What's normal for GF? For laser cutting?

Hi everyone!
I’m new to laser cutting, and so I’m not entirely sure what to expect from my new GF Pro. I’ve unboxed the beast, recalibrated the camera, cleaned the lenses, seated the tray, verified that the wood is flat, and set out to cut the Good Measure keychain per the tutorial.

However, I’m finding that some of the cuts don’t quite go through on Proofgrade medium draftboard using the default settings. Manually setting it to two passes fills my crumb tray with draftboard confetti, and the default settings cut through a different sheet of Proofgrade draftboard without difficulty, but some attempts just, er, didn’t cut it.

So, I’m wondering whether this is just normal variation in the materials. Is it common to have to finish the job with a craft knife, or to snap the pieces out?

As a side note, I’m having issues with the top camera — the image is too blurry for the UI to read the QR code, and I have to manually select the material. (I’m working with tech support on that one.) Could this cause issues with the cutting?

Given the marketing hype of “perfect cuts, every time” on Proofgrade products, I wanted to compare notes with other users to see what the norm is.


Without seeing pictures of your results, it’s hard to judge whether they are within tolerances considered normal. As you correctly suspect, it is possible occasionally to have a slightly warped piece of material that does not cut through all the way in a place or two. (Pinning it down flat helps, and the slightest amount of warp is going to affect it, so I tend to always pin using these: Honeycomb Pins)

Another thing that affects certain people is swelling from humidity…if you live in a high humidity area, you might find that slowing the cut speed down by 5 or 10 points will enable you to cut through materials like draftboard in one pass, whereas otherwise it’s going to take two. Glowforge has the ability to save Custom Settings so that it’s not any harder to use than the default. (That’s been a lifesaver for me… draftboard swells badly here.)

If you don’t want to do that, sending a second Cut operation without moving the material on the bed or the design on the screen will complete the cut. Before you do that, you will want to set any other operations such as Engraves and Scores to Ignore in the thumbnail column, or it will absolutely cut through parts you don’t want cut.

Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it already though, especially after less than a week. Give the Custom Settings a try - you might like them. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks, Jules! I’ve already got my 2X Cut settings saved, so that’s going to come in handy.

It’s a little more humid than usual here, 70%. I’ve got the board pinned down (and the focal point set to the actual cutting area).

Here are the results of the cut I just did with default settings:


Cuts haven’t gone all the way through on the outside, and the board slivers if you punch out the outer contours. The inner circles might as well be uncut board.

I’ll try again with a lower speed to see if that helps.

Yeah, those look pretty much like mine do on a regular basis. (We’re average 70% humidity year round.) Slowing it down will get through it in one pass.

Draftboard swells worse than the proofgrade plywoods…for those I pretty much use the defaults with few issues.

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Fantastic, thanks for the confirmation!

Can’t wait to see what this baby can do with hardwood.
I have a feeling I’m going to have to raise my materials budget by a factor of 10 or so.


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At a minimum! :smile:
(It’s addictive.)


While it’s not a big deal to tweak your settings to get better results, in my opinion it’s worth contacting support to confirm there isn’t a minor problem with your machine. I’ve had mine since 2017 and it has never failed to cut through a single piece on the default settings. The advertising copy says perfect printing every time.


That is not expected behavior and as you state, the machine is guaranteed to give perfect cuts using their materials. You should not have to adjust the default settings to get reliable results, especially with a brand new machine. Mine is over two years old and in that time, I’ve only had it once fail to cut thru with PG materials, and that was because the particular piece of material I was using was a lot thicker than other pieces of the same material. It wasn’t humidity, as the others in the stack were “normal”, and I still had some pieces of the same material from when I received the machine in 2017. I’ve only cleaned mine a half-dozen times in those two years.

Assuming your optics are all clean, you should open a thread with these pictures in Problems and Support. Unfortunately, they will likely need to replace the machine.


Thanks, guys. I have a ticket open with support about the cuts and the camera focus, and they have pics of all the lenses and mirrors.

I’m hoping for an easy fix, but my crystal ball is showing a factory return in my future. If so, that will be a disappointment now that I’ve had a taste of what the machine can do…

C’est la vie! At least it will give me a chance to reorganize my workspace and sketch out some puzzle box designs. :grin:


This happens to me, with a clean lid camera lens, but it is infrequent. More often it is a bit blurry, but it reads the code. If you are experiencing this frequently I’d make sure to include it in the support ticket you have open.

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Don’t think about Shipping yet!!!

I had the same exact issue when I got my pro. the silly little ruler would not cut right, parts went through and parts didn’t. I worked with support and we finally narrowed it down to differentials in the materials I recieved with the machine, I can now cut on med draft that ruler with no issues. Except when I try to do it on any draft board from the first batch i got with the pro, I have purchased more since then and have no problems with the PG settings,

ok all that said, don’t assume you need a replacement machine, If you are like a lot of us you will soon be using all sorts of materials that don’t even think of having a barcode and you will be changing settings all the time after a few tests… Do as Jules suggested… Slow it down just a bit and motor on, you will love the pro… I use the pass throughs on mine all the time just to trim materials to sizes I want after coming from a local lumber yard, you can get a 4x8 sheet cut on the short side 5 times at most big stores and then use the passthrough to make the rest of your pieces with no sawdust at all in your place…

It’s slow going at first and takes a bit of practice but the results are worth learning how and why the settings make a difference rather than just using the pre-programmed PG settings for everythin.


I have found that if I have direct information of good settings for any wood I can use those either for the generic like maple, or the specific piece you have without wasting too much of that piece of wood,


Thanks, everyone! As it turns out, there were other issues that require a factory replacement, so I’ve crated the beast and am now awaiting its replacement.

Support was extremely responsive and helpful, so they get a big thumbs up for customer service. Just a few more days, and I’ll be filling the neighborhood with wood smoke again. :grin:


What other issues did you have? And what was the result of the blurry camera? My camera is blurry too and you cant see the QR code but it still reads it. I just starting assuming maybe the camera only focuses on the very middle of the tray only? not sure. But my image is always out of focus

That’s right. The edges of the bed are always a little blurry due to the fisheye effect of the lid camera.

If you haven’t run the Camera Calibration and learned to use the Set Focus tool, that will generally improve your placement alignment, but it might still look a little blurry out at the far reaches.


I was getting some weird distortions. The new GF that arrived today is still very blurry on the edges, (fisheye, as Jules pointed out), but it can read the QR codes on the Proofgrade materials whereas the first unit could not.

The new machine cut through the draftboard like butter, so I’m glad I was able to exchange the old one. Onwards!


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