Testing for Settings

Continuing the discussion and testing from @jamesdhatch 's tests here:

I’ve been running through a few tests to determine optimal cut, score and engrave settings for the materials I use the most… in my case they are the PG materials so at least I’m not duplicating his efforts. :slightly_smiling_face:

I wanted to test for several things simultaneously so i worked up a quick file to test for Score and Cut settings, and another one to test for Engraving results.

I made the cut/score file a bit challenging to cut, because I wanted to make sure that the settings I was capturing would make it all the way through, even on tightly curved lines, and not just rectangles. (Was also testing for the pinhole score problems at corners, although that turned out to be a non-issue, so I didn’t need it after all.)

For the engraving, I tested the mid-range first at a set speed, (on oval shapes to test for edge stair-stepping), and based on those results, just picked the 270 LPI setting, since I couldn’t see any appreciable improvement between that one and the 340 LPI. (And the 270 was a lot quicker.) :slightly_smiling_face:

Then I just varied the speed and power settings to see how things turned out on the various materials, hardwood and ply. Slowing it down darkens the results a bit, but mainly deepens the pit. Increasing the power darkens in a linear fashion.

At the low power settings - it wasn’t even getting through the masking, so that bunch I’ll save for papers, leathers and cardboard.

What else do I need to be looking for here guys? The testing takes a while to set up with that many colors - I’d rather do them all at once to save setup time. :wink:


Great output…lotsa work. Time consuming. I’ve made a couple templates for my own tests when I get some time in another couple weeks or so. Do my old eyes discern a piece of slate there? Looks like some smallish slate ‘cheese’ servers that I bought to try in the Glowforge. Nice work, Jules.


It’s the bottom of a slate coaster set I picked up at World Market. (At an exorbitant price I may add…geez, I just want to test it, not marry it.) Chuckle! :smile:


Don’t shoot the messenger, but those 4" slate coasters are $2.99 for four at Michael’s, less that day’s coupons. :innocent:




What are you doing with your findings?

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Nothing yet. Eventually I’ll probably put together a spread sheet to stick next to the computer. :slightly_smiling_face:


For a score, what do you consider a success? Anything that doesn’t break through, or are you shooting for a specific depth in the material?


Interestingly, the higher power scores do run a bit deeper (you can see it in the clear acrylic), but none of the lower power scores were breaking through…the range ran from 25% to about 40% and the surface grooves looked just about the same. So you can get by just fine with the lower power ones. :slightly_smiling_face:


I like the way you designed it to encorporate the number in the engrave. Definite time saver. Sometimes I forget to mark my tests after removal and I get sidetracked. Usually I’m just looking for the on setting and I write that down.


Happy to share a smaller version of the file if anyone wants it…I know that Glowforge would probably prefer that we not publish the actual settings. (Just a single, not the one with the multiple speeds because that one takes a LONG time to set up in the interface with all of those colors…)

Easy enough to just jot the Speed and LPI used on the back after the run. I just use a post-it note.

LMK if anyone needs it. :slightly_smiling_face:


I have about 20+ that I got free with buying Clean Slate Riesling. Worked for me!! Now I can engrave them when I get my :glowforge:


I’d love to have that file @jules, thanks!


I’d love the file Jules! Thank you once again for helping us all out.



I pared it down and stuck a little hole in it - you could run a keychain through the prints and keep the stack next to the machine for reference on your materials. (Might re-run a few of mine just to leave there instead of the spreadsheet.)

And the file:

Engrave Test - Jules.zip (280.6 KB)


Thank you! :purple_heart:


Thank you very much for sharing. I made my own, but I think your’s is better. :relaxed:


I’m sure it’s not better, they all do the same thing. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you! I have a whole bunch of 3" diameter split rings that open up, perfect for keeping a bunch of these organized.


Ooh! Good idea! I think I might have a couple upstairs as well! :slightly_smiling_face: