Seeking info from glowforge

If this is the wrong place to ask, please let me know.

@dan or other glowforge employees.

Can I get a detailed description and or specs on the slider for dots on the picture engravings?

I am a very technical minded person. I prefer knowing actually ipm feed rates instead of a mythological scale that goes to 1000.

Can you please tell me exactly what its doing when I slide it up and down?

Increasing dot density but making the them smaller?

Increasing dot density and still the same size?

Allowing overlapping?

That could really take some guess work out of it for me.

Thanks in advance!



Me too Phil, following…

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I think the dots are the same size but closer together. If too dense you might not see the design enough and too light you might not see it at all.

You would be setting the size and depth of the dots by how fast and how hard the pews

Thanks @rbtdanforth! But I really want to hear from a glowforge employee who knows absolute.

But you bring up another question.

What is the dot size then?

If you use 10 pews the dot would be very small , if full power it would be bigger. If you were doing 1000 zooms they would be smaller and at 100 zooms they would likely go all the way through and burn it bigger as well.

Also by changing the height away from actual height the beam would be less focused and thus wider.

Also changing the LPI the detail would change. If you want actual information make a test cut at an array of settings and look at the results.

When you are doing tile or something like Lauan mahogany where the outer skin is extremely thin you are not looking to cut material away but to just create dots that when closer together will look darker but leaving the material in between even dense dots…

In the case of tile you need a lot more power to achieve the same dot as in Lauan.

A good set of engraves with sample settings would be the answer.

Also there are systems out there that are neither of the systems built in and in inkscape or ai make any of hundreds of those possibilities but I have not traveled that rabbit hole. However a search of the forum will turn them up.

That should not be true at all. That depends more on material.

I’m asking about software.

Again, I’d like to hear from glowforge.

No matter the material that would be true for that material, As I mentioned i would run the tests and you would have the empirical answer provided by actual reality.

I think that GF can probably tell you (but won’t) the shortest amount of time they can pulse the laser, which when combined with speed would give the absolute smallest “dot” that could be made.

They could probably also tell you (but won’t) how long they fire the laser per speed to make a consistently sized dot, if that’s how the software works.

But, like rbtdanforth, I think translating that to an absolute firm dot size as printed is impossible. Focus, power, material, etc will all change that size — at best you’d get a range. I agree that the best way to approach this is via experimentation.

(BTW I’m speculating that they won’t tell you, but as we’re all aware they never tell us details like that, why start now? Also as you know they don’t monitor any category other than problems and support, so that’s not helping either.)

Anyway it’d be cool if there were a firm number; I just don’t see how that’s possible. I look forward to any answer that might come from GF.

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You’re almost guaranteed not to get the answer you seek, and the excuse will be that they don’t read the forums.


It’s applying a dithering algorithm to the image. The left slider increases the minimum density. The right slider decreases the maximum density. They use either Floyd-Steinberg dithering or a slightly modified version (there are a ton of variations of this).

Their will ultimately be overlapping when you get to the darker values of an image.


Thank you @jbmanning5!

So is it fair to say, “if I want to know how the dithering is working and have control I should do it in my graphic editing program of choice and not the glowforge UI?”

Yes! But… You can do all the dithering and image adjustments you like in your photo editing software, but you will still have to choose engrave settings. It’s also fair to want to understand exactly how the various sliders affect the laser interpretation of the dithering you have already applied.


Dither full black and white in software.

Switch to vary power.

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