Revisiting how/what people are logging?

I saw a topic from 2016 asking if people were keeping logs of their prints, and if so what items people were logging… now that many more of us have our machines, I’m curious what other people’s practices are? I’ll share mine in case it’s of use to anyone!

Since almost the very beginning, I’ve kept a google spreadsheet as a log of every print. It’s invaluable and saves me much time and material. I basically open the GF app in one tab, and my log in another tab-- so I’ve always got them together. I record:

  • Print number
  • Date
  • Project Title
  • File name (though I rarely enter this any longer)
  • Material
  • Material source
  • Operation(s)
  • Speed
  • Power
  • of passes

  • Thickness of Material
  • Focal length (only enter this when I manually adjust it)
  • LPI for engrave
  • cut or engrave time
  • comments/results

For proof grade materials – which I use most often-- I just put auto in the speed, power, thickness, etc fields. The comments are super helpful to look back on-- esp for non-proofgrade when I’m working to find good settings, or when I have issues. I also then log when and what I cleaned as a line, so I can know when I last did that. When I figure out a good setting for a non-proofgrade material, I highlight that line so I can quickly go back to it. I definitely do shorthand for myself when I’m printing something I’ve done a lot of before on proofgrade.

Also, I have some other tabs that I reference a lot. The Conversions tab was just me listing out fractions to decimals, and inches to mm… It’s really nice to be able to quick glance at those. I’ve noted the proofrade settings on another tab, so when I’m doing a non-proofgrade material that may be similar to the proof grade one, I can see what those are. In theory I have a tab where I keep current inventory of material I have on hand, but haven’t had the discipline to update it. I also have a page with useful links-- like the puzzle generator, et al.

What are you all logging/finding useful/practical to keep up with recording?


Wow! You’re actually more meticulous about recording detail than I am! (And I didn’t think that was possible!) :smile:

I generally don’t record each job…that would take too long. But I do record the optimum settings for particular materials (by source) with rather extensive notes about what works best and what doesn’t work. At one point I also recorded the default settings for the PG materials, but those have been tweaked since then and I didn’t update them.

I do keep updating that spreadsheet as I learn new things. It’s good practice, and after a year or so of doing it, you don’t need to refer to it any more, you just know how to deal with new materials. (I have set up exactly one custom material setting in the GFUI. Don’t usually need it.)


Absolutely some things in this log that I need to add to mine, as looking back later has sometimes given me trouble finding specific settings. One thing I have added to mine is a specific entry for if the material is masked or not.


It doesn’t take as long as you think-- there’s a whole lot of cutting and pasting. Often the only thing I’m typing in is project, and the print time… I don’t do comments if there’s nothing of note.

A column I may add is about how many of something I’m doing at once. If I don’t remember to do that in the comments (and sometimes I just put “a lot”) then when I go back to figure out how long it took it’s hard without the reference that it was cutting 8 of something versus just 2.

Agreed re: the masked or not-- I may add a column as well. I regret when I haven’t noted that in the comments, especially as I’ve played with photo puzzles on chipboard.

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Some type of log would be helpful for me, but I am too unorganized. I really should document my test pieces better. Last night I was trying to remember what acrylic settings were needed for removing a certain depth of material per pass. I can remember close, since I do it so often, but there are times. It’s like Groundhog Day for me or Fifty First Dates. I get to experience the thrill of discovery over and over.


Same here - but when I’m creating “test” pieces, like trying out a finger joint in new material, I’ll cut and etch the settings into the piece, so I can always go to my bin of pieces and pull out the material to see what I used and how I did it. I also have templates in AutoCAD with different materials and will note in those templates cut settings, thickness settings, etc. Works well for my needs…


I try to do like this but next thing you know I’ve done a dozen cuts and forgot to log any of them. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


LOL, same here. I end up with settings written down for my first few (possibly unsuccessful) tests but nothing written down from the later ones where I have it really dialed in.


My spreadsheet is almost the same, except I don’t have LPI or focal length in there. I’m going to add both, I ran into a situation recently where I needed that info but didn’t have it. Thanks for sharing!

It would be nice if there was a way to share within the Glowforge UI, and potentially even share it with other users. I am sure they probably don’t want to do it because of liability purposes but it would make things so much easier for trial and error testing. Whenever I have a new material, I usually dig up the community spreadsheet someone posted here (which doesn’t have much in it), and then I’m off to searching the forums. Making that process easier and “crowd sourced” would be really nice!

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BTW, something else I have in mine but I noticed wasn’t in yours, is if you masked it or not, and if so what the masking material was. Might be helpful to include that as well. Edit: correction, saw it was in a few of the comments on the far right.

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We have a google form and spreadsheet. We submit one form submission for each job and it had different sections. So If we check proofgrade material it goes straight to time and comments. If we check custom material it allows us to enter in cut / engrave settings and thickness and so on. works for us but I’ve found the google sheet is getting really slow.

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Like @Jules, I keep a spreadsheet with successful material settings and notes.

There times I wish I had detained job logs but, not enough to do it.

I do sometimes take quick screen shots of my layer settings while I am tweaking design prototypes.

It occurs to me that there is probably a way to at least partially automate logging, using some sort of scripting (e.g., Greasemonkey and/or something in JavaScript) to scrape relevant info out of the GFUI.


Oh woe is me…I started out so well, but then… you know…the road to hell is paved with good intentions.


As with @Xabbess, I had a spreadsheet and was meticulously keeping it updated along with a tin of test strips. Yes. A tin. I always admired the beautifully structured test chips, but never went that way.

Now I use the GFUI custom settings as a crutch and not sure that I should trust that.


I mostly scribble numbers on sticky notes and stick them to the wall to enter into my spreadsheet later.

I have yet to create the spreadsheet.


A spreadsheet makes too much sense… ;-p

Initially I had a hand drawn grid to note settings and sample of results (for leathers).
Then was just scribbling on the leather itself (but wasn’t ever putting the scraps in the same place).

Fortunately most etching is OK with PG settings, and if I have to change thickness, I measure the piece I’m working with.

But for other projects not on PG, such as making business cards and etching tiles that I know I’ll be doing again, I’ve been writing down the settings in a notebook–for the cards, easy to tape in samples. Otherwise, I note setting on the back of the test tiles and they are somewhere near my computer/GF and I hope I can find again when needed…

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I used to keep detailed notebooks of info from testing materials but the artigineer inside went overboard and I drowned in a deluge of overwhelming paperwork and file management. LOL!

Now? I’ve had the GF about 18 months, and settings for everything are second nature and stored in the grey matter cabinet.


I wish my grey matter cabinet was as reliable as yours. I have to sort through my samples with sample information engraved to find most settings. Then I have to clean off my workspace because I dumped out my samples to dig through them.


In a spiral bound notebook (showing my age) I logged each step in sneaking up on optimal settings for a particular result, and highlighted the final settings to stick out when I went flipping through the pages.

Like Mike said, over time you get familiar with the spectrum of effects the machine is capable of, and can pretty much nail what you are looking for with intuition.