Proofgrade Acrylic Problems

I successfully cut several things out of the same sheet of white acrylic (earlier today and a few weeks ago) and I’m not sure what happened this time. I was cutting on the right side of the sheet and some letters cut through without a problem, and others did not. I thought cutting on the far right side could be causing a problem, so I tried a new sheet and the same thing happened. Attached are a few photos. Some of the letters have to be forcefully punched out and leave jagged edges. Others are partially cut or look dotted.

Edit: I also receive an error when I try to order from the shop. I want to use the referral credit and my account shows $125.
There were problems with the following fields:
Unable to pay for order using store credits

2nd edit since I’m thinking about it… It seemed like a common problem so it may just be normal. When I turn the machine on it never calibrates from the rest position. I have to turn it off and move it to the center near the camera. I never remember the first time. Is this normal?

The usual checklist question about flatness?

In addition, when you get to a certain thinness of the pieces (somewhere around/under 1mm between cuts in my experience) there can be a tendency for residual heat to let the acrylic melt back together after the cut.

Something else might be wrong, but those would be the first two things I’d look at.


Thanks! I’ll try again. The letters were pretty big and cut fine before. This time was unsuccessful with 2 different pieces of acrylic. They were definitely flat, too. It’s just weird because in the same cut some letters are dotted and others cut fine. You can see ridges along the edge of some of the letters, almost like tiny scallops if that makes sense.

PS I had the same issue with the cart today, guess it’s on the fritz.

Did you verify the tray is sitting in the divots and there’s nothing in there that might raise the tray up from the bottom of the divots?

Also, check to see if the tray is being bumped by the door (seen some of that happen here).

Last, check to see that the GFUI interpreted the QR code correctly and the focus height is correct.


The tray is in the right spot and there’s nothing in there that can be causing it a problem. I didn’t move it and shortly before the bad prints I had good prints that were fine from the same piece of acrylic. I’m going to try again soon. The smell is a little much so I had to stop last night. My husband set up the vent and I taped the passthrough slots with hope that it would help, but it didn’t. I’m going to try a new hose next.

I was wondering if the focus height was correct but how can I verify that? The software was set for proofgrade acrylic. Is it possible it checked a spot that I previously cut out? (I assume that’s what it does when I see the red light on the material before cutting?) In that case the whole thing wouldn’t have cut, not just certain letters. I did not check the material itself with calipers because I assumed that it would continue working since it is proofgrade and it worked on other items in the same session. The biggest worry I have is that it was cutting out a name and some of the letters fell out fine when I lifted the sheet out of the machine, and others did not fully cut.

Before I try again I’ll make sure everything is clean. I’ve used it maybe 4 different times and haven’t cut that much to be honest.

If you tell it that it’s unknown material then look at the focus that’s been prefilled that should be what the QR resulted in. Or check one of the operation steps by making it a manual cut and check the focus there.

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I’m so sorry for the problems and my late response.

I took a look at your account and it appears you were able to place your order using your referral credit. Please let me know if that isn’t the case.

Regarding the smell, even with proper filtration, small amounts of smoke and fumes can enter the air around your Glowforge, producing a detectable odor. You may also smell an odor when you open the Glowforge lid, even long after a print is complete. This is not harmful.

However, if you detect a strong, sharp smell that also causes eyes, nose, or throat irritation, or if there is visible smoke escaping while the lid is closed, shut off your Glowforge unit immediately. Smoke and fumes could be entering the room in excessive concentrations.

We’ve created an troubleshooting guide with illustrations. You can see it here:

If you’re still seeing or smelling excessive smoke or fumes when using Proofgrade materials after trying the instructions in the guide, please read the questions at the bottom of the guide and send me the answers.

To address the cut through issues, let’s try a test. We included an extra piece of Proofgrade Draftboard with your materials shipment for troubleshooting. Please print the Gift of Good Measure on Proofgrade Draftboard using the Proofgrade settings in the same area where your prints aren’t cutting through. Let us know the result. If it doesn’t print well, please let us know the date and time of your print and send photos of the front and back of the print.

Thank you!

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