Manual Settings

Our GF just arrived a couple days ago and I am trying to figure out the manual settings. The ‘instructions’ are elusive and I am not finding what I need in search results. For instance, if I want to cut .5 in cherry, how do I figure out what settings to use? Or perhaps I want to engrave, then what? Am I missing a handbook or something? I don’t want to be forced into only using GF supplied materials…

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You can tell it you’re using PG of a similar material and then change the settings to manual engrave/cut/score and you’ll see what the PG material settings are for a start. For instance I use PG Med Maple Ply settings for 1/8" Baltic Birch.

You can (& maybe should) run some calibration jobs. If you do a search you’ll find some that you can download and run on your material. I run cut & engrave calibrations on any new material and I keep the sample.

For engrave only materials like tile or stone I usually try highest power, highest speed and take steps downward in terms of speed until I find the right effect. Then I mark it with a sharpie and it goes in my sample stack.

For 1/2" wood you’ll need to experiment with cutting but you’ll need multiple passes - that’s one of the settings you can change. Two or three passes may be needed. It’s also possible you’ll not be able to cut it if it’s a particularly dense hardwood.

When you do find good settings log it in a little notebook or Excel or some other tool to keep track of settings. There have been a few discussions of what other people do. I and others uploaded our spreadsheets that we use if you’re looking for samples.

And you can always look here for similar projects and use their settings as a starting point.

One last thing - if using Full power, make sure you know if that’s on a basic or Pro. Those are very different power levels (about 20%). But from 0-100 the settings for both models are the same.


I also only received my GF a few days ago, and this information and suggestions are so helpful. Much appreciate your taking the time to share some of these details.


Check out the tutorials here in the forum - the “Matrix”. There’s everything from Intro to Lasers to how to design self-adjusting models using Fusion 360.


There’s no replacement for experimentation, but if you are lucky someone here will have already done it for you.

When you figure out good settings for a new material, please post them!

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where would I be able to find yours and others spreadsheets?

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You can do a search (I’m on an airplane or I’d look for you). There were a few threads about logbooks and Excel spreadsheets and several of us posted what we used. I’ve been lasering for years so I modified one I’ve used for other lasers. If I recall it was in the April or early May timeframe.


Where do I find this forum?

I am not sure what “forum” you mean. Here is the link to a google doc that has lots of settings and information. Maybe this is what you are asking about.

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You’ll find a lot of useful information in the tips and tricks forum, in particular the first thread listed there (which includes the link to the doc dklgood posted):

What is the design team tutorial project?

We call it The Matrix. It’s links to all of the tutorials that the customers have shared here. (All different kinds of software, and the ones for using the Glowforge.)

Start with this one: