Seemingly ignoring engraving power settings

I’m trying to do a power level gradient based engraving and it doesn’t seem to pay any attention to the power levels at all.

I’ve reduced this down to using a straight gradient black/white image, 100% white on left, 100% black on right. Using the “vary power setting” with a maximum power of 25 and speed of 500 or 1000.

No gradient at all.

The only “gradient” I get is 0 power used in pure white areas. Everything else is blasted and seemingly the same power.

What material is this?

I’m confused. there would be no gradient between 100% white and 100% white…

Birch plywood. I can crank the max power all the way down to 2 and I still see no difference.

I just tried ProofGrade hardwood maple with the same result. Selected ProofGrade, then went to manual to check settings. Clicked print. Burned right through.

If I try with “ProofGrade” selected on the same PG hardwood maple? I actually do get a gradient! However, it is burned through at anything over about 75% to the black end of the band.

So, even when sticking with PG materials, how can we adjust the power levels and/or gradient settings?

@PrintToLaser Typo; white to black.

Line on left is PG Hardwood Maple, select Picture engraving with my gradient, then simply go to manual mode. Line on the right is full auto PG mode.

And this is the backside (with the left line being PG auto).

And because I discovered how to attach photos, I’ll be pedantic and add the gradient. :slight_smile:


Is that a raster image for the gradient?
(Interface can’t handle vector engraves on gradients yet.)

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Yup. Post updated with the raster. It is a straight old PNG.

I think when you use vary engrave you have to set it to Full Power. (Not sure - give it a try.)

I don’t think so, I’ve done variances under Full, including a 0-50 variance.

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@Jules Selecting full power just cuts a deep channel in the material, no gradient.

@jason.fuller0 That’s what I would expect; if I have the speed at 1000 and I set the max power to 3 with min power to 0, I’d expect to have a very very light gradient using the white -> black gradient image I posted above. That isn’t at all what I get, even with from-the-factory PG materials.

Totally ignoring power settings for line cutting, too. I just tried a single line with a power level of 1 and it made a beautiful, perfectly straight, line most of the way through the 3/16" material! Speed does seem to work.

3 might not be heavy enough to visibly mark at all on wood. I’m not sure I’ve worked with anything that a 0-3 gradient would show on, except maybe leather, and not even sure on that.

I think that’s a clearer more serious statement of your problem. Sounds like your machine doesn’t do low power at all. Did the Glowforge keychain also engrave and score unexpectedly deep?

I didn’t try the keychain, but the founder ruler is cut through.

As shown above, the PG maple hardwood ProofGrade gradient worked (though it burned through for the final 25%). So, it appears the machine can do low power mode.

This is the backside of the GF founder’s ruler on completely default, I-had-no-idea-what-I-was-doing-I-just-want-to-make-something, settings.

Whoa. If that is medium Proofgrade maple those engraves went waaay too deep. Something is wrong.

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OK. Thank you for the confirmation that I’m not using it wrong. Looks like I’m off to support@'s mercy.

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Just a FYI: While it is likely that Support will read all of these posts it wasn’t until post 13 that a clear problem emerged. Though you described the problem, an investigation would require Support to go through all or the settings and do a lot of what ifs to rule out user generated mistakes. I’m guessing it’s sometimes difficult for Support to weed through topics that are user created problems and those that instantly show true problems.


Yup; I totally understand. Much like Ubiquiti’s product, Glowforge is building a self supporting community of users. That works great, but that does mean legitimate customer issues will fall through the cracks.

I’ve contacted support directly. Looks like I’ll be receiving a replacement device.


Glad to hear they are taking care of you. Sorry you had this experience. Hope your replacement unit arrives very soon and you’re able to make great things.