Unable to cut Proof grade Cherry Correctly

So last night was incredibly frustrating.

Exhibit A, right side of the board: default settings, the hinges cut perfectly, but the rest of it barely broke the back as shown in Exhibit B (area with the masking peeled is the right side of the board)

I attempted custom settings at a slower cut speed for the left side version, speed being 140, surly that should have cut with no problem? Left section of the photo above shows some of them did but most did not.

These cuts went through all the way to the bottom layer of veneer, from what I can tell, that bottom layer didn’t want to cut.
I spent about 2 hours manually cutting with hand tools to get everything freed without having to re cut again.

The forge was cleaned on Monday and I’ve done 2 or 3 small cuts since and this wasn’t an issue.
It should also be noted that I haven’t ever been able to use proof grade settings ever since I got my Plus.

Incredibly frustrating

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I always do a test cut on a small circle on material I haven’t used before. That way you can better determine what settings to use before sending a big job to it. Proofgrade settings SHOULD work and they’ll replace the material if it doesn’t, but I never trusted proofgrade settings (and don’t use proofgrade since running out of the sample stuff) and use my own settings on everything I cut.


I typically do the same as well. However, I was in a hurry to get the gift done and let it do the defaults.

If your cuts are not cutting through and you have polished all the lenses (including the one hiding under the left side) and done the calibration and set focus support can adjust your machine remotely to cut a bit harder.


I’m gonna check and see how the left lense is, I think that one might have gotten skipped this last time because it looked ok

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Are you using hold down pins to ensure the material is flat to the bed? If it’s not completely flat it won’t cut through. If you don’t have any of the Honeycomb Hold Down pins they’re fantastic and easy to cut out of scraps. I keep a small box of them by the forge and throw them out when they eventually break.

That one and its opposite on the printer head are the first places I check if I see a drop in cutting ability. I have seen it happen in a single cut. I have also looked and not seen an issue, then wiped the lens and seen the wipe come away with the brown film, and have it improve cutting immediately. Those two are the ones most in the way of the wandering smoke and a single flake takes only a moment to stick to the glass.

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I’m not but this has never been the case in my experience. I always clean my crumb tray off before the next job

Hi @techquest89 My name is Mercedes and I’m part of the Technical team here at Glowforge.

Can I ask if this is an issue that has happened on other material? Or just this one piece of Proofgrade?


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I have always had issues using the default settings regardless of what proofgrade I used. I started using my own settings slowing the speed down a bit on certian jobs that have tight corners and such but over all I’ve found that default settings do not work for my setup, has been that way since day one. And I’ve cleaned every possible lense, the fans all of it. Now I will say, when I was working with the cherry it cut through the mdf middle layer, the top layer but unless it got lucky it wasn’t cutting through the bottom layer and I had to use hand tools to free the project I desperately needed. I do have some of that cherry left if you need to see or test any of it.

Hi @techquest89 I’m sorry to hear that!

You should not have this issue when cutting Proofgrade ever. The point of Proofgrade is that it should cut through correctly everytime. Could I have some photos of your lenses? I would love to get you back up and running and able to cut Proofgrade.

I would like to check over just a few more things. Could you do the following for me?

Please send photos of all your cleaned optical components, with special attention to any damage you might find:

  • Both windows

    • The printer head window, on the left hand side of the printer head

    • The laser window on the inside left of the Glowforge

  • The printer head lens

    • Both sides of the lens, top and bottom

  • The mirror inside the printer head

  • The bottom of the printer head with the lens installed

Once we have those pictures, we’ll follow up with next steps.

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I will be sending the requested photos later on today

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@m.smith still waiting on you

Hello @techquest89

I’m so sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

After reviewing everything, your lenses look pretty dirty. I would like to try to clean your optical components one more time and run a Gift of Good Measure test print so I can see what you are seeing.

There are several things that need to be checked if the laser doesn’t cleanly cut through the material. We’ve discovered that photos don’t always come through well in emails, so I’ve included several links that will take you to reference instructions and photos. Please turn off your Glowforge and check the following:

Once all these things have been checked, please perform the following test print.

  • When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture updates.

Check the completed print:

  • If the Gift of Good Measure fails to cut through, take a photo of the front and back of the print and attach these photos to your reply.

  • If the Gift of Good Measure cuts successfully, please try another print of the design you experienced the issue with, and let us know the results.

Let me know what you find!

That was the lense after cleaning, at this point cutting the gift of good measure is a bit redundant but I’ll give it a shot and cut it on the same board for point of reference.

But it gives them a known situation testing cuts, scoring, and engraving, so as to eliminate any problems coming from that direction and compare to the standard.

Also, the little dust showing can make the difference between cutting through and not cutting through. It is quite amazing how little it takes.

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The mirror looks kind of scratched to me when you compare your photo to Glowforge’s.

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So GOGM did print with default settings, however it should be noted this is the very first time since June that I’ve had anything with default settings print correctly. I’m about to attempt cutting my pattern once again using default settings this time but I’m not hopefull.

The pattern printed well this time, not sure what changed because I have done all those same steps in the past but glad it worked at least, just a costly lesson for my proof grade material.

Document it all in photos etc and Support might help by sending you what part they felt was a Glowforge problem. Particularly where you used default settings with clean lenses.