No matter what I try, the glowforge will not print or cut on my cardstock anymore like it used to. Honestly, this issue began a long time ago and I never was bothered enough to make a post about it… but last night as I raced to make a tooth fairy design for my daughter and ended up spending two hours trying to get the Glowforge to print (unsuccessfully), it was the last straw.
I get the “Your material must be less than 0.5” tall with the tray in, or between 1.5” and 2” with the tray out” error message, and no amount of manual focus heights or custom material thickness solves the issue. I am using ultra-heavyweight cardstock, on the vector cutting tray.
Putting something under the cardstock to elevate it is not a solution, as my machine should be able to do this operation without a janky workaround like that.
Sounds like your mirrors and camera may need cleaning - it makes a big difference in cut through. There’s 5 different optics to clean, it’s good practice to just clean all of them whenever you do. Especially the camera lens on the lid and the mirror on far left.
As for focus - have you also tried putting your cardstock on top of a sheet of plywood or cardboard?
Also - if there are any holes in your cardstock - make sure the GF head’s red focus dot lands directly on your material and not in one of the holes.
can you cut other things? is the cardstock shiny? maybe the laser is reflecting off it, try masking (even just a sheet of paper) did you run the ‘Gift of good measure’ to make sure all is OK with the system?
So the issue is not cut through- the laser won’t let me print at all.
As stated in the original post, elevating the cardstock is not an acceptable solution.
There are no holes in the cardstock- it covers the entire engravable space.
I can cut and engrave just fine on anything not paper-thin.
The cardstock is not shiny at all, and is even slightly textured. It is matte white. It is actually meant for watercolor, so it is a very heavy cardstock. I have cut it before hundreds of times before my machine started having this issue.
Welp- it was as simple as the cleaning I guess… oddly enough though, I have had this issue for well over a year and I clean the lenses pretty often.
But I hopped up and cleaned them, and it focused correctly. So that… must have been it? If you were here first hand, you’d understand why that seems odd to me, as not once in the last year has it worked with cardstock and yet I clean the lenses a lot. Maybe I just always tried to cut the stock too far away from a cleaning?
When you are cleaning, make sure that you have cleaned the 2 small round windows on the bottom of your print head…those are what the focusing laser comes out of, and if they are smutty, the machine can’t focus at the very edge of it’s range.
Cardstock is at the very edge of the range. You can either bring it up further into range by putting it on a cutting mat (highly recommended if you are going to cut a lot of it) or the small windows have to be absolutely pristine.
I have just finished printing/cutting a hundred on cardstock. When i use the cardstock, i always use set focus. I couldn’t tell if you were trying to manually put in the depth of the paper or not…
btw, adding something under the cardstock ‘does’ help with flash burn so i do use something under it-even if it’s just another piece of paper…
I tried both auto focus and manual- no dice either way. The time it worked a bit ago was an auto-focus one.
Though even when I did manual height and manual focus, it still tried to focus and told me “naw dawg, that’s not in my engravable range” grrrr
As for alignment no, I have never done that. I don’t have anything here right now I can do it with either unfortunately… I used the PG Draftboard for other troubleshooting awhile back, and now all I have is expensive walnut and thick maple- there’s no way I am wasting whole sheets of those. Nothing else I have wood-wise is flat enough. Could I… Use the cardstock? lol… the answer there is I guess no… since it wont let me use it at all
Cardboard is really MUCH harder to use for calibrating than any flat sheet of plywood with white masking on it. The camera needs to see contrast to align the machine, and cardboard tends to burn under the automatic calibration process.
So use a sheet of light colored plywood, pinned flat, or put white masking on it.
You’re going to be better off just using a sheet of 3mm thick wood I think. IMO.
I haven’t messed with the interface in a while, and I know they added the little manual focus button… so here’s how it used to work:
If the entered material height and the focus height were the same, it defaults to an auto focus situation. However, if you set the material height and focus height to different values, it will respect your manual focus setting.
So, maybe try this:
Material height: actual
Focus height: actual minus a hundredth
The hundredth of an inch won’t matter as far as it being in focus, but if it’s still like it used to be, it will override the auto focus (it will still scan, but respect manual focus setting)