Poor Print Quality (“wavy“ cut and engraved lines)

I have two Glowforge Basic models and my newest one (purchased a couple of months ago) has poor print quality that is getting progressively worse.

I cut a large volume rectangular keychain that come out with wavy edges and more recently it will not engrave straight lines either.

The same files and materials work without issues in my older machine (purchased last year).

I have emailed Glowforge support but responses never come quickly.

Wondering if anyone is having similar issues and if there is a known solution.

Check your belt tension. (The horizontal one under the laser arm.) You can compare it to the other machine to see how it compares.

Make sure there’s no debris in the belt or pulleys.

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Thanks for replying!

The tension feels the same as the other machine and there is no debris on the belt.

The issue really started when it arrived, but it was mild and manageable. I would notice that lines looked wavy and not straight cut or I was not able to flip symmetrical pieces to engrave the other side. It has been getting progressively worse and the engraving issue started today. I use the machine for at least a few hours most days of the week.

Hopefully they will have a solution for me when they reply.

Speaking of the engraving - is that happening on all of the lines, or does it happen on just a few on a sheet full? Does it always happen in the same place on the bed?

Those lines almost look like you have them doubled up on themselves. Since the words are pretty consistent, I’d assume there’s an issue with the file itself. Are you engraving the lines or scoring them?

It’s not a file issue, I have sold hundreds of these using the same file. Here is the same cut just completed on the same material with my old machine. Engraving, not scoring.

It happens on all pieces all over the bed :-1:t2:

It is only super noticeable on engraved straight lines or cuts. I can still get away with completing files that don’t have them.

Does it happen on all the pieces or just one or two on the whole bed?

Are you cutting first or engraving first? Is it possible that the cuts are being shifted by the air assist?

Thin lines have that doubled-up look. Thicker ones are just wavy

All pieces. And I pin my materials down to the crumb tray.

Yeah, okay, this is definitely more noticeable. Have you checked the bearing rollers under the laser head? A decent amount of reports have claimed those have been having issues lately. Check to see if yours are cracked or lose or even broken. Other than that, I can’t imagine other suggestions outside of what Jules has mentioned :man_shrugging:t4:

Okay, that variation on the thicker lines really does look like a belt issue to me…or possibly one of the wheels on the head is cracked.

Try turning off the machine and then lift off the head and inspect the roller wheels on the carriage plate closely for cracks. If they are okay, clean the rails that the wheels roll on thoroughly and see if it solves the problem.

(Beat me @raymondking32!) :smile:

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The wheels look to be okay, but I will give them a good cleaning and try again first thing in the morning (it’s almost midnight here).

Thanks so much for the suggestions. I will report back with the results or the issue once it’s fixed.

The way the wheels are failing on recent machines, you may not see anything until they break. If you have the machines powered down, however, try gently sliding the head from side to side on each machine and see if the new one feels different. Gently, because you want to be able to feel any difference in how the wheels are riding on the gantry.

I see you already emailed us about this and we’re working on it there, so I’m going to close this topic.