Newbie question: what does "cut through" really mean?

Did my very first sample print as suggested in the manual. It worked fine, but I’m slightly confused by the final result. While I was able to get the part out, I had to manually cut through the backing material to free it and the various holes in the part were a challenge to punch out, requiring a bit of monkeying with an Xacto knife.

My question is simple, is this “cut through”? Or did my machine cut a hair too shallow? I’m trying to understand what to expect. A fraction of a millimeter more and everything would have just popped out without any cutting.

You should not need to cut anything yourself. It sounds like it’s cutting a hair too thin.


Always give a nudge to the material.
If it gives even a tiny bit you will need to flatten it using magnets or pins.

More of an issue on the larger cuts but even small ones will fail if the material is not perfectly flat.

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While we’re at it, the heat marks around the circles are a bit of a surprise (quite unlike the sample picture). Is this normal?

Assuming Proofgrade material also?

As others mentioned, dead flat material is important for Proofgrade settings. Magnets work. You can also search for holddown pins or something like that (someone will give you a link I’m sure).

Also, make sure you didn’t leave a fingerprint on the laser window on the left side of the head. I can’t tell you how many of us put a nice fingerprint on that thing installing the head for the first time.


Completely normal and is why proofgrade materials have masking on both sides.

Yes, proofgrade material with masking. I’ll check the window mentioned.

I got you!


Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

Thanks for letting us know. I’m sorry that your print didn’t come out beautifully!

To cut successfully, there are three important things to check. First, your material must lie flat. This requires a clean, properly installed crumb tray and flat materials. Second, there must be no obstructions, dirt, or damage preventing the laser light from reaching your material. Third, your design must be set up properly - for example, with lines that are fully on the material and that are set to cut. It’s hard to know which issue might be affecting your print, but if you follow the instructions in the cut-through troubleshooter, we’ll be able to get to the bottom of it.

Once you’ve inspected and cleaned, please try another print. We included an extra piece of Proofgrade Draftboard with your materials shipment for troubleshooting. Please print the Gift of Good Measure on that Proofgrade Draftboard and let me know the result. If it doesn’t print well, please let me know the date and time of your print and send photos of the front and back of the print.

That is exactly what I did the first time (Gift of Good Measure on proofgrade Draftboard). However, being my very first print, there’s plenty that could have gone awry. I’ll go through all the suggestions and come back if things don’t go better the second time.

Ok, I went through the troubleshooting steps. The results are better, but still not quite cutting through everywhere. Very close though!

As for the cuts, most are good, though I did still need to cut the backing on portions of the outer edge and the largest circle. You can see the pictures of the part both immediately after printing and after being removed and punched (but not cleaned up, so you can see the rough bits).

The only notable thing was that there is a slight warp in the draftboard. It’s small enough that I really don’t see it, but I can hear it when I press down on one edge or the other. I printed this part near the middle of the board where I couldn’t get any wiggle/tilt by pressing on it. I don’t have any great way yet of securing the board to the crumb tray.

So, am I at normal? Or is this still marginally off?

Oh date & time were 12-Jul-2018 at 12:07 PM.

It should cut all the way through, as in the parts are completely loose when you take them out.


If there is any warp at all in the draftboard it can keep the laser from cutting all the way through. I like to use these Honeycomb Bed Pins to flatten out the material. I’ve never had a cut fail once I started using them. (And they’re free.) :wink:

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Thanks Julie, I’ll try them!

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Minor warping does look to be the issue as the little pins worked great and I get cuts now!

Thanks for the help!


The Proofgrade settings are designed (in my opinion/observation) to really give the cleanest cut possible (just the right amount of power and speed for the material). Any kind of warp can really impact the effectiveness of those settings. As well as having dirty optics.

I’m so glad you’ve solved the issue!

I’m going to close this topic. Please post a new one if you have any other questions.