The head moves but no laser

it moves like if it was engraving but no laser. I have it on mirror like glass material. I have it on full power. I did the tutorial and still having this problem

What happens on a known (:proofgrade:) material?

what do u mean?

Maybe the material is the issue. Try it on :proofgrade: material with its associated :proofgrade: settings and see what happens. Even if you don’t want to do it for me, Support is almost guaranteed to ask you to do the same.

So change the actual material or the settings?

Yes. :wink:

Use a :proofgrade: material and it should detect it and adjust the settings appropriately. If it doesn’t, you can select the material from the dropdown on the left. (Just make sure you select the correct material.)

Tom is asking whether you’ve tried to print on some of the wood that the Glowforge comes with (only instead of saying the word “Proofgrade”, he’s using a cutesy icon).

Technical support always asks people to test with Proofgrade, because that eliminates one of the variables and helps determine whether your machine is having a general problem, or if it’s just an issue with the material you’re using.


Hi, now you’ve got your own ticket that we can work on. :grinning:

Couple of questions…

Glass is like a brick wall to a laser beam…when the beam hits it, it stops dead. Sometimes the heat will fracture a tiny chip out of the surface, but that leaves little fractured bits of glass as an “etch” and it isn’t very deep.

If that mirror is real glass, that might be the problem you are seeing if you are trying to engrave it from the front.

On the other hand, the coating on the back of a mirror that makes it reflective can easily be lasered off, leaving the design in the mirror. You have to reverse the design and flip the mirror over to work on it.

Question is…were you lasering from the back?

Second question, I’m not sure if a mirror would reflect the beam back up into the lens (might damage the lens) but that can be avoided by masking the material. So question #2 is.,…did you have masking on it?

Answer these and we’ll go forward from there. :slightly_smiling_face:


ok so I changed the material and it does engrave on it. So I’m guessing it just doesn’t on mirror glass. How can adjust it to do so

You may not be able to. If it’s unmasked, I’d suggest trying to mask it. May make it an easier target for the laser. I’ve read that covering glass with a paper towel or newspaper dampened with dish soap assists with laser etching. As always, test at your own risk. And I suggest you document your efforts so if you find a way to make it work you have that written down.


Since this problem is being seen on materials that were purchased from another company, we can’t offer support for prints that don’t come out as expected. Materials may vary widely from piece to piece, even if they’re created by the same manufacturer. I’m going to move it to Beyond the Manual so other folks here can help. Should this happen with a print on Proofgrade materials, please open a new ticket in Problems and Support and we’ll help you right away!

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