Not Recognizing Proofgrade and not cutting

Hello Friends:
I fired up my new Glowforge Pro and successfully completed a few small test pieces from the Library. Though not that many to have issues with my machine. After say about 5 relatively smaller cuts and engraving I notice a few issues. BTW, I have the filter unit as well which I fire up before doing anything and shit it off much later after a job completion.
(1) Without having completed even 10 hours of work, the interior of the unit including the tube is fully covered with saw dust !
(2) Now my camera does not read proofgrade material and I have to manually select the material
(3) the cuts don’t cut through. I had to already discard three boards because the cuts were not deep enough and boards broke while taking the pieces out !
(3) I had heard that the machine produces a food deal of noise - which doesn’t seem to be the case ( unless I have lost my hearing!!) . I am wondering if that is due to any of the fans not functioning . The reason of my belief is also because a substantial amount of dust keeps flying around in the machine making it hazy which prevents a food view of the work in progress and may be a reason for material not getting cut ! I am planning to thoroughly clean the machine but is this normal after merely less than 10 hours of aggregate use?

Any smoke or debris on the optics will degrade performance. What you describe about the interior of the machine being so smokey during cuts that you can’t see the work in progress is not normal. I suspect that the fan in the filter is not turned up high enough or that the filter is already filling up. I don’t have personal experience with the compact filter, but your description of what you are seeing is not optimal, in my opinion.

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This isn’t totally unexpected, it depends on what you’ve been cutting. Was it a a lot of draftboard? That dust you mention can definitely account for not reading the bar codes and not cutting through as your lenses are as dirty s everything else you can see as @dklgood says .
Thorough cleaning isn’t necessary all the time, but cleaning the optics regularly is very helpful. Generally I wipe them at the start of each work day.

The machine is definitely quieter if you’ve told it the filter is attached because that turns off the internal fan. Definitely crank up you filter if it isn’t pulling smoke out.

If you have been cutting sticky materials like draftboard/MDF or pine it’s entirely possible that the filter cartridge is full after 10 hrs.

You are right…It was mostly the draft board. I am glad to know that there is no issues with the machine or the Fan! Just the thought that my machine may need to be shipped back for repair ( if the fans weren’t working) is scary! Thanks for your help. As you have suggested cleaning it after every job is essential. Thanks again. I think I am opening new issues everyday but I might as well start on the right footing rather than destroying my Glowforge !

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Just one other thing to make sure of is that the switch in the GFUI to set “Glowforge air filter attached” is ON.

But, in general, 10 hours of Draftbowrd cutting? Sure… You’ll need to clean. I don’t even think about it. I have my bag of wipes near the unit. Every once in a while, or right before a particularly-important job, I clean everything.

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If you are not aware, draftboard and the filter are a terrible combination. Draftboard will fill the filter up VERY fast. Please talk to others here on the forum that have used the filter and are more experienced but from what I have read that will become very expensive VERY quickly. Is there ANY way possible to run a vent outside???

MDF is the same/similar to draftboard and one or more of the plywoods is similar because it uses draftboard as the core.


Oh no, I’m sorry you’ve hit a snag.

To investigate further I’ve extracted your machine logs. It appears you’ve cleaned your lid camera since posting on the forum, has your Glowforge recognized the Proofgrade on the prints you performed last night?

As others have stated, any smoke or debris on the optics can affect cut through performance. Depending on the material you’re printing on, you may find that you need to clean the Glowforge frequently. For our next steps, I’d like to review all of your optics to ensure they’re not a cause for concern. Please send photos of all your cleaned optical components, with special attention to any damage you might find:

  • Both windows
    • The printer head window, on the left hand side of the printer head
    • The laser window on the inside left of the Glowforge
  • The printer head lens
    • Both sides of the lens, top and bottom
  • The mirror inside the printer head
  • The bottom of the printer head

Once we have those pictures, we’ll follow up with next steps.

Thanks for your suggestion. I think I am going to purchase an additional inline exhaust. I have a near by basement window. and to mae it even better, will stop using draftboards…
Thanks again.

You are very welcome Sunil. If you experience any issues after attaching the Glowforge Air Filter, feel to reach out and we’ll be happy to help. I’m going to close this thread and thanks for getting back to us!