Laser precision 1 too powerful. Not working?

I see people etching paper with precision power level 1. I can’t even get it to etch acrylic. My precision level 1 actually cuts through 1/16 acrylic.

Anyone have any idea why this is?

Update. As some suggest to do an engraving on proofgrade material. I tried this out using medium draftboard and it seems that the power modulation is broken.
Text “Speed” “Power” “1000” were engraved using SD graphic setting. Rest were 1000 speed and the respective power level.


Welcome to the forum. More information from you would be helpful. When you say ‘precision power level’ are you meaning literally that the power is only set to 1? Can you take a screen shot of your settings panel on the left side of your GFUI to show what you mean, please? And, are you using proof grade acrylic or another type?

So the issue I am having is that this setting is too powerful. It cuts through about half my acrylic. Only thing I can do is convert to dots and set max to 50% so it doesn’t completely melt the text.

This is my cut setting. I use this to cut a square. It seems that precision power 1 is able to cut through the material. The thickness is about the size of two credit cards stacked together.


You’re not accidentally clicking the little switch next to full power before you run the job, are you?

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Show the left side of the design screen before you hit Print. It will show the final values below the different design components. Then hit Print to make sure.

Sometimes the manual power value will revert to a 1 when you go to check. So need to examine the entire process.

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Speed it up. How deep something cuts is a function of the speed as well as the power. If you want to reduce the effect of the laser beam, speed it up when you are cutting…185 might be too slow for 1/16" acrylic. (Although I’m surprised it cuts all the way through at 1% power.)

For the engrave, lower the LPI to 195. You’re going over and over the same area with a 340 LPI engrave. It will burn over the same area that has already been hit.


I have cut 1/16" acrylic at speed 200, power 100 (non proof grade), but I have never engraved any acrylic that thin.

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You are running at 340 LPI you might try running at 175 LPI and get better results :upside_down_face:

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Can we clarify terminology and operations a bit?

You are talking about engraving (what you call etching) and post the settings for that and then you post settings for a cut too.

ARe you saying that power of 1 on engraving and power of 1 on cutting or scoring is way more than expected for each operation?

Hard to isolate a problem when so many variables are put forth. Screen shots of your workflow and post print shots of materials will assist too.

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Have any Proofgrade draftboard left that they sent for troubleshooting? A gift of good measure print will run through the various motions - cut, score, and engrave - that will show if there are any issues with the power modulation.

I am just showing that it is able to cut at 1%. I sped up the engrave to 1000 and it will go through about half way through the acrylic.

I am saying that power level of 1 is too powerful. How strong is your laser at precision level 1? I am able to etch through half the material with the engraving option with speed 1000. At speed 200-300 it is able to cut through the material.

@jbmanning5 that is a good idea. I will try that out. I am thinking maybe my power modulation is not working correctly.

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I’m still betting that the value isn’t 1. A speed of 1000 and power of 1 won’t even mark the masking. If I select manual settings for a standard engrave it will usually show a speed of 1000 and a power of 1. But it isn’t. Select the marker next to the engrave setting to see the true value. Not the manual selection.


It wouldn’t be the first unit that had a power modulation issue. It’s popped up a few times, though it is one of the more uncommon problems.


Make sure to do it at just the Proofgrade settings. The issue, if there is one, should be evident even at those settings.


FWIW, my first GF got dinged hard in shipping.

And it couldn’t control the power output. Pretty much everything was ~80% or above, it seemed.

GF replaced it.

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I believe you are correct. My glowforge power output is busted. I just did a proofgrade engrave using medium draftboard.

The text “power” and “speed” were using default setting for SD graphic
All power settings seems too high.


Yep, that’s definitely not right.

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