Laser speed 1000: Why?

I’ve noticed over the last few weeks that quite a bit of you are running your laser at Speed 1000 for just about every project. My question is…why?

I’ve seen at least 3 posts recently that have complained about the laser suddenly not working, the head stopping moving or the gears seemingly to be stripped. Most of what I can see these users run at 1000 speed for most projects and it makes total sense why these are happening.

Personally I run mine between 530-620 for most engraving jobs and between 145-160 for cut jobs.
It’s easier on the hardware and it should be a bit easier on the hardware imo.



Some of the Glowforge Proofgrade settings are for 1000 speed - for example draft graphic for most materials. Since Glowforge sets these speeds, it seems one that would not in any way harm the machine. Many (most) users do not understand manual settings and let the settings auto populate.


@dklgood As much as it pains me, that does make sense I guess. Personally if I’m gonna operate my machine effectively I’m going to learn as much as I can about it and that definitely includes the Manuel settings.


people run engraves at 1000 often just because, well, the engrave just goes faster. especially if you’re engraving a large area, running at 500 can radically alter your engrave times. and the larger the area, the more effective the faster speed is. if you’re engraving a small area, being at 1000 vs 500 makes less of a difference because your machine is spending so more time slowing down the head to change directions. but a long engrave line will be significantly faster.


There are plenty of people in the forum that feel the way you do about operating this machine. There are way more people, however, that have very little knowledge of their Glowforge and very little interest in learning. I have no statistics to confirm this belief, but if you spend any time at all in the Facebook Glowforge groups you will share my feelings about this. To be fair, Glowforge markets the machine as something not requiring much user knowledge.


@dklgood I was in a FB group for about 10 minutes before I left. That distinct part of the learning process (at least in my opinion) is part of what makes a product stand out and not look like everyone else’s builds.

Anything worth learning is worth over learning, and it shows who’s in it for a quick buck and who’s really in it for all of the wonderful aspects this wonderful machine brings.


People buy Glowforges for different reasons and different people have different time constraints. If I was trying to supplement my income and had three children to care for I would have an entirely different outlook than I actually have. A good tool fulfills multiple needs for different populations.


Actually, top engraving speed for the Pro models is just under 4000, but it’s only available for raster type images. (Also has a pretty narrow footprint, which is harder to explain.) But it can do it easily, so you’re good to go at 1000 without any strain on the machine. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Good thinking though, I treat mine a little more carefully too, and it’s been around and kicking for four years.)


FWIW, other lasers run WAYfaster using belts and gears. if you saw how fast the Universal in my office engraves, it makes the GF’s top speed look like it’s a timelapse video.


When I do the polished marble engravings I do full speed and full power. Marble doesn’t burn and so I don’t need the slower speed. Plus, slowing down the speed makes more dust. For anodized aluminum it’s sort of the same where you just want to lightly scratch the surface so that the design stands out the most. I agree that it would be use case based. For wood projects or anything you want to have a burn type effect on, the certainly slowing down the speed is important.


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