PG Material only cuts on left side, crumb tray uneven?

I received my Glowforge on Friday, 11/13/20 and put it together while following the instructions carefully. I have found that only the left side of the laser will cut all the way through, even on proof grade material. The right side will not cut through all the way, and even the engraving is inaccurate.

As you can see in the picture below, I did do the “Gift of Good Measure”. I ran this on the left side as my first print and I thought it came out well. So then I printed a full sheet of my own designs, and they did not cut through only on the right side.

I began to troubleshoot: My material is not warped, I cleaned all of the lenses as per the instructions in the manual, I cleaned the crumb tray, I made sure the crumb tray was in the right spot, I made sure my Glowforge is on an even surface by using a long leveler, I recalibrated my machine by running the Glowforge calibration test, then I ran a test of a simple cut of a heart. I cut a heart on the far left side and one on the far right side as pictured below:

As you can see from these photographs above, I did the calibration test and you can see how the engraving fades out towards the right side, especially the right hand corner closest to the door. You can see that the left side cuts, and the right side does not even make it through the back. Additionally if you zoom in on the photograph showing the hearts that did not cut through, the stroke line of the laser is uneven.

Additionally, I have measured the distance between the laser head and the crumb tray, the laser head and the bottom of the Glowforge with the crumb tray taken out, and the distance between a flat leveler sitting on top of the crumb tray vs the bottom.

I have found that the distance between the laser head and the crumb tray is slightly off. Here are photos below:

This is the middle of the Glowforge. (above)

This is the left side of the Glowforge, again this side cuts fine.(above)

And this is the right side. As you can see, the laser head is farther away from the crumb tray.(above)

I then measured the distance between the laser head and the bottom of the Glowforge without the crumb tray. I measured the same way I have pictured above. I found no differences in the measurements. I have pictures of this if you need to see.

I then measured the distance between the leveler sitting on top of the crumb tray (crumb tray on even surface, leveled before this test). The distance between the leveler and the crumb tray also changes as you move towards the right side.

Please help me! I just got my Glowforge last Friday and I am really sad I cannot do a complete cut throughout my materials. I do have a business that is transitioning from outsourcing laser cutting, to now doing the laser cutting myself and this issue is making me backed up on orders I was hoping to smoothly transition into doing. I have operated an industrial laser cutter before…I am definitely not new to this but this is my first time having my own. I have also wasted a lot of the free Proofgrade material trying to troubleshoot this.

I have read a lot of the forums of other people having the same issue, specifically this one: Proof Grade Draft Board Not Cutting Along Right Side - I am having the same issues as this Owner was as well.

I have sent an email to support but I am hoping posting here, I can get some tips from you all while I wait <3

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When the laser is on the right side of the machine, the laser beam has to reach all the way across the bed to reach the print head. When the laser is on the left side of the machine, the beam path is only a few inches. So there’s something out of alignment in the beam path, or the beam focus is diverging for some reason… Check the optics to make sure they’re clean, make sure the printhead lens is installed correctly, and the printhead is installed correctly. If those things don’t fix it, you need GF support for next steps…


I’ve never measured, but it takes a good 1/4" to get a defocused beam so I can’t imagine your ~1/64th is the problem. I’d lean toward it being an alignment issue as well sadly. If it is, that will require an exchange on your machine :frowning:

In the meantime use the left side of your machine, or if you have something that takes the whole bed set up a 2nd faster cut to go over the stuff on the right (set it to ignore on your first run). If you use the Honeycomb hold down pins you can also remove all your successful cuts without disturbing the rest, then close your machine and run only those right side cuts that need it (don’t visually re-set, just click go on the cuts you need).

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I appreciate your response! I have tried cleaning all of the lenses and checking that they are installed correctly. I feel really at a loss :frowning:

Thank you for your response! Do you think it is safe to do that? I am nervous that it will be more prone to malfunctioning if I try to continue printing with the way it is right now. I have orders to fulfill, but I do not want to ruin my machine I just got :frowning:

Since it’s not working correctly, one could argue it’s already “ruined”. Using it in the current state isn’t likely to do the machine much harm. Though if the beam is misaligned it could cause damage if you run at the right side a lot… So it might be better to wait for GF to comment… GF customer support typically responds within 24 hours to emails. They’re about but not quite as quick at responding in the Forum. But if you double down, you increase your chances of a quicker response. So if you haven’t already sent an email to support, do that too.


This is false. If you send both they have to find/verify/close the duplicate before they can respond to the first one. It may only be a matter of minutes, but it will always slow your response if you do both.
The only time you should post here after emailing is if you didn’t get the auto-response as that would indicate either your or their email isn’t making it through.

I manage customer support for a very large international electronics component manufacturer. I can assure you that as a general rule, the customer making the most noise gets the most attention.

If you send to both GF customer support and the forum, the only way they can know that you have posted and emailed is if they are always checking for a forum post when they get an email, or vice-a-versa. Similarly, if you send to just one, they have no way of knowing that unless they search to be sure you didn’t send to both. So either they have to search anyway, or they never search regardless. I suspect they respond to the first one they see, and if they find a duplicate they close the duplicate out. The typical message I’ve seen is “we see you’ve contacted us by email so I am closing this thread” which would suggest they tend to see the emails, first. But it’s equally possible they see the posting and search for an email and finding one, close the post.

Either way, I have trouble accepting your thesis. :slight_smile:

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You are free to have trouble with it - I’m just telling you what the CEO and the head of CS have stated more than once. Searching is done no matter what, if they have to open/review/and close it takes longer and they have to open/review/and close if there is more than one.

@jones.r.summer, I see you have also emailed us about this issue and we’ve responded to you there. To avoid duplication I’m going to close this topic.