PG material not cutting through

I had a tabbed box I threw together, and the dang parts didn’t cut all the way through in all spots.

was it moving slightly too fast? it detected the material ok, as far as I can recall.

I ran into this yesterday with a sheet of acrylic, where most of the sheet cut fine, but one end didn’t cut through the masking on the bottom, and in a few places didn’t cut all the way through the acrylic to the point where I had to break parts free. The cause, I think, was that I had a small “crumb” of wood on the crumb tray, which held the acrylic perhaps 1/16 of an inch above the crumb tray, and thus the laser was slightly out of focus. At least, that’s my best guess. It surprised me that vertical position would be that sensitive…


well I was wondering if that was the case. I will be more alert to making sure there isn’t anything remaining on the crumb tray.


I usually can trace my PG wood failures to an ever so slight amount of warp in the material. I hold everything down flat to the crumb tray with magnets now.


I can say from experience that the tiniest crumb in the tray or slight warp in the material can cause this. :-/ I’ve made a habit of running my hand over the tray to find the no-see-um pieces.


I had this issue as well. It cut through about 90% of the material. At the corners it punched through but no where else. Flat tray no material underneath. I don’t see any warping on the piece.

Just had it happen tonight on :proofgrade: Thick Walnut Ply.
Had it happen once before a couple months ago.

I’m so sorry your box didn’t turn out.

When a Glowforge unit doesn’t cut through Proofgrade material using default settings, the solution is usually one of the following: Your materials might not be lying flat, your unit might need repair or cleaning, or your design or settings might need attention. I’m going to try to help you solve whichever problem is causing your trouble.

Have you had a chance to check your crumb tray?

I suggest looking at that and the following steps to start:

  1. If the crumb tray is mispositioned or holding bits of material from packaging or printing, it could keep your material from lying flat. Even a millimeter difference in height could affect your laser’s ability to cut.
  • Please remove the crumb tray, and inspect the dimples that the tray sits in. Is there any debris sitting there?
  • Inspect the tray itself; is there anything caught in the honeycomb that might keep your material from resting flat? If so, remove it.
  • Replace the tray, making sure that it’s facing the right direction (with the wide black band in the back) and that the tray’s four feet have dropped into the small dimples so that it no longer slides.
  1. Even when the Crumb Tray is clean and flat the material may not be lying flat on the surface. Proofgrade material can develop a curve (called ‘warp’), and warped material may not cut as expected, especially if your print or the warp are large. If you lay the piece of hardwood that you used for the print on top of your Glowforge, does it lie flat?
  2. If the laser isn’t able to travel freely, your materials won’t cut through. It’s possible that your unit’s lens or windows are damaged or dirty. Please inspect and clean your lens and windows. If you find any damage, let us know.
  3. If you haven’t found any damage at this point, it’s time for a test print! One of your free designs is called the “Gift of Good Measure.” Please print it on a flat piece of Proofgrade Hardwood or Draftboard, and let us know how it goes.

Thank you in advance!

I will try these things as soon as possible. I can say that is most likely that it was not lying flat, simply because I can’t be sure I verified that when I placed the material on the tray.