Same Job Same File, Different Speeds

I’m engraving on cloth boxes.
x4 of the boxes with the image being 3.6in x 2x5 and for all 4 of them it took 26min.

I finish up those 25 boxes and move on with my life. I get 50 more boxes. Boxes are a little bit bigger but the size of the artwork is THE EXACT SAME ONE I USED YESTERDAY.
Only x3 of these boxes in the laser, no problem. 50 min…

So… why the hell is x4 of these 26 min, but x3 of these is 50 min the next day? Laser didn’t turn off, LPI is the same and speed is still the same.

What the hell is going on here.

Depends on how you had them placed. The killer time-wise is the vertical travel distance…if all the engraved panels were in one horizontal row, they might all engrave together. If you’ve got two on the bottom and one on top, they will likely engrave the bottom ones first (taking 20+ minutes or so) then engrave the top one (another 20+ minutes).

How did the placement go on your second run? All in a row, or were they stacked/staggered?

Shown below is the BS before your eyes.
I don’t know if we can access job logs and confirm the times, but this is BS on the highest level if I’ve ever seen any

The black stroke is just to demonstrate the size of the boxes and the Cyan and green were the actual engraving themselves.

I have the Glowforge Pro Model.

Yeah, the operative word there was “might”. There is no way to determine what the Glowforge motion optimization algorithm is going to do, because it takes a lot of things into account that we can’t know.

The Glowforge treats individual raster images as separate entities in the operations column.

In order to force it to treat the three individual raster panels as one horizontal engrave, the only thing we can do is rasterize the three designs into one large design. (I’ve done it a couple of times, by the time you finish modifying the design and making sure that it fits on the sheet with the cutlines and engraves intact, you don’t wind up saving much time.) For vector engraves, you might have to combine them into a Compound Path to get the program to treat it as a single unit.

Well I’m actually doing the opposite. For some reason. Individual times go for 11.30/box.
So I did this setup. And it’s actually readying at 11.30 x3 = 34.20 Which is good, but still I don’t know why Glowforge decided to screw itself and go really slow. And I have the pro. The longer I own this machine the more it hurts to realize that I wish I had the other better laser.


Could you maybe not use bad language in the forum. This is a g rated place with children reading, and your choice of words doesn’t really fit the general tone here. Thanks.


I don’t work for Glowforge and I defer to Jules for user knowledge.


@miss.aventurera I’ve had my glow forge for about 1 week now, I’ve considered the same as you maybe the expectation was set a little high for me. Between the camera being bad for a 6500 dollar machine and the speed. I’m a little off put as I was just at a cell phone shop who is using 1k laser engraver to remove the back panels on iPhones with auto alignment, red dot laser alignment and it was able to laser engrave the same patch that took 10 mins on glow forge within 2.30 mins with no noticeable detail lost. I unfortunately didn’t know about this machine or the mira pro prior to purchasing my pro glow forge until after the fact.

For a simple engraving of Text about 1 inch high and about 3 inch in length it takes the glow forge 1.33 mins with speed set to 1000, power level @ 9 and the detail at 450.

For the life of me I’ve been trying to achieve speed as much as possible with out losing print quality and it seems like the LPI is the deciding factor.

For a test I dropped it from 450 to 340 and it only dropped the mins to 1.23 saving about 10 secs.

Right now I’m trying to optimize the design pattern where the words are by using 270 and where the detail is to keep 450. Will see how that works for the overall job. Just time consuming for the first setup.

I mean. If it’s brand brand new, you should consider your options realistically and see if there’s a return option if you’re not satisfied or if you can sell it to someone locally for something pretty close to brand new. If it were me.

As far as speed yea, I’ve had it for like 3 years and I’ve learned a lot with it, and sure it’s paid itself off, but dang… It was super hyped for something disappointing and guess what. It has no ethernet cable. Also if you decide to keep it. Buy an external fan since the deign of the glow forge is flawed.

Back to my issue. Yea I did this same job a year ago for this same guy and it went well, and now it’s not well it’s just awful. The timing thing is really pissing me off.

I’m sorry for the frustration when setting up multiple copies of the same design and that you’re getting unexpected print times. I’m part of our Technical Support Engineering team and I’ll be happy to investigate this further for you and share what I find.

So that I can ensure that I have all of the details, may I have a copies of your design file with how it was set up for 3 and 4 instances of the design? If you’d prefer to share the file privately, you can send it to my attention at

Once I have the files, I’ll run a few tests on our end and follow up with you with additional information.

Email Sent.

Basically what you are telling us with your post… is that you didn’t research the machine enough. (And from your fascination with the other machine you are likely doing it again)… And you don’t know how to optimize your files before sending them to the glowforge.


(And from your fascination with the other machine you are likely doing it again)… And you don’t know how to optimize your files before sending them to the glowforge.

Sure. you can think that. :smiley:

Thank you for updating us! We’ve reviewed our internal ticketing system to check for the files you sent, but I’m not able to find a response associated with the same email you utilize for our Community Forum post. Did you happen to email with another email address? I’d like to make sure we are able to review the design files you sent over as soon as possible. If you did utilize an alternate email address, we’ll look for the ticket associated with that email.

We were able to locate the file you sent to my attention from a different email address. Thank you for sharing it! I used it in the app to look into this further.

When I used the copy/paste feature within the app, I was able to create multiple copies of the design associated with a single print step for the text, and a single print step for the image. When I created multiple copies of the design by adding more instances of it with the “+” button in the menu bar, it created an individual print step for each copy of the image, and each copy of the text.

In the following screenshot, the top row was made by using copy/paste, and the bottom row was made by adding more copies of the design with the “+” button. I used some boxes and arrows to show the resulting print steps:

The purple arrows on the artwork illustrate how the print head will move. In the copy/pasted instances, since they’re treated as a single step, it moves across the entire row of images and then the text. In the instances added with the “+” button, the print head will move to each image, engrave it separately and then move on to the next. Printing each image separately would likely lead to a significant increase in print time.

When I went back through the logs, I found that the print which took longer had multiple individual print steps, while the print which was faster appears to have a single print step for all of the images, and a single print step for all of the text. As a next step, will you please try the following?

  • Upload the SVG you sent via email to the App as a new design
  • Select all of the artwork, and then copy and paste it
  • Check to see if it still shows as a single print step for the text, and a single print step for the image

Please let me know how it goes!


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