Really slow engrave?

I’ve noticed the new speed differences.
Moving the head is now much faster.
Cuts are much faster.
Scores are much faster.
HQ Engraves are painfully slower.

I’m doing HQ engraves on PG Medium Clear Acrylic. Patterns that used to take 5 minutes now take 18 minutes. Is there anything I can do to keep the quality but increase the speed back to the previous settings?

Did you try lowering the speed to former levels? (1000 or slightly higher.)

Hi @Jules,

Any idea what the previous settings were for PG Med Clear Acrylic HQ Engrave? I’m just using the default settings.

It depends on what kind of machine you have. What kind of machine do you have?

GF Basic.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the settings for a Basic…I’ve got a Pro. They are going to be different. :confused:

But…If you want to ask someone who has a Basic what their HD engrave settings are for PG Medium Acrylic, I can shift this to the Beyond the Manual section for you. :slightly_smiling_face:

Well, that’s the thing. I had written down the settings for the SD quality, Score, and Cut (just not for HD quality), and those settings haven’t changed. So I assume that the HD settings didn’t change either.

AFAICT, it’s not that the settings have changed. Rather, the overall speed seems slower. For example, PG Med Red Acrylic scores at 125/11 (zooms/pews). It still does, but with the last update, it’s much faster. And the same material cuts at 150/full – the settings haven’t changed but the update makes it cut faster. But with engrave? The update makes it 2x to 3x slower.

Am I the only one seeing this, or are other people noticing that engrave is much slower?

Don’t know offhand, but I think I saw someone else mention it recently. (If they did, support knows about it and are probably looking into it, but I’ll leave your post here to add to the tally.)

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The original settings have the exact same process time on my machine. If I try to speed things up the time increases. Sometimes going faster actually causes the process time to take longer. The machine has to slow down to change direction which takes longer when it is moving faster, it also has to accelerate up to the faster speed which means it has to travel farther to do this which may take more time. So just because you told your machine to go faster doesn’t mean it is going to do your job in less time.

Exactly. There is a “sweet spot” for different width of engraves, which we (as a community) have yet to figure out.

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But that doesn’t explain why the exact same SVG file at HD Engrave took 5 minutes last week and 18 minutes this week.

I’m sorry for the trouble regarding print time using the same file you’ve used in the past. May I have a copy of the file this is happening with so I can take a closer look? If you would prefer to share it privately, you can email it to Thank you!

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Assuming you mean “HD Graphic” (there is no “HQ Engrave”), it’s 300/16 @ 450lpi.

The settings for Proofgrade material have not changed.

Thanks ivan1, Email sent. (And like an idiot, I forgot the attachment, so the 2nd email has the svg file.)

I received the file. Thank you for sending that in! I’ve shared the file and notes from your report about printing times with my team and we’ll look into it. As soon as we have additional information I’ll let you know.

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I appreciate your patience.

While attempting to extract the logs from your Glowforge, we are experiencing trouble pinning down when you performed the prints previously (Patterns that used to take 5 minutes ) to compare to the same identical prints that now take 18 minutes.

Would it be possible to obtain a good date range of when you were printing the same patterns with lower times to print, and the period when the print time increased?

Once we can narrow down this date range, we can investigate further.

Hi MarcM,

I don’t have exact dates. We track shipping dates, not lasering dates. We usually laser it the same day or 1-3 days earlier.

The 18 minute run was on or no more than a few days before 6-Nov-2019.

The under 10 minute run was about a week earlier. But we’ve been doing them seasonally. The last one we shipped was on or a few days before 10-March-2019.

One more observation: The slow engrave seems to only be the case when the engrave pattern is black-and-white (no grayscale) and has lots of tiny starts/stops where the laser turns on and off (e.g., small text like 12pt or smaller, clip art with fine details, etc.). Solid engraves (like a filled oval or filled rectangle or large/bold text like 30pt or larger) seem very fast.

My “18 minute” pattern is only 6" wide by .75" tall, but it has lots of tiny starts and stops.

Thank you for additional information regarding the approximate dates the previous prints were run. I looked back at the logs and, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find prints which had a design which was an exact match to the example file we received via email. I found prints which had circular cuts which were the same size, but the graphics which were being engraved inside the circles were different.

Did the previous prints which ran faster have the same artwork inside the circles as the recent example, or was the artwork being engraved different?

Hi @ivan1,

Exact same SVG. 8 circles in a row. (Sometimes arranged 4 in a row over 4 in a row, or other similar layouts depending on the best fit with the material. I use the GF web UI to move things around.) With 8 circles, there are 2 of each pattern engraved in the circles. (HD engrave.) I just did another one yesterday (again, 18 minutes + someodd seconds).

The pattern is: HD engrave (slow), then cut a set of small circles (fast), then cut out the big circles (fast). I’m basically making charms for necklaces, earrings, etc. The engrave is the pattern, the small hole is for the ear wire or jump ring, and the big circle is the outer edge of the charm.

Beyond the pattern that I sent you, we have other sets of 4-8 circles (same size) with other engraved patterns. All seem to take extra time to engrave, but the one I sent you was the worst so far: 18+ minutes to engrave.

I also have a set of other charms (not circular). This is the odd thing: one of them (2 charms, not 4 this time) has just as much engraving but is a solid fill and not fine details. It engraved fast. I think the problem is when the engrave has lots of quick on/off patterns. Doing a long solid engrave seems to be faster than doing on/off/on/off in a .75"x.75" circle.