Not cutting certain designs

Okay y’all. I’m completely stumped. I’ve used the same settings for the same file for the past year. I’m using 1/4" mahogany and it started not cutting through all the way so we cleaned air assist and made sure mirrors/lenses were good to go. I tried cutting again and still no luck. Tried a different design and it cut like butter (same piece of wood). I’ve also tried on different pieces of wood of the same type and I still can’t get the design to work. I’ve messed with both designs and cut settings and it still won’t work for the one design. Tried uploading the design again and for whatever reason still no luck. Nothing has changed with it whatsoever. It’s not a super intricate design or anything like that either. It’s a basic hexagon shape. Help?!

Are you using default settings that you saved? If so, try inputting those setting manually. Also, since this is not on Proofgrade material, it is doubtful that Glowforge support will weigh in. Maybe try cutting the problematic design on Proofgrade material.

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Have you made any changes to the art - I’ve seen so many folks who accidently made a duplicate copy and the :glowforge: won’t work if there’s a duplicate copy on top.

I was able to figure it out. I have been using the Auto-Focus feature to determine material height since I purchased the machine. While this has been working flawlessly previously, it turns out that the glass lens that covers the red laser beam (for auto-focus) has become clouded with smoke residue inside of the lens. I also found dust particles in there as well with no way of cleaning it out directly but fortunately it does blows away with compressed air.

Note, this is not the main laser lens, but one of the smaller side ones; the smoke/dust is INSIDE the lens, not outside.

I think the reason smoke residue is inside the lens is because one of the 3 holes surrounding the lens is not filled with glue/sealant while the other side (sensor) is sealed. Seems like it might be a defect with my machine.

Before cleaning, the 1/4" material would barely cut at 115-120/Full and charred the cuts quite a bit. After cleaning the dust particles, Auto-Focus does work again but not optimally (need 125/Full to cut). Using manual material height lets the machine cut like normal (130-135/Full).

Hi there - Good eye looking out for issues on the bottom of the printer head.

Had you been seeing any errors pop up when trying to set focus or autofocusing? Given what you’d shared I extracted some data from your printer to take a look at how it was focusing. I’m not actually seeing any errors or notable issues here, however a dirty or damaged window could definitely lead to trouble!

Would you mind sharing a photo with me of what you’re seeing on the bottom of the printer head?

Hi Mike,

I hadn’t received any errors from the software. My only indication that something was wrong was that my saved cut settings no longer worked even after lens/air assist fan cleaning.

Here are photos of my lenses:

As you can see the (I assume) optical sensor/camera lens is clean and fully sealed where as the lens that houses the focus laser has particulates inside of the lens. The 3rd hole on the laser lens wasn’t sealed with sealant/glue so particulates have crept inside of the lens area (it was worse before blowing it with compressed air). There is still a layer of haze as well that cannot be blown out.

Thank you for sending those photos! The small layer of “particulates” should not interfere with the ability for your printer to correctly measure material. However, I would like to run a test print to ensure everything is operating as expected. Could you do the following:

  • Print the Gift of Good Measure on Proofgrade material, using Proofgrade settings. Please do not select the material, but use the Autofocuser to measure the material.

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

  • Take a photo of the front and back of the print and attach these photos to your reply.

Running this test print will allow us to get a better idea as to wether or not your Glowforge is operating as expected when focusing on material.

Hi Danielle,

I’m not sure if you read the full thread but the pictures above are AFTER I blew out the lens with compressed air. There were much more particulates behind the lens prior to cleaning because of this missing glue/sealant. The photos were meant to illustrate that the optical sensor lens is fully sealed while the measuring laser lens is not.

At this point in time my machine is working properly again with auto-focus but due to the hole, the issue may occur again over time.

@seanchu88 I’m glad to hear your issue has been fixed if it happens again please let us know the printer head will most likely need to be replaced I have made of note of this. I’m going to close this thread. If you run into any other trouble, please start a new topic, or email us at We’re here to help!