Pre-Release | Greyscale Engraving, A Comparison to the K40

Ive been waiting all day to make this post, I cant even tell you how happy I am to finally be typing it up!

One of the posts I made when I first got my k40 was an engraving of Zenyatta from overwatch.
[ Greyscale engrave ]

I love this engrave, and really wanted to see how it would come out on the glowforge. I forgot about it in all of the excitement until @PFI-Guy reminded me last night. I woke up this morning thinking “ITS TIME!”… I went back, put in the image and hit print and this came out:

I know im not supposed to cuss, but DAMN! WHAAAAAAAT. You can even see the guys tiny signature in the bottom corner. I didnt even know that was there until I saw it in the engrave. The detail in this is killer. It took about an hour to engrave, its size is 4"x7", and its only at 340LPI, so it could be a lot more detailed.

Im sorry, the photo doesnt even do it justice, I took it on my phone. You just cant imagine how good this looks when holding it in your hand… im blown away…

Ive included a side by side shot of the new engrave on the left, the original engrave on cedar, and an attempt at non-proofgrade engrave on cedar on the right*. (the top was from a previous engrave test).

*The glowforge cant currently be set to the necessary speeds and power to get a good cut on the cedar I have. It was set at the lowest power and highest speed possible for that piece and it still came out really dark. This cedar is so touchy…

Here is the original image I used on the glowforge for this cut on proofgrade:

Again, if you have any questions ill be happy to answer them to the best of my ability!


Wow. Just wow. Gifts through the cloud.


That looks really good and extremely faithful to the original.


I will add in another wow.

Wishing you were my neighbor right now.


Just incredible. Wow!


Holy CROP! (I think I just squeeeed myself.) :no_mouth:

Okay, sorry people, don’t flag me…

(It’s so rare that I get to actually pat myself on the back for making the right call…pardon me while I indulge in a brief moment of realized conviction…)


I’ve always had an uneasy feeling about the similarity between that word and the other one! :grin:

edit: not CROP


This is really stellar. I noticed in the first GF image that the mandalas around the edge of the image seemed really faint compared to those in your K40 engrave, but seeing the original file made me really that the GF image is holy-heck more congruent with the original. WOW. I’m so excited to see engraving projects like these.


A) wow, that looks spectacular

B) slightly concerned that we will have to use proofgrade to get decent results. Hopefully this is just that the software isn’t polished yet


so on that note, in order to get an engrave to run well on the K40 requires a LOT of pre-processing. I had to sharpen the hell out of the image, crank up the contrast, etc. I made a thread about it somewhere… lemme dig it up.

Here is the thread: Preparing a Photo for Raster Engraving (NOT NECESSARY FOR GLOWFORGE)

and heres what the image looked like that I had to use to keep the edges clean during the engrave. If you read through the thread youll see how much work it took to get a good engrave and why im REALLY glad I dont have to do that anymore.


Im pretty sure its the latter of your statements. I didnt run through all of the settings possible because I was close to burning through the remainder of my test piece of cedar, but I think that it will work down the road. It just burns a lot more easily than the birch does. They will account for that im sure. How could you not want the smell of lasered cedar in your house =)


Wonder if the natural oils in cedar made it more susceptible to burning along the cut lines. Not asking for an answer just an out loud thought.


Wow!!! That’s incredible!!! All this is making the wait so much harder and so much more worth it!!! Keep up the good work


Yeah im not sure what causes it to darken so much quicker than other woods, but it does.The spot size on cedar is a lot larger and more noticeable as well.


In general most species of cedar seem to be especially flammable when dry, I’d also venture that the oils play a big part in this.



Dude… Awesome!


This isn’t the software - this is simply the Regular Laser Experience. Sourcing your own materials for any laser is challenging. You have to ensure that the material is laser compatible. Then you have to experiment a lot to get the settings just right. When you’ve made it the best you can, it might not be very good. Then you toss it and start again with another material.

You can do this with a Glowforge as well as any other laser. Expect a lot of time and challenge, some additional risk (it’s not easy to conclusively determine if a material is laser compatible), and the results will be, after a great deal of work, somewhere between “terrible” and “as good as your first print on Proofgrade material”, depending on your luck and skill.

And in some cases, what we offer in the Proofgrade line is simply not available commercially as far as we know (e.g. laser-compatible plywood that’s presanded and prefinished with laser-safe finishes).

Look at Proofgrade as a solution to a big set of problems that you’d have to deal with otherwise - you don’t need to use it, but we think you’ll want to.

(And yes - you will be able to get a meaningful upgrade from non-Glowforge lasers by upgrading to Proofgrade materials too).


I should have been a little more clear in my statement. The cedar im using is really difficult to get a good engrave on. Its even more flammable than the older cedar I had on my k40 engrave., and that one took a lot of messing around to get anything acceptable.

my k40 is supposedly a 40w but actually runs a tube thats closer to 30w, so I can run it at a bit lower power than the GF. even then it was hard to not burn it =/. I do have a 2500w diode laser I could run some cedar tests on, but thats something I think ill save for a day when im really bored haha.


Haha! I remember when you posted that in the K40 group. It was pretty amazing back then :grinning:

Still is really. Just not as amazing as the GF’s.


@ glowforge staff: