Only cut half the shape fully

I was doing a cut last night. My outline was set to cut and I was using a glowforge piece of material. When it wen to cut the laser only cut through half of the shape and didn’t break through on the other half so in the end the piece wouldn’t come out. Is there a reason this would happen. I haven’t had any issues up to this but the machine is brand new.

Just to clarify it’s like if I cut a circle and half the circle the laser went all the way through the material but the other half it only scraped the surface even though it is one shape.

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Hi @ashleybwithey! Welcome to the forums and this wonderful community. Sorry to hear the cut didn’t go through all around. From your post I gather you’re using Proofgrade materials, correct? If that’s the case, the settings are very touchy to the material being completely flat. Some people use magnets, but those can cause problems with the air assist fan if not properly shielded. A lot of other people use hold down pins (I’ll dig up the link to a free design posted a long time back).

Besides checking if the material is absolutely flat, could you try running the gift of good measure file on a piece of draftboard (again making sure it is flat), and uploading a picture of the result? This will help the support team when they show up :slight_smile:

Hope this helps, and again welcome!

Edit: here’s the link to the hold down pins


Welcome @ashleybwithey. If it barely barely marked the surface, unless the material is strangely uneven, I would examine the SVG. Was there another part of the design, perhaps hidden, that interfered somehow with that part of the design?

What material were you using?

What is your design program?

Where was the operation located in the bed? Sometimes there can be issues with the extreme lower right corner.

Did you try it again with different material? Cardboard works very well to test out a design to ensure it is doing what you want.

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Hi @marmak3261 It is cutting through just not all the way. Looking into the machine it appears that it’s been cut all the way but then when you pull the piece out you realize it hasn’t cut the entire design.

The SVG is fine. Sometimes it’s working sometimes it isn’t. It’s strange in that sense.

The first time it happened it was with Proofgrade Maple Plywood which the machine knew it was cutting. The second time was with a 1/8th inch white acrylic.

I am designing my svgs in Adobe Illustrator.

Location is center of the bed.

I just did a cut with the acrylic and the design was engraving then cutting 3 times and two of the pieces come out fine and one of the pieces was only half the design cut and the rest didn’t go all the way through.

That is fairly strange. I hope support can check on their end and see what is going wrong. Weird variations, especially with inconsistency one which you can pin down a cause.

Yeah, I wasn’t sure if the lease is dirty or what but it seems strange to have to clean it so soon. i’ve only had the machine a week and maybe have cut 5 hours at the most.

I have this problem a lot, haven’t used my machine a whole lot many like 10 hours max. It’s weird sometimes it doesn’t cut through and I have to push with force, sometimes it cuts all the way through. I just thought I was always getting bad MDF proofgrade that had imperfections in them.

If you suspect this is happening, it’s easy enough to let the GFUI pick settings based on the material type, and then either up the power slightly or slow the speed down slightly to compensate. Or you can just up the “cut” to two passes. I haven’t had this issue with PG material, but I have with some random other stuff. I got in the habit of checking to make sure the cut’s gone all the way through before I move anything off the crumb tray. I have a dental pick I can use to hook and lift a cutout section without moving anything else…

Hi @ashleybwithey, I do apologize for the delayed response to your post. Thank you @drelleum and @marmak3261 for the great advice! 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, so please thoroughly inspect your unit and design according to the suggestions in our Troubleshooter, which you can read here:

If you’re still unable to get the prints to cut through, could you please to do the following:

  1. Turn off your Glowforge, then turn it back on
  2. We included an extra piece of Proofgrade Draftboard with the shipment of your materials for troubleshooting. Place Proofgrade Draftboard in the bed and load the Gift of Good Measure design.
  3. Set the score and engrave steps to ‘ignore.’ Print the Gift of Good measure using the default settings. Allow the print to finish.
  4. When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture of the bed updates.
  5. Check the completed print:
    • If the Gift of Good Measure fails to cut, please let us know the date and time of the print
  • If the Gift of Good Measure cuts successfully, please try another print of the design you saw the issue with, and let us know the results.
  1. If the issue still occurs, please let us know the date and time of the finished print.

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email