Random weird engraving "pattern"

Hello, so recently my GF stopped working (focusing issues and all sort of problems) and I received a replacement a couple days ago.

I have noticed that this machine sometimes (and randomly) leaves a weird pattern when engraving.

I am using 1/8" 2 ply rowmark plastic (red on black) with masking tape (yes the masking tape is perfectly applied, I use a laminator for that and it looks pretty much like the GF certified material. Super flat, no bubbles)

This used to happen with my old broken machine once in a blue moon, but it has happened already a few times with my new replacement.

I have been using the GF for a while now, A LOT, every day. I run a business and I stay busy with this machine, so I am very familiar with all the things I need to check to make sure the engravings are done properly (flat material, good designs, clean machine, all fans and lenses, etc). Belts all seem to be the right tension, it actually engraves and cuts very well, the problem is the random “thick line” that goes across my engravings.

I was just wondering if anybody has noticed something similar. It is like in just a section (it is never in the whole design, just randomly across either the top, center, or bottom) it engraves either a little bit deeper or a little bit less deep and creates some sort of a thick line - Please see attached picture to make it easier to understand.

It is sometimes hard to see but when the right light angle hits you can definitely see a thick line. It could be on the same design or not. I usually run 20 copies of different designs all over the bed. And sometimes I only have 5 different designs (qty 4 of each) and it could do it in just 2 of them or 3 or maybe none! It is pretty random.

Yea, now it is doing it all the time. This machine is just too unreliable. I just placed an order for another one but I am gonna go ahead an cancel it. I can’t deal with this random issues. I will go ahead an get me a Trotec or Epilog and forget about these problems. Sad because I really wanted this to work and was willing to get a second machine and even a third one but for a machine that is brand new (the replacement one) to already be giving me issues after only 2 days is unacceptable.

It seems like the problem happens where the design doesn’t get engraved (in my image sample it could be the star or the circle), that is when the laser is not being “shot” then my guess is when it gets shot again to start engraving it somehow comes back weaker or stronger and it creates that pattern in the back that looks like a thick stripe and creates a contrast with the rest of the black area that is engraved. BAD!

What is this a picture of? It looks like a screenshot from something, which suggests the grey line is in your artwork, not a mystery behavior of the Glowforge.


It is just an image I made to “recreate” what looks like in real life. That is not the artwork. it is just a visual example of what it looks like and what its doing. Imagine my product is just a circle inside a black square, or a star in side a black square and all of the sudden when the engraving is done it is adding that weird line all across my finished engraved product. The image is NOT the actual artwork, it is just a visual example

The folks on this forum love a good mystery, so if you’re willing to show any images of this pattern manifesting in real life, they’ll probably try to help. It’s possible you got unlucky with your replacement machine, but there could be another explanation that’s fixable.

I don’t think most of us would characterize it as unreliable, but I can understand if you’re frustrated and want to give up on it.


Hi there, I am just waiting on glowforge to comment here so I can show them my actual real images via email. I rather not share them here, that is why I made that mock up of what the problem looks like

So you know for next time, posting here isn’t the only way to open a support ticket. Emailing the images to support@glowforge.com would also have opened a ticket, and would have saved some waiting time on your part. :slight_smile:

I see you already emailed us about this and we’re working on it there, so I’m going to close this topic.