Proofgrade materials

Granted that some folks might have very particular use constraints and will require more testing as @karaelena and @takitus have demonstrated. The engraving has more variations. Cutting not so much.


So, who’s going to come over and clean the coffee the just sprayed all over my keyboard and monitor? :wink:


I had no idea of the level of passion that my post can produce… :wink:


I will say I made the mistake of engraving something large one time without testing first. It cost me a lot of material. I test everything before a cut now. You can see how much I would have saved lol


The smallest triggers can set off the biggest guns :smile:


I think you’re making a big mistake if you’re basing your decision off of this. Obviously a personal opinion, but it’s been pretty easy to find good settings for almost every material I’ve used. And that’s the ones I’ve had to try for. Most things come out great first shot.

The cost for feature base of this laser vs any other laser is through the roof. I know this firsthand because I have one, and it’s not even the final version.

Outside of that, from a purely economical standpoint, you can almost double your money if you bought during the prerelease campaign and you just wait and sell it. I highly doubt you would once you used it though.

Either way, if you decide to cancel based on not wanting to google something that’ll take you an extra 2 minutes, maybe you should just forego using any CNC based machine altogether, because it doesn’t get much easier than this.


Did you put this down? Here you go, I think you may have meant to drop it.


I’m going to recommend an entire thread, and here is the crux of the answer that was given at that time to a very similar question.

@MikeH, in addition to his response in this thread, here is a quote from Dan that comments on why they don’t plan to make such settings available.

Then some other comments…

I agree with @dwardio … that was pretty funny.

I’m out of likes. I hate being out of likes when you all are so funny.

See what I mean?

And this is wildly encouraging to me:


Truth be told… I lost faith in Glowforge back in December. I stayed in because; well … I was hopeful they’d pull it together. Now it’s a situation of 1000 cuts. They are clearly trying to “encourage” people to used their proofgrade materials to help pad their pocket books. No other Laser company uses such a draconian implementation.

That seems like a silly response to the problem at hand.
You are in effect gambling that someone would want to buy this hunk of junk with it’s limitations after it begins shipping. What we don’t know is if Glowforge will even ship when stated. They gave us all the impression that they were ready to ship in January of 2016… then in June… then December. Clearly they have a moving target.

What all of you are missing is that I have a ULS-25e laser today - in my possession. I know first hand that sometimes for unique materials you have to play with the settings. What rubs me the wrong way is that Dan is “mock” apologetic for misleading his customers… then wants to redefine an industry’s support model in a negative way by NOT providing these tables that everyone is saying is trivial. Those settings aren’t trival; if they were - one could argue he doesn’t need ProofGrade materials in the first place - other than to pad his companies pocket book.

Apparently; I missed Dan’s clear assertions that he was always going to focus on Proofgrade materials for his laser… IT wasn’t clear in the original tested video … and it wasn’t clear in their FAQ. Infact is still isn’t clear.

Clearly my problem is I have Caviar dreams on a tunafish budget. Glowforges’ Crowdfunding campaign drew me in… but they have done an unacceptable job of keeping me in campaign because they can’t execute or even support he customer base they already have in an industry that is already well defined.

At this point; I’d rather have errored on the side of being conservative and invest in a laser cutter that actually does what I want and need it to do… rather than gamble that Glowforge’s initial offering is “good enough” and I can muddle thru.

Well, I sure hope his customers are a bit brighter than what that quote implied, but no one ever went broke by underestimating the American public. In GF’s defense, I suppose that same public is far too litigious happy so I suppose there might be a valid concern there. I’m not to worried for myself - Google quickly turned up several sources for initial settings and trial and error is not unheard of for CNC machining that I’m familiar with.

@Dan’s statement (in your quote) that they won’t make PG pre-sets available to non-PG materials seems counter to what pre-release users have found. They can apparently select a PG material from the UI, make note of the PG settings and then manually enter them into the UI for non-PG material. I hope that doesn’t change as it could save a little time. Not a huge deal, just would be nice to have.


