Why so long to engrave?

Hi, I’m still going through the learning curve of figuring everything out. I have a simple logo design I want to engrave, but the time to engrave is 2 hours 20 minutes…why so long? 600 speed, 80 power, 270 lpi, 1/8 inch baltic birch. With a design so simple I’m guessing I could go lower on the lpi without losing quality…any other suggestions? Thank you!
converted mama goat mercantile 2

What are the dimensions of the engrave? If it is a large sized engrave, even if it is just a few black lines, it will still have to raster all the way across each line. You can engrave at faster speed and higher power. I generally go full speed on my engraves.

It’s about 11"x9". I’ll try that and see how it changes things. Thanks!

Yep. that’s about right. THat’s a big engrave.

Did you try just scoring the bulk of it? Might look nice with a score and would be a LOT faster.


Especially with a defocused engrave score. You can get nice wide lines without multiple passes.


What do you mean by defocused engrave? Thanks!

Sorry mistyped. I meant score.

So a defocused action is where you intentionally set the focus at the wrong height for the material. If you’re scoring 1/8” Baltic birch, for example, you could set the material thickness to 0.5”. The beam will not be focused on the surface, and so it’ll score a wider line. Think of how a flashlight spot gets larger the further away you’re shining it, same concept.

In extreme cases you can take the crumb tray out, set a thin material on the bottom of the glowforge and set your material thickness to 0.50. You’ll be out of focus by just under 2”, leading to a very wide beam.

For more info search the forum for “defocused” and you can see it in action here:

Pay attention to the Labrador retriever and Glowforge logo examples. You can gloss over the TSP problem details, instead concentrate on the differences in line thickness in the finished products.


Interesting. Makes complete sense but the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. Thank you for all the great info!


There is also possibilities of “engraving” the long way instead of the short. If all the lines are vertical and spread across the page the laser has to travel all the way at the same speed as inertia does not allow quick changes. If the design is rotated 90 degrees the vertical lines become horizontal and the places were few lines occur the travel is much shorter or not needed at all, and where they do exist much more is done per pass,

Alternatively many parallel lines can create much more controlled width perhaps assisted by some defocusing allowing fewer parallel lines, In Autocad there is Hatch patterns that can fill areas, also Inkscape has an multiple offset command that creates many parallel lines of increasing fade. but they can all be brought to solid as the GFUI does not recognise such fades anyway,

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.