Lid doesn't close all the way

Yeah, I just cut the one from the catalog as a test.

1 Like

I think it may be occuring once I pop open the lid. I’m not sure why the fan shuts off RIGHT after the print job. It should run for another minute or so. I’m about to just install my 440cfm vortex inline. It’s FAR more quiet, I just wish I could shut the internal fan down. It’s WAY too whiny.


Laser cut puzzles are basically going to be the similar to traditional puzzles cut with a scroll saw and fit “looser” than those cut with dies, since the die is basically just slicing rather than removing material, and dies smoosh and compress the chipboard at the same time, further narrowing whatever kerf exists. Laser cut and scroll saw cut puzzles are more dependent upon thicker pieces and the interlocking design (which is why they were designed with interlocks in the first place) to achieve good fit.

Additionally, the default PG automagic cut settings might not be the perfect settings for minimal kerf. I haven’t done any with wood but cutting with chipboard, I had to really experiment with the power and more importantly, the focus point, on a face down image to get barely noticeable cuts on the bottom side of the material.


That makes perfect sense. I just thought there for a second that a laser cutting the width of a human hair, and the fact that the project was actually in the catalog, that it would work precisely like a regular puzzle. Thought my Glowforge was defective. LOL Still, you’d think with a kerf THAT small and precise of a lazer, it SHOULD be able to make a puzzle like a traditional one. /shrug

It’s super thin, but you’re still removing material from both sides of interlocking pieces.

You can see where I experimented a bit with this:

First attempts:

Second attempts and improvements:


WOW! You’ve done a GREAT deal of messing with this process! You’re threads are wonderful, and your results amazing.

I’ve been sticking primarily with the proof grade stuff thus far, haven’t tinkered under the hood yet, doing manual settings. Gonna be a bear I know it. Proof grade is SO nice not to have to worry about it. Though expensive. I ended up making 78 sheets of 12x20 1/8" Birch Plywood WITH masking…so essentially proof grade material, and it only cost me about $1.25 per sheet, with masking.

Huge difference from the $10 a piece from Glowforge.


Also varies with the thickness of the material. The cut is not perfectly straight up and down. Will often find that it is looser on top or bottom.

1 Like

@willcfc Did you purchase the larger sheet of birch with the mask already on it, and then cut it down, or did you apply the mask yourself afterwards? If you bought it with the mask already applied, where did you find this magical beast?

No sir. I purchased them both separately. I purchased this which is 12" wide. I ripped all my ply into 12" strips that chopped them to 20" long. Covered them in this mask. It’s wicked easy to do. Doesn’t take long. Though after using it now, I’d suggest picking up a HIGH tack version. I used a squeegee to apply, and still had some pieces peel up during small cuts.

So look for the high tack version. Wife and I parted up 5 sheets of 5x5 BB ply and one full sheet of luan in about 30 minutes. Not bad to be honest, and I have over 100 sheets of 12x20 ready to use. Will last me the entire winter I’d reckon.


For me, where PG can pay for itself is the fact that it’s prefinished. I’ve got a bunch of BB plywood that I used for my Catan board, and by the time I cut the boards down to size, sanded, stained, masked, cut, lacquered, and wiped them down with steel wool, I was wishing I’d just used the PG plywood (where the entire process would have been “cut”). If I ever lose my mind and decide to start mass producing these Catan boards to sell, I’d almost certainly use PG to do that.


No doubt. With the pre-finished stuff however, it is what it is. Working with it naked gives you more options as well. I for one didn’t buy the Glowforge with the intention of mass producing things for sale, so speed isn’t a necessity. :wink:


Absolutely, and I think for a lot of the things I’ll make I’ll want that flexibility. PG is fantastic for the stuff you want to look great but don’t want to spend a ton of time working on. It’s definitely got its niche.

Oh, I LOVE it. And would be using it mostly all the time…if I had the money. :wink:

1 Like

Put an 18” straight edge (front to back) on the sides (top) and you will see that they dip down in the center.

Regarding the lid: It sounds like you’re describing a variation that we’re seeing on these early machines that doesn’t affect operation. However, it could be that your shim is a little too much – or not enough. Each Glowforge unit is tested on a flat granite slab. If your surface is not flat, the door may not close all the way. Should you find that to be a problem, try inserting a spacer - for example 20 sheets of copy paper - under the center of the printer. If that doesn’t help, try moving the spacer to either edge. It may require some experimentation to get it leveled so that it closes properly.

Regarding the smell: Even with proper filtration, small amounts of smoke and fumes can enter the air around your Glowforge, producing a detectable odor. You may also smell an odor when you open the Glowforge lid, even long after a print is complete. This is not harmful. However, if you notice a strong, unpleasant or irritating odor when printing, or see smoke, shut off your Glowforge unit immediately. Smoke and fumes could be entering the room in excessive concentrations. We’ve created an troubleshooting guide with illustrations. If you’re still seeing or smelling excessive smoke or fumes when using Proofgrade materials, please let us know:

  1. The name of the material you’re using
  2. A description of where the smoke/fumes are coming from: the door, lid, or hose
  3. When you smell the fumes: during the print or after it has completed
  4. Photos of your Glowforge and your exhaust system

I’ve been using a similar medium tack tape on unfinished basswood. So far it’s holding well enough if I squeegee it well and then store it horizontally with weight on it. But yes, it seems that high tack might be better for unfinished wood.

And I think that is the issue right there, unfinished wood. If you put a coat of poly on it or something I’m sure the medium would adhere just fine.

I wound up with a grind starting after I leveled the beast. Probably gonna un-shim it a bit.

1 Like

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email