Low power laser out of box - any way to calibrate?

We recently had a forge go out, and were sent a warranty replacement. Right out of the box, we noticed that it didn’t cut through material the way our other forges did/do; and our suspicions were confirmed when we tried some PG material on automatic settings. Including a picture of a cut done recently on PG draftboard, using auto settings (because I forgot to change 'em)… first thing that’s obvious is that it isn’t cutting through, and second thing is that the cut is terribly inconsistent in different places. This is typical of this forge. And yes, all lenses & mirrors are spotless. Is there any way to remotely calibrate power settings? We are having to drop speeds to between 10 to 20 points lower than what our other GF cuts at. Any help appreciated. Mahalo!

Have you tried using a different material other than the draftboard? Even with both of my machines, the DB will occasionally struggle to cut thoroughly. I use the honeycomb pins to hold all my material in place just for these types of cases, but if I notice it’s not cutting through other types, I give everything a cleaning. I’ve also noticed that when my machine’s tray wasn’t level, even the difference of a couple of thousandths of an inch made it not cut all the way through, giving me an uneven and inconsistent cut, found by using the depth measurement on my calipers in each corner of the tray. It would cut through 3/4 of the design, but left one corner uncut, so this could translate through to the inconsistencies of DB thickness. I’ve especially noticed the problem in my scrap DB pieces that have been sitting around a while, I assume it absorbs some amount of humidity causing the material to get thicker, even a miniscule amount.

Outside of all of this, the next advice would be cutting the “gift of good measure” and uploading the photos of that front and back. Also, what island you on? I’m on the North shore on Oahu!

Unfortunately, we’ve cut everything under the sun with this forge and it all requires about 15 - 20 speed points lower than the forge it replaced, as well as the other forge we have running in our house. We have a healthy GF based business, so we are using many PG materials (as well as a lot of Koa). We are in Kona on Big Island, enjoying the awesome craft market scene here. We make a lot of Koa earrings, as well as a bunch of other stuff the tourists enjoy. Also used our Forges to run fundraising campaigns for the Mauna, to the tune of several thousand dollars, for which we’re very proud. Ku Kia’i Mauna!

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Support will ask for a pic of the front and back of a print of the Gift of Good Measure on Med PG Draftboard, and based on past experience, I’d expect them to replace this machine.

They have never indicated there is any way to correct this remotely. Given the expense of getting them to and from your location, if there was any alternative, they would surely go for it.

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I’m so sorry your prints didn’t turn out the way you expected!

Thank you for letting us know about the manual settings you’ve been using as a work around.

In order to investigate the issue for you, I’ve included steps to run a test print using default settings.

Could you please do the following?

  1. Turn off your Glowforge, then turn it back on

  2. We included an extra piece of Proofgrade Draftboard with your materials shipment for troubleshooting. Place Proofgrade Draftboard in the bed and load the Gift of Good Measure design.

  3. Print the Gift of Good measure using the default settings. Allow the print to finish.

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

  5. Check the completed print:

  6. If the Gift of Good Measure fails to cut, please let us know the date and time of the print

    If the Gift of Good Measure cuts successfully, please try another print of the design you saw the issue with, and let us know the results.

  7. If the issue still occurs, please post photos of the front and back of your print and let us know the date and time of the finished print.


Aloha. Did this test, fresh piece of medium draftboard, gift of good measure using default settings. Print finished at 9:08 PM Hawaii time on 2/25/19. Did 2 GOGM prints on the piece, to illustrate the inconsistency in different areas of the bed. As you can see, the right hand print isn’t even visible as coming through the back; and the left hand print is visible, but only barely.

Was I supposed to post my results here or E-mail them to support?

here should be fine, will take them a bit of time to get back to you.

Thank you for doing that test print and providing those pictures. I would like to check over just a few more things. Could you do the following for me?

Please send photos of all your cleaned optical components, with special attention to any damage you might find:

  • Both windows
    • The printer head window, on the left hand side of the printer head
    • The laser window on the inside left of the Glowforge
  • The printer head lens
    • Both sides of the lens, top and bottom
  • The mirror inside the printer head
  • The bottom of the printer head

Once we have those pictures, we’ll follow up with next steps.

Here are the requested pictures. Capturing these lenses properly is difficult owing to angles and reflections, and I’m happy to attempt to retake any pictures from different perspectives if it helps.

Thank you so much for taking the time to send over these images.

Unfortunately, it looks like your unit is experiencing an issue that we can’t resolve remotely. I want you to have a reliable unit, so I’m recommending we replace this one. I’ll be in touch via email to sort out the details. I’m so sorry about the bad news.