Poor cut quality on draftboard

Hi all. Working on making some center pieces for my wedding. After the 8th board of draftboard my cut quality has dramatically decreased and is no longer cutting all the way through. All lenses have been cleaned properly. Have run about 8 boards and each gets progressively worse in cut depth. Below are two pics with the masking removed.


Also, material is very flat on the honeycomb.

I hate to make you repeat stuff, but can you clarify what exactly was cleaned?

Should be: a window on the left side of the gantry (this is hidden and often missed), the laser window on the left side of the head, the mirror in the head (under the removable lid), and the lens in the bottom of the head.

The lens also needs to be reinstalled correctly. It should be back in like a bowl - with the heavy side/glass on the bottom.


All items you listed have been cleaned correctly.

Excellent! No scratches on any of those either?

So. PG cut settings are pretty delicate. They seem to be designed to keep a nice cut edge with them instead of just blasting through. Which means that any warp in the material can have detrimental effects. The holddown pins work really good for this.

If the material is dead flat, are you getting any excessive flame when cutting? The air assist can make a big difference in cut quality and depth from what I have seen. So, an air assist fan that is quite dirty (including build-up in the scoop) can have a detrimental result on cutting ability.

Aside from that, that’s about all I can think of outside of slowing down the default cut speeds until real support gets with ya.


I thought about those items when cleaning the lenses and also cleaned the fan. No change in cut performance.

Thanks for letting us know about this, and I’m so sorry you ran into trouble. I extracted the logs from your Glowforge to investigate your report, and it looks like these are each intricate, full-bed cuts on Proofgrade Draftboard. Based on the quality of lid images taken before and after each print, the buildup of dust and debris seems to be considerable after even one cut, and may be contributing to diminished cut-through without consistent cleaning.

There is one more thing I’d like you to check that may help:

Can you please provide a photo of the back of your head like the one below?

I’m curious if there is something wrong with the tiny fan on the back of the printer head (the purge fan). If you’d prefer not to share the photo here, you can email it to us at support@glowforge.com.

Hi Vee,

you are correct, the buildup of dust is incredible and there is an immense amount of smoke produced. I have been cleaning after every recent print including brushing out the fans. I did slow down the cuts and have more success however i am no longer able to have success when using the default proofgrade setting which used to work excellent.

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Anyone else have any idea why i can no longer run the proofgrade settings and successfully cut all the way through the draftboard?

Have you checked the thickness of the draftboard? If it’s been exposed to any humidity it may be thicker than the PG settings are expecting…

Let’s try our standard test:

  1. Can you post or email me photos of all your cleaned optics?

    • both windows
    • the lens
    • the 45 degree mirror
    • the bottom of your print head
  2. Print a Gift of Good Measure on Medium Draftboard.

  3. Send photos of the front and back of the Gift of Good Measure

We’ll be happy to take a look and determine next steps.

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 support@glowforge.com.