Proofgrade and using their auto-settings, or are you entering thickness manually?

Good pics. That’ll help support for sure.

I always have a hard time with saying, your cut lines look thick, because it can be tough to tell the scale of things. But these definitely look thick.

If it were me, and because I like to mess with things, I would set up a few squares of different colors. Then I’d set the material thickness to actual measured thickness. For each square, I’d do some different focus heights. .01, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and see if you’re getting varying results/focus changing. (It’s important that the material height and focus height are different values, to override auto focus)

It probably won’t tell you a lot though. It would say the focus mechanism is working (though not necessarily working correctly).

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I did the 3 squares earlier in the post with an auto focus and a manual to either side. .02, .025 and .03.

I will try some others tomorrow. It is sleepy time.

That should have been addressed from the beginning. A machine that won’t cut PG material using default settings is not working within spec. Given your results above, it’s going to need to be repaired.

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Dang. I hope that you chose not to complain doesn’t come back to bite you!

I don’t see how it could. Warranty is warranty.

I’m so sorry that your print didn’t turn out as expected. Thank you for including photos of your optics and the Gift of Good Measure test.

There are several things that need to be checked if the laser doesn’t cleanly cut through the material. We’ve discovered that photos don’t always come through well in emails, so I’ve included several links that will take you to reference instructions and photos. Please turn off your Glowforge and check the following:

I have confirmed that the crumb tray is clean and correctly installed, the material is flat, optical components are clean (as pictured in the thread) and the design is set to cut.

Sorry if I was unclear before, but the machine no longer cuts at all. Proofgrade or non-proofgrade. It is not a single print issue. Over the course of the run yesterday, the cuts and engraves lost power. Currently tests with Proofgrade draftboard do not cut through even with multiple passes.

The maple wood that was cutting yesterday with a single pass at 175 / full power, now will not cut through with 5 passes at 150 / full power – it barely marks the other side of the 0.13 inch thick board.


Hi @jeremyh
The last response on this was 3 days ago. My Glowforge is not currently usable. Any additional testing I can do? Anything?

I’m so sorry for delay. We’re going to need some additional personal information so I’m going to follow up with you via email.