Do you realize that @takitus has a Glowforge in his possession?
I’m trusting what he says because he has been openly skeptical of several features and several promises over more than a year. Now he has one, and I trust his perspective. I doubt Takitus is actually gambling since he has his hands on a Glowforge.
Based on his feedback, I don’t think it is a hunk of junk, and the limitations are within my tolerance. I’m happy with tunafish, I suppose, if tunafish can cut and engrave so many things.
I trust what he has shown us on this forum - both with proofgrade materials and materials sourced elsewhere.
It looks like the Glowforge will meet the expectations and the needs that I have.

If you already have a laser and you know how this process works, then you know a lot more than I do, because I don’t have a laser yet… but your expectations don’t convey understanding.

If you have a laser today that does what you want and provides for your needs, then that really is great. I congratulate you on your good fortune.

Your perspective may vary; but I find that when I have lost faith in a product or company, it is best to let go the relationship. Even if they deliver, I’ll never be happy with the result because of the lingering bad feelings that I hold. I sincerely wish you the best with the decision that is right for you.


That thread is a few months old, if I recall correctly. It does look like the pre-release and beta users are getting decent results without undue much trouble. They certainly haven’t been complaining on the forums about it.


Thats definitely one way of looking at it. I immediately though the same when it was announced, and continued to think the same until I used it. The quality of the materials are top notch. Seriously nice. Incredibly easy to use. Amazing results. Everyone I know that has a pre-release loves using proofgrade. You can choose not to buy it. But if I had a choice between 2 materials exactly the same price, Id go with the proofgrade. It really is nice. On that same note. I have a lot of materials from laser bits. I just got more in today. I use proofgrade settings on it, and it works perfectly. No big deal.

They made this because there are a lot of people that would be put off having the struggle of finding power/speed settings for every material. I can admit its a pain. I hated doing it on my other laser. I can see why you would want a list. Truth be told, theres a list built right in to the software. You select your material, you select the thickness, and the settings are right there. If the material you have in there isnt proofgrade, well, you can just re-type the settings they have listed out.

I could see thinking that as well. I have one and use it daily, so thats why its not silly to me. Having one makes me wonder why anyone would want to give it up. For the price its an incredible machine, and its only going to get better.

To be honest, half the reason Dan cant do things is more than likely because of liability issues. It rubs me the wrong way a little too, but I can tell you Dan is a good guy and is probably just vocally limited in what he can say on the forums by lawyers etc. Ive talked to him in real life. Nicest guy. Doesnt shut up… will go on about lasering for as long as you let him.

Dont let that get in the way of the reality that you can use any material you want. I use other materials ALL the time. The info is out there a click away. Someone already posted a chart with 40w laser settings in it. The proofgrade materials already have settings in it that you can see and use on similar materials. Hes not telling you you cant use other materials, hes just pushing a product that they worked hard on, that works amazingly well for people not used to looking for settings, and to be honest, is actually really great.

Proofgrade is an added bonus. If you use it, itll make lasering a lot easier. If not, itll be just like your other laser. Id definitely try it though.

I also have expensive taste and an anorexic wallet. Thats what landed me in glowforge land. If you look up my post history, Ive been riding their ass pretty hard about a lot of stuff since day 1. If I had the cash I would have picked up a Trotec or Epilog a long time ago, but I didnt. Ive been skeptical, but I really think people are going to be happy with the glowforge. The majority of limitations ive seen at this point are only software based. It looks like the hardware is in line. The software is coming together nicely. I really feel like its almost ready to go, and I havent seen half the stuff they have yet to release.

You have every right to be skeptical, but take it from another skeptic, as long as it ships this summer, it will be a worthwhile investment. If its still to your disliking, I KNOW someone will be clamoring to buy it off you for current retail price or more, which will be double what it was at initial sales launch. I have people begging me on the daily to use it.

Ill be happy to answer any specific questions you have if it would make you feel any better or ease your concerns at all. Hope ya stick around. I know youll be glad you did.


Your blood pressure will probably go down a huge amount if just go ahead and get your refund. Get your money back, stop vilifying the GF, and move your life on into areas that give you some amount of joy and satisfaction.

