Problems cutting Proofgrade materials

I’m just curious if anyone else is having problems cutting through Proofgrade materials. I’ve had my Glowforge for over a year now and really enjoy it, but lately, proofgrade materials have been giving me issues. My machine almost never recognizes the material when I put use it so I have to manually select it.

I did recently go through the cleaning procedures as I thought that might be issue but still no change. Not recognizing the material is annoying but minor. My main issue is that even with those settings, my machine is not consistently cutting through the materials. It was especially bad on thick walnut and thick basswood, but I experienced it with the medium walnut just last night.

None of the boards are warped so that shouldn’t be the issue. I have manually bumped the proofgrade settings as times to and that has helped but I’m curious if there’s something else I need to take a look at.

I’ve had the same problem with both medium and thick draft board lately. It’s so frustrating! I’ve cleaned my machine so I know that’s not the problem, and I store my materials flat.

It’s fall, and the weather is more damp in most places. Wood swells when the humidity is higher, and your stored materials may be slightly thicker than expected. You can check with calipers to see, or just bump up your power a little bit to compensate, as you’ve found.

Also, warped materials don’t necessarily look warped. It only takes a tiny bit to affect laser cutting. When you lay your material on the honeycomb, try tapping it in different areas. You can tell from the sound where it needs to be pinned down because of slight warp. (A dull “thump” = flat against the honeycomb; warp will have a little more “click” to it.)


If the machine cuts with changes in settings, then it’s likely not a machine problem, but environmental as g2n suggested above.

Support will probably ask you to run the “Gift of good measure” on med draftboard to further troubleshoot.

As a short-term workaround, however, I suggest you use a corner of your material to figure out settings that work before running jobs that use up significant amounts of that material.

Thanks all for the responses. I could see a humidity issue, but I’m located in Alabama where honestly it’s always humid. I did run the Gift of Good Measure on med draftboard. It did recognize the material this time but it did not cut all the way through.

I guess I’ll just need to determine some best settings for each material and adjust accordingly. The engraves are still turning out very nice. It just that the cuts are inconsistent. I cut from the same board a day before with no issues. In most cases its like there just wasn’t enough power to cut through the last layer. In some cases I can “break out” the piece and clean it up enough to use.

One thing that does happen in these cooler months is that we run the AC less (which is a dehumidifier and keeps the inside humidity in check and relatively constant).


I’m so sorry to hear about the trouble with your print results.

To cut successfully, there are three important things to check:

First, your material must lie flat. This requires a clean, properly installed crumb tray and flat materials.

Second, there must be no obstructions, dirt, or damage preventing the laser light from reaching your material.

Third, your design must be set up properly - for example, with lines that are fully on the material and that are set to cut. It’s hard to know which issue might be affecting your print, so please thoroughly inspect your unit and design according to the suggestions in our Troubleshooter, which you can read here:

Once you had a chance to check these things, please try another print on the Proofgrade material that you ran into trouble with. Use the default settings for the material and let the print finish before opening the lid. If it didn’t cut through, please post the front and back of the print result and we will investigate this issue.

Thank you for running this test print for us!

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