Proof grade maple plywood not cutting!

I just wasted a whole sheet of proofgrade maple plywood - unreal!!!

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I wasted material too, which lead to friissing and frassing.
I did these following things and it fixed the issue.

  1. Cleaned all the lenses, windows and cameras, (these get pretty nasty especially the “send” lense on the left hand side of the gantry.)
  2. Made sure my tray was centered and in the grooves. (Too high and focus is off)

There’s rumored to be a bad batch of PG ply out there too, don’t know if that rumor holds water though.

Make sure you also hop on one foot twirl around three times while whistling Yankee Doodle and it should work. If Yankee Doodle doesn’t work I would just wave your hand over the GF and say “Ala Peanut Butter Sandwiches!”.


It will probably be helpful if you describe your issue.
You say “not cutting.” Did the laser not fire at all? Did it cut through completely in some areas but not others? Something in between? Can you provide a photo of the issue? Any other info that could help that you can think of?


I’ve had some issues too… So far I’ve noticed it primarly on the “sample pack” that was originally shipped with my :glowforge: Of the recent stuff I’ve ordered, I’ve only noticed it on :proofgrade: material that obviously had an old 2D barcode sticker removed and a new one placed on it. For those, I’ve ended up reverting to a manual cut and just slowing the speed down a little.


Good point – I haven’t run into this problem,so telling support exactly what happened might help them pinpoint the problem. Settings, pictures if you have them, maybe even a copy of the file you are working with along with exactly what happened would probably really help.


Temporarily Solution - until Glowforge helps me solve this
I switched to manual cut and adjusted the height to .120
Seems to work


Thanks for posting the pics. I had similar once with the same plywood. But then the next day I didn’t have the issue. So I dunno.

I’m no expert but you might be better off finding a good speed or power that gets you through. Might not matter since it’s so thin though.

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I don’t know – haven’t had that occur with me yet, so looking at those I’m at a loss – thank you for the pics though.

seems to work manual settings
speed 155
full power
passes 1
focus height.120

let me know if you guys have other experiences


Is the material bowed or warped any? It does not take much to make that happen.

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For the maple ply I slow the speed down to 150 and never have trouble getting through it in one pass. The maple seems to have a slightly harder/thicker finish to it that can have incomplete cuts if you have any warp at all on the board, or if you live in a high humidity area. (My problem.)

The cherry and walnut seem to work fine at 155 speed.


Wow! I’ve never seen the edges of PG ‘tear’ like that…the way it has on the edges of the ones that DID cut!

That really bites that you had a whole sheet not cut through. Then it messes with your workflow because “once bitten, twice shy” and you are always second guessing default settings. I’m still cautious around setting and forgetting with Proofgrade and default settings because of my experience with the pre-release. My production unit is definitely gaining my trust especially if I am doing designs that are just one offs and take a smaller portion of material. For a full bed of tokens or card clips, I still fudge a bit and drop the speed five magic units. I understand the concept of Proofgrade and auto settings and for the most part it works, but it seems we are still exploring the boundary conditions of functionality. I hope we can identify all these go/no go conditions and can rely 100% on auto settings.

That marketing target means less and less to me though as I get more familiar with materials and how designs work but for those just beginning, this is a huge challenge.


Can somebody explain to me the focus height.
The lower the number …
.130 =
.120 =
.110 =
.1 =
Does this mean the closer closer to the waste board I’m cutting

The closer to the top of the honeycomb. The larger the number the closer to the laser head.


(In the interim, printing when it’s over 72 degrees or so may result in the laser not cutting through consistently - right now it only pauses when the temperatures are critical.)

Edit: attempt to fix the link. Maybe the trailing colon?

Never thought about the cooling issues and cutting power when I was doing things with the PRU. It was interesting to see a sheet of card clips process and the first ones go through but the later ones not. Some of that was warping of the board, others because of my early design PRU tube.

That link is a 404 for me. Can others see it?