Photo engraving settings for wood slab

Hi! Im still fairly new to GF and Im trying to do a photo engraving on a wood slab (not sure the type of wood). Ive been playing with all the settings and testing it out on the draftwood and I cant seem to get it right. It either comes out too dark or too light. Does anyone have an engraving settings template they could share with me please? Im about ready to give up… Any advice, recommendations, suggestions, tips, tricks, etc. would greatly be appreciated. Thank you in advance!

1 Like

Photo engraves are not easy because the successful process begins with properly preparing the photo. Once that is accomplished, it is time to dial in engrave settings for the material at hand. Your material is problematic in that it seems uneven and will, therefore, result in an uneven result. You will need to remove the honeycomb tray, prop your slab up so that the surface to be engraved is between 1.5" and 2" from the floor of the Glowforge. The surface to be engraved must be level to get a good result, and it looks like the underside is irregular. In addition, you have a rather large crack running through a pretty big area of the slab.

What I am saying, is that this is not a beginners project. A good place to begin would be to share the photo you wish to engrave so that experienced users can give you advice about its prep.


If you are just trying to change the color of the engrave, there’s a trick you can use…

Do one pass using higher speeds…that will give you a very light colored engrave. Then without opening the lid or touching the piece of wood (Do NOT move it) and without changing the design placement in the software, hit the Print button again. It will repeat the print in the same place and make it a little darker. If it’s not enough, you can do it a third time.

But keep in mind that some woods don’t get really black, some just get brownish when they are engraved, so try to observe the color of the engrave, and if it isn’t darkening any more, that’s as much as you’re going to get with that kind of wood.

(Basswood can get a lovely dark engrave, but something like cherry doesn’t engrave as dark. For portraits, you’ll have better luck with a creamy white uniform grained wood. It can make a big difference.) :slightly_smiling_face:


I will start up front with - anything you test on a different material than your final material will likely be wasted testing…wood varies so much.

That being said, these are some comparisons of the different settings options that might prove helpful:

and this is a fabulous write-up on how to prep your photo for engraving (even if you don’t use Photoshop) - because if it looks great as a digital file, it likely won’t look great after engraving:


Yes I agree, I do need more time to learn this type of skill on my GF. Im doing it for my friend who has asked me if I could do this for her to give as a Christmas gift to her family. I am just going to let her know I need more time. Its not worth the stress just a couple days before Christmas. Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you so much for this information :slight_smile:

This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.