Question about speed of my glowforge

I am cutting 3.25 ornaments on the hardwood and it took 1hr 30 mins to cut/engrave 10. Is that a normal speed? Feeling like this is taking longer than it should.

Without knowing more about your project all I can say is that seems reasonable if you want any quality on the engrave. Look at your LPI settings. If you have 450 TPI, the laser has to make 450 passes to move one inch. That can take a while.

Edit: Changed TPI to LPI to avoid confusion.

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It also depends on how the file is set up - whether it’s making full passes, or doing each ornament individually.

I am new to using a laser - I am using proofgrade Medium Basswood Hardwood. I haven’t changed any of the settings. I have a 3.25 inch circle and am engraving a lions head (school mascot) and some text. I will be honest . I am not sure what TPI means. Thank you for any advice.

It is obvious I have alot to learn. I have been using inkscape and laid them out individually. I also was trying to use Illustrator and it said my file had too many elements.

LPI is the quality setting for your engrave. The laser makes your engraving by burning out lines of material back and forth. The more lines it makes per inch the higher the quality of your engrave, meaning less steps in curves. But it also means more time.

For ten ornaments with a 3 inch image on good quality settings that time sounds about right to me.

Edit: Changed TPI to LPI to avoid confusion.

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I have 150 to make for a private school for Christmas gifts. I was hoping to find a way for it to be faster. Thank you for the info.

Just a point of clarification, since she’s new, and don’t want her to be confused - that it’s LPI - lines per inch.

@cherylbates65 their may be some ways to optimize the file - whether that’s how the file is put together or settings, it’s tough to say.

If you want to upload the file here, you can (its best to compress, or make it a zip file if you know how) and someone can take a look at it.

What settings did you choose?


Sorry! You are correct; TPI is for screws. My bad! My brain was flagging it but I wasn’t sure why.


What settings did you select? There are 6 different “Engrave” options, most having different lines-per-inch, from 170 to 450 - which means up to 3 times slower for the finest detail. It’s usually not necessary to use the highest setting, but you need to determine what works for your design first.

Also, because the head on the machine has to speed up, then slow down to change direction, you can shorten large engraves of multiple objects by combining the files into one large bitmap/raster image. That way, they can all be engraved at once, reducing the amount of time spent “changing direction” at the end of each pass.


See if this helps:


I’m sorry that you have hit this snag.

Just to make sure I have all of the right information, there are a couple of different options to choose from when engraving. The time for engraving can increase depending on which option is selected, and what detail level is being printed. Which option did you select when printing this particular project?

You can find more information about engraving here.

Thank you for all the information. I went back and looked and both the engrave parts are set to draft. I haven’t changed any of the settings. I went in and uploaded one “ornament” and changed the lpi from 194 to 170 and it took off about a minute to the print time. the power is full speed. I am going to try and upload my file and see if you have any other suggestions. Thank you so much!!

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If it is a simple design and you use Path >Trace-Bitmap in Inkscape and set the colors different from the cutouts and hide the bitmap after. You can copy/paste all that will fit in the GFUI engrave and aligned horizontally they will all engrave at once, though they may come up at first as cut you can set them to engrave.

The other aspect to look at as noted in one of the earlier replies is if you set up the artwork with only one ornament that was loaded to the GF, and then just copied & pasted to have multiples in the GFUI (the “user interface” screen we see)–then it will do each one separately.

But if you can group them, ideally in the original artwork file–do copy & paste in there and get them packed together as you want, and then select all and group, then load to the GF, that should speed up the job as well, as then there’s only one etching & one cutting. (There was another thread that had another good way to group as well, CTRL+G I think, but can’t recall right now if that was referring to a shortcut while in the GFUI itself, or an Inkscape one–I’ve not used myself yet…)

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