My laser is not cutting all the way through

I am using proofgrade materials but my laser isn’t cutting all of the way through the material. This hasn’t always happened but started a few cuts ago. Any suggestions?

I started changing what the material actually is to get it to cut all the way through.

First off - :proofgrade: is guaranteed to work so in addition to asking here you should visit and give them a call - they can work with you to get refunded for your failed work.

It’s possible, if you’re a heavy user, that your tube is hitting end-of-life, but that’s a pretty rare failure so I’m going to advise presuming it’s not that!

The most common cause of failure is dirty lenses or mirrors. There are 6 places that need to be wiped regularly. If you need help locating those let us know.

If you print the Gift of Good Measure on a piece of :proofgrade: material, using the :proofgrade: settings for that material and it doesn’t cut through, take pictures of the front and back - and of your GFUI showing everything from the name of your laser on the right and the material and settings on the left. Post those here and we may be able to help further!


Have you gone through the steps in the “Cut Didn’t Go Through Material” article?

Laser cutting is very sensitive to cleanliness, and to focus. Any buildup on any of the optical bits (windows, mirror and lens) that need wiping means some of the laser beam isn’t reaching your material to cut it. Even keeping the air assist fan is important because it keeps vaporized material and smoke out of the cut path, which otherwise would absorb some of the laser beam before it reaches the material.


The importance of cleaning the optics often can not be overstated. Don’t worry about number of hours, etc. Just get the 100 pak of zeiss wipes and get into the habit of wiping the mirrors and lenses at the beginning of each Glowforge day. You’ll see far fewer failures to cut through.


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