It seems abundantly clear that this not the place to do that for you, and this device is not the one to bring you there…and remember, when all is said and done, caviar is just a handful of fish eggs… :slight_smile:


Other laser companies might not try to upsell their own materials (likely because they never thought of it) but printer companies do it all the time. HP printers recommend buying HP paper. Epson printers recommend epson paper. Xerox recommends using Xerox brand paper.
At the moment I am using xerox brand paper in an HP printer. It works. I have used kodak brand paper in my epson. Worked fine, didn’t explode. Your results may vary.

Draconian? Heh. I don’t think @dan has said that users of non-proofgrade will be executed.

Lucky dog!
So do you agree with others here that the ULS software(s) is(are) a pain to use, or do you think that is overblown?

So you already know that a list of settings is still only a starting point, and that many such lists already exist. You want a glowforge-branded version of the same list? Fair enough. You are not the only one to have asked for one. Doesn’t sound like they are gonna give us one. If that is your breaking point, so be it.

Sounds like you may have already made up your mind…
but if not, and you stick around, I’m sure plenty of us would be very happy to see the things that you already make with your current laser… and maybe even ask to purchase/order custom stuff in the interim, or to compare.

I love seeing things that were made on a laser. You haz laser. Show us the thingz!


Ha! I second this! Ill even run some comparison engraves on the GF if youd like. (as long as its not a huge piece)


Takitus - I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to shed a little light on the situation. The thing that really bothers me is proofgrade materials are largely an unknown to average glowforge user at this time. I have no benchmark of costs. I have no benchmark of availability. I have two or three different plastic shops here in Austin TX which I normally buy just about any type of acrylic I need. I don’t need to wait a week for the material to arrive. I don’t have to worry about oversided shipping costs. I don’t have to worry about not being able to change my mind about the color of the product later.

The simple fact for me is I’ve been in the laser industry as a hobby user since 2006. It’s simple unbelievable to me that anyone making a laser for profit - not based out of china isn’t pulling out all stops to ensure the laser is useful to ALL of their customer base.

Again - thanks. I’m not sure about the better argument… but I can see the positive benefits - IF we can trust glowforge has our best interests in mind.

The web/server based implementations they’ve chosen really gives me a source of great concern. I feel like it’s going to limit my ability to GSD (get - stuff - done). I love the idea of the camera… but feel like it’s not being used very well. Ofcourse, not having a real demo from Glowforge is the limiter here.

Absolutely not. I’ve used two different ULS software platforms and the tortec software at Techshop. The ULS software in the early days was bare bones and just worked. Both ULS and Tortec have the same “colors” drive power settings which actually is a very powerful tool. I almost always set Red to cut… Black to Etch; and can control the order of the vectors without relying on the stupid software to interpret the vector ordering correctly. My fear is Glowforge may be focused too heavily on making this “simple” to use… breaking the capability.

Speaking from experience … I can state that ULS supports their product… They really don’t care if you are still running Windows 98 … or have upgraded to Windows 10… They know that their machines exist solely to make money for people… so they make sure that their drivers are available for old and newer OSes. The unknown right now on Glowforge side is how long can we expect Dan and his team to support a given OS or provide support for and upcoming os. We don’t know if they intend to offer free upgrades forever… or if they are going to start charging us to upgrade to Windows 12 in the future.

Old school case modding:

Arcade Modding:

Built from Scratch Custom Pinball machine:


The software is browser based so it is os and device agnostic. As long as they conform to web standards and so does your browser you are fine.

Windows 10 is most likely the last windows os as Microsoft has moved the os to a software as a service model. There has already been 3 os’s released post original win10 release with a 4th due to be released in the next month or 2


Yes - we found that folks would cut off the piece with the visible barcode, then have a hard time cutting what’s left. We made it easier to use Proofgrade settings without a detection barcode as a result.

can confirm


From what I’ve seen so far (beta and pre-production users can probably confirm) if you don’t use proofgrade material, it works like any other laser. You manually put in the settings.

But, I think your bigger concern is you lost faith that they can deliver a good product.
My two cents on this is you should hold out until shipment starts off if you don’t need the money right away.
From how I understand it will work, you will get an email from Glowforge stating it is ready for shipment and asking for your address. You can cancel and get a refund up until you provide your address. Also, you could delay providing the address if you want to wait and see reviews first.

It will be sad to see someone go with a lot of laser experience. I, for one, would love to see you comparing it to some of your other laser systems.