Why is my engraved art scraping off

Hi all. Just got my new machine. So excited. I have a book cover I want to print out as a puzzle. I get the whole puzzle part. But when I print the image the cover art mostly scraps off when I remove the sticky paper cover.

I’ve followed many of the “how to use Photoshop to” guides here, turning it to b/w, etc. And I’ll share some examples below.

Some of the art doesn’t print well, and some prints only visible on the paper.

The file us 300 dpi.

I find if you want to retain the detail removing the masking in some instances before you engrave works out best.


You need to raise the minimum power to burn thru the masking, or remove it before engraving. It takes experimentation to find what works best for your image and material.


This one will probably do better than the one below it.

In greatly simplified terms the laser is looking at the percentage of grey and altering power based on that - so 50% grey is going to be 50% less power than 100% grey (otherwise known as black). So if all of your greys are at least ~20% grey it’s more likely to come out how you want than if some of them are less than 20% grey.

Raising the minimum power as @eflyguy recommended will absolutely work, but it might “flatten” the image more than you want. You have more power in your editing software to make it come out how you want!

If you decide to remove the masking you’re going to want to clean it before you decide whether or not you like it - alcohol gel/hand sanitizer, baby-wipes, and about a dozen other things all work - including water, but the more water involved the more your wood may bend/flex.


I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve hit this snag.

I’ve extracted the logs from your Glowforge to watch your most recent print.

Can you let us know what happens when you try this:

  • Use Set Focus before your print to make sure the software knows just how far the material is from the camera.
  • Use material that is not warped or tilted.
  • Remove particles from the surface of the crumb tray and the area underneath it. Check the four indentations under the crumb tray and the area underneath the front door of your Glowforge. Check to make sure that, when closed, the front door is not pressing down on the lip of the crumb tray.
  • Turn your Glowforge off and on again. Alignment can drift over time, particularly if you bump the head of your Glowforge while removing material.
  • Try your print again with default SD graphics as your engrave settings

Let us know how it goes.

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email support@glowforge.com.