Laser quality seemed to have changed /go downhill

Below are some images, the one on the left is new on right is old/original.
I haven’t been using the gf as much and I had this problem mo this ago but thought maybe just a fluke or something.

I am using the exact same wood on each, same (saved) settings but the new one is way less quality and jagged. It looks as if the LPI have changed or something but I haven’t changed any settings. It still takes the same amount of time to engrave.
It’s as if it isn’t as deep of an engraving either, may be hard to tell from the pics.

Did LSI settings change or something, or has my machine gone bad? I csnt sell these low quality coasters when the details are very important and intricate

I think this is a belt or wheel problem most likely. I had a similar problem with a 2+ year old Glowforge with belts that had some heavy debris buildup and some worn down areas. It caused slippage in the movement system, that produced both the “low quality” appearance seen in your photos, and also cuts that didn’t line up at the start and end of the shape.

Luckily, belts and carriage plate wheels are all replaceable, but you might start by just checking them all for cracks/splits/damage, giving everything a clean, and making sure the belts have the proper tension.


Saved settings, for whatever reason, have caused some people to have problems. If the belts and wheels pass inspection, try manually inputting your saved settings and see if the results change.


thanks I will try both of these things hopefully by this weekend and report back

Hello, @whickmant It looks like you received home helpful advice from our forum members. Let me know how it goes once you’ve checked the belt tension for the side belts and carriage plate belt and we will be happy to follow up with next steps!

When was the last time you cleaned your optics?

Hi, I did the steps above today but no change. Im unclear why my engravings look different from my other machine

You need to clean your machine and try again.

Hey, @whickmant I am sorry to hear you are still running into trouble with these prints. I would like to compare the logs of the prints with the intended results and also the prints where you start to see the distortion.

Could you do me favor and provide me with the date/time of the prints where you have the intended effect? And then also give me the date/time where you start to see the trouble. Let me know and I will be happy to look into this for you!

I dont have any idea how I could know the last time when this was working as I don’t have access to “previous prints” premium feature.
I can say for certain it worked last December when I was making a lot of coasters, that was a previous GF machine

If you can see project names, look at “coasters”

Hello Tim,

Ok thank you for providing that. In order to get a general status of the health of your machine to better determine the next steps, I would like to have you do the Gift of Good Measure test on proofgrade material.

Please turn off your Glowforge and check the following:

Once all these things have been checked, please perform the following test print.

  • When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture updates.

Then please provide us close up photos of the engraving and we can determine the best next steps based on these results.

Let me know how it goes.

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