Revolution ply and questions about fire

I have only had my machine for about a week and my only SVG experience before this was with a cricut, so I know I have a lot to learn. I read on some reviews online about revolution ply and how a lot of people apparently use it with the glowforge. So I have myself a nice stack of 12X20 cuts of those. I am struggling finding the right settings to cut through this stuff. In making simple circles, 200/Full power and 2 passes did the trick. Trying to cut out a large word…I actually caught the wood on fire :open_mouth: That was frightening. I bought a fire blanket bc I knew this was a possibility so if the worst happened, I’m prepared. Anywho, I immediately turned the machine off and the fire put itself out and no damage was done thankfully. So another shot at cutting the large word, I used 200/80 and attempted a second pass but I ended it because I got nervous it was going to catch on fire…but it didn’t even cut through enough to pop it out manually. Try number 3 I used 200/full power, followed by 200/60…and I was baffled. That round was cut even less than any other try which makes no sense how that could be. I have also noticed sparks as the laser moves along- is this ok/normal? I searched the forum for some help, but haven’t found anything to my specific issue. Anyone have any tips? Anyone else setting things on fire? And no, it was not masked for any of these attempts as the wood will be painted after cutting.

How thick is the material? A good starting point for figuring out custom material settings is the “nearest” Proofgrade setting. I use “Medium Maple Plywood” as the starting place for all 1/8" ply. For 1/4" ply, I use “Thick Maple Plywood.”

This has worked for me the past two years with no fires (so far). :sunglasses:

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Also setting things on fire will be partly dependent on your source file specifics. If your file has lots of extra nodes or fine details, the laser “hangs out” in one space too long and can lead to elevated fire risk.

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Also a good testing routine to get ideal settings can be found here:

I just looked at my Revolution ply setting that is 165 full one pass that has worked fine for an awful lot of work.

With the fix that stopped the burning through at corners there is a bit less power in intricate areas, and more power in long straightaways, so a bit of fine tuning might be in order depending on the intricacy of the cut.

I have never had a fire or even a coal problem with the revolution ply.

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My goto setting for plywood in the 1/8 range is 160 / full power. Slightly over kill but I hate it when it does not cut and I like the char. I might suggest using set focus and making sure the material is flat to ensure a goodly cut with low chance of fire.

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Revolution plywood is standard between 0.19 & 0.20 inches,

OH, I would slow down a bit for that then.

Would this work for any material or just wood?

I modified his to include engraving…


and it will work on any material, but you might want to have different ones with a different range for different types of material like cardboards that might catch fire in the range you would use for wood or acrylic that is almost all the same so the range would be very small.

I was so frustrated and I found this post by you and my fancy name cut all the way through. I appreciate you because I do not know enough. I am using my Glowforge to enhance my door hangers. Thank you for posting this. I did see a little more discoloration as far as burning, do you think that could be changed? Thanks again!

Adding masking will go a long way to keeping the surface clean after a cut. I have 165 full power for cutting. Hand sanitizer can be a big help in dissolving those stains.