Splotchy Engraving

We are new to Glowforge and have only used it for maybe about 10 hours tops (and I don’t think it’s even that high). At about the five hour mark we noticed a round splotch in one of our photo engravings. Tonight we were photo engraving a large 18x10” and we continued to have sooo many splotches. I read the Glowforge page that said to do cleaning after 40 hours which we haven’t even come close to yet. So what gives? Has anyone else had this problem?image

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That’s different. You have opened a support ticket by posting here, so official support will be along. In the meantime, I haven’t seen anything like that. The repetitive nature of it suggests to me it’s hardware related, but to speed the troubleshooting If you were inclined to zip the file and drop it here there are several qualified software wizards here for every design software out there who could eliminate the file as a possibility.

Oh, and Welcome to the community! you will find it a most valuable resource.

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Thank you so much for the reply. I have zipped the image as you suggested. It really did not turn out well at all. Completely unhappy with it.
FB_IMG_1595984296035.jpg.zip (20.3 KB)

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It’s hard to tell from the low-resolution pic of the print, but it looks like a material issue. Not totally uncommon when it was produced using rollers, the density of material makes a huge difference in how it engraves.

What are you engraving on, and what settings?

That source image is super low-resolution as well. A file of those dimensions would be good for a 3-4" engrave. For an 18" engrave, you’d want at least 4000px wide.

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(the support tutorials on photo prep suggest 300dpi, so for 18x10, it should be 5000x3000px.)


We were engraving on Proofgrade Medium Draftboard. We tried again this morning on a new sheet of Proofgrade Medium Draftboard with a high resolution photo and we are still getting patterned splotches in exactly the same spots as we had on the one we did last night.

Definitely looks like a bad batch of material.

I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve hit this snag. I appreciate you working through the advice the community has offered, and for including the design and images of the print results.

Is this behavior occurring no matter what default engrave setting you utilize (HD, Draft, SD) or only on one particular setting? Are you noticing the “bloches” on one type of material, or multiple types?

Once we can confirm these details, we’ll send over the next best steps.

We printed on maple plywood, with the same updated high resolution photo, and are running into the same splotches, though they are a bit less noticeable than they were on the draftboard.

We also changed the engraving setting to HD Graphic on another attempt we tried last night, again on maple plywood. There are still light splotches on this one too.

I’m sorry about the ongoing trouble. Have you already tried cleaning all of your unit’s optical surfaces to see if it improves your print results? While our general recommendation is to clean after 40 hours of printing, printing on different materials or running long engraves may lead to needing to clean your unit’s optics more frequently.

If you haven’t done so already, please follow the steps in our cleaning guide and let us know if your print results improve afterward.

We have followed all the cleaning instructions and are still having the problem. We have tried changing the engraving settings, made sure all the pictures we using are high resolution and have used Draft Photo, HD Photo, Draft Graphic and SD graphic engraving settings. We continue to get the splotches regardless of what materials we use.

I don’t have a clue as to why this is happening , but after looking at your samples, it looks like the splotches are in a similar pattern on all engravings. Might be a clue to what the problem is . Sorry I can’t help, but do look to see if you are getting a repeating pattern.

Never seen anything like that before. No idea what could be causing it.

Are all of the cables plugged in properly? No broken or loose pins in the white ribbon connector? All connectors look good and are plugged in flat?

Be sure to turn the machine off before checking any of the cables.

Instructions here on checking out the white ribbon cable:

Instructions here on checking out the rest of the lid cables:

And you might want to take a shot of the circuit board as well, just so support can look at it…

If you see anything that looks out of whack, post a photo before trying to fix it yourself.

My husband followed all the instructions you posted and said everything looked correct and nothing looked out of whack.

Well, I’m stumped. It almost looks like power flux. No idea what could be causing it. (Support will let you know what to try next, so stand by to hear from them.)

Sorry that wasn’t any good.

I’m so sorry for the continue trouble.

I’d like to send a replacement carriage plate.

I’ll follow up in email shortly to sort out the details.

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