Monthly fee?

Hey folks, I am so new to this and getting discouraged. I don’t know how to do much that is not preset…unsure about how to set the settings for myself. Then, I purchased a bunch of materials from Trotec and I can’t figure out how to get Glowforge to recognize my artwork. It won’t let me set the “thickness” when I click “unknown material” and I’m not sure how to manually set up settings (ie: speed, power, line passes). I don’t even know if I need to cover these materials to avoid fires. HELP lol

you need to look up the “first cuts” tutorials!


Welcome to the forum. There are many helpful people here willing to help.

I use Trotec materials and often I just tell the Glowforge that I am using a Proofgrade product… For example, when using Trotec acrylic I select Proofgrade clear acrylic. Similarly with their plywood.

If you want to choose uncertified material, use the set focus tool and don’t try to input material thickness.


You should definitely work through the tutorials and do the first three prints to get an understanding of how the Glowforge interface works.


Nothing to be discouraged over, we all spent some time learning the quirks. :smile:
(It won’t take you long.)

For setting your own Manual Settings, there is a really good writeup on it here that explains what the impacts are of slowing down the speed or lowering the power:

It’s easy enough to run a few test cases on a simple 1 inch square to see what cuts best for new materials…just pick a similar material from the list, use those as starter settings, then adjust one thing (like the speed) up or down a few points to see if it cuts through, or engraves the way you want.

You cover your materials if you want to avoid the stain that occurs when the smoke gets blown across the wood, or the heat wafts across the acrylic, which can create a blurring. So the masking protects the materials and makes them easier to clean up. (It’s a huge time saver.)

Now that is a quirk…if you click on Set Focus before you try to use the Thickness setting in the Unknown Materials slot, it gets locked out. Just don’t use Set Focus first if you plan to enter the thickness manually. (Or you can just let the machine determine the thickness.)

As far as having the Glowforge recognize your artwork, that depends on the file, so if you are having trouble with a specific file, just zip it and upload it to the forum and someone will be happy to take a look at it. :slightly_smiling_face:


:purple_heart: :grin:

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Don’t be discouraged. I had no idea what I was doing in November when I finally got around to opening the box. Fast forward to now, I’ve printed off over 50 items that I sold in December. Half of those items were not proofgrade materials.

Definitely, take up the advice on the first 3 prints tutorial. You’ll want the Good Measure print anyhow, it’s a great example of the precision and you’ll use it constantly to measure the width of material.

Regarding your artwork. What type of image file are you uploading that is not being recognized?


Ditto! I feel your pain. I felt so inadequate reading all the posts but i have printed hundreds since getting mine in September. And, didn’t know a thing about Inkscape and getting better on it! Everyone here is extremely helpful!

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@sandy.db Don’t be discourged! We are here for you!

If you’d like to see the settings we use for a piece of Proofgrade material, here’s how:

  1. Open
  2. Open a design
  3. Choose the material
  4. Click a step in the left-hand column of steps
  5. Choose Cut, Engrave or Score to determine which setting you’d like to see
  6. Then choose “Manual” and you’ll see the default settings for that operation.

Note that materials vary widely, and the settings we use for Proofgrade material might not be safe or effective for a material with a similar name.

Since we can’t support material from other manufacturers, I going to move this post to the Beyond the Manual section of our community. Note that advice in this section is unsupported and is not reviewed by Glowforge.

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