Will not cut after engrave on non-proofgrade material

I can’t find the issue I’m having in this forum so forgive me if it is here somewhere and I haven’t seen it. I have talked to customer service about this at length and they told me they couldn’t help because it’s not proofgrade materials, even though it seems like it’s not a material issue at all. I am cutting on 19 x 11.75 Baltic birch which cuts beautifully when I select a material height of 3.175 mm. The micrometer actually measures this material consistently at 3.25 mm but when I use the actual measurement, it will not cut all the way through and the laser line is much thicker. On top of that, even at these seemingly wrong settings that make a beautiful golden cut every time, if there are any engraving orders prior to the cut, and I let the orders automatically sequence, it will not cut all the way through and I get the same thick dark line. In order to get a reliable cut, I must initiate the engraving, allow the job to complete, go to the forge and open the lid which allows me to reenter the erroneous thickness settings so I can then ignore the previously set engraving and then cut the material. It works this way every time and it took me a great deal of troubleshooting and a lot of waste to figure this much out. Stopping the job to open the lid and changing the setting in the interface to get a reliable cut doesn’t seem like the way the machine was intended to operate. Any ideas? I’ve done all the cleaning techniques and since the material will cut just fine provided I do a little jig and enter the wrong material thickness, it doesn’t seem like a symptom of dirty optics or a misaligned tray.

Sounds like your focus is acting up. You should email support about it, this is weird enough that posting to P&S is just going to get a lot of people theorizing which will muddy your support case up.

Email is a whole lot more direct for something weird like this without all the noise in the signal.

What happens when you use “set focus” instead of manually entering in a material height?

Also won’t cut all the way through just a thick black line.

Just out of curiosity - have you checked that your lens isn’t upside down?

@evansd2 Thanks, I will try again but they said since it doesn’t act up for proofgrade materials they are closing the ticket and referred me here. It’s crazy to me that they don’t support their machine unless it’s used with their material.

@ekla I sure have, I’ve tried the cleaning techniques and made sure it was in properly. I did however have a faulty lens removal tool which almost made me not able to use the machine at all because the magnet stayed on the lens while still in the laser carriage. I retrieved the entirety of the magnet before replacing the lens. The replacement they sent me was also broken so I’m waiting on a 3rd one.

Mysterious. Since you’re entering a different height than the actual material height you’re technically defocusing the beam which would account for the fatter line. The engraving order weirdness is pretty odd.

You haven’t mentioned anything about your speed and power settings. Have you tried adjusting those? Usually people increase power and or lower speed a few points to get an almost cut to be thorough cut. What happens when you cut the Gift of Good Measure? And are you pinning your material down so it’s dead flat?

Yes I am pinning it down and I can get it to cut no problem, I’m using a speed of 247 and full power which gives me a nice golden brown edge. I have experimented with other settings but it seems like the only thing that works is setting an erroneous material height and do not engrave beforehand on the same job. I actually get a clean cut with a thin line when I enter the wrong material thickness. It’s when I enter the actual material thickness that I get a thick incomplete cut. It also works perfectly fine if I cut first (using the wrong material thickness) and then engrave even if I do not interrupt the job to reset the material thickness. This is my plan for now but I can see it being a possible disadvantage ordering it this way.

I can cut out the gift of good measure without a problem as long as I do the cut first and use the wrong material thickness, any other order or material thickness just doesn’t cut all the way through.

If you can’t successfully print the GoGM on PG draftboard with default settings, then the machine has a problem and they will be able to help. They provided the extra sheet specifically for troubleshooting.

If you’re changing the order or settings, then they can’t help.

@eflyguy Right and I take issue with the fact that they cannot support their machine unless it’s their material. I would understand if I was cutting something strange or abusing the machine, but I’m using the same material other people on this forum use to do what the machine was intended for and getting a strange result. In the name of quality customer service, I just thought I would get more help than, and I’m paraphrasing here… “go ask other people that have it”

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From their point of view, they can’t verify it’s not a material problem when it’s not material they have to test with. That’s why you have to use a known material with a known file.

If it fails with their file, their settings, on their material, then they have to address it.

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I don’t think it is a question of understanding the policy. I just disagree with it, and think their customer service and reputation (because I will certainly be talking about this from the rooftops) would benefit from some added effort on their behalf.

I understand. Was just saying if you “play it their way”, you might get some help.

If you think about the skill level of some owners, it’s understandable they have to draw a line somewhere, even if many of the owners are above that…

Related - I’ve always believed there should be a tiered driving license system. If you can earn it, you get benefits…

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Thanks for the recommendation. Provided they aren’t robots, they can probably get an idea of the type of user I am based on my troubleshooting. Drawing arbitrary lines instead of trying to customize assistance to individual customers also doesn’t not equal good customer service.

It has nothing to do with whether you’re a knowledgeable user or not. GF Support has no idea what’s in the non-PG plywood you’re using, so they have no way to know for sure whether the problem is with the machine or the material. Like @eflyguy said, if you’ll cooperate with their request to print a Gift of Good Measure on PG draftboard with the default settings (no reordering or changing the height, etc.), you’ll be able to get some help from them.

Talk from the rooftops all you want; it’s just going to make you look silly. You can’t expect them to be able to support materials they have no way to test on their end for comparison. Having a baseline test to measure from is SOP in every troubleshooting effort in any industry.


If there is something wrong with the machine, it should be wrong whether you use PG materials or not. If it works on PG materials and not on something else, that suggests that it’s not a mechanical problem, but most likely the settings you’re using. Possibly the material, but your description suggests settings (if not a mechanical issue).

What materials are you working with? Many plywoods can be cut on PG settings. It might help with troubleshooting to try cutting them with settings we know work (literally choose a PG setting from the menu) and see what results you get. Better still if you can do side by side tests with PG.


Based on various things they’ve said elsewhere I suspect the policy stems more from what the lawyers will let them do rather than a wish to not be supportive.

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Perhaps there might be a knowledge issue here, There are two different places to call a thickness. There is the main one at the top which should be the correct and mainly sets the camera, Set Focus will establish that if nothing is entered,
The other place is with each material and can be different for each cut or engrave, higher up for a less focused engrave left auto if you want what Set Focus finds.
Then under the cut layer, you can enter the 3.175mm thickness you like that you are wanting the cut to be set as