Won't cut through any materials... annoyed!

Been trying to cut 1/4" inch PureBond Maple Plywood from Home Depot (which everyone’s been using). I have had success cutting this with 150/Full power, using the think maple hardwood settings as a base for settings. I use auto focus to determine thickness.

Tonight I cannot cut through it, nor can I cut through 1/8" pirch using the SAME settings.

The last thing I cut was 3 days ago, it was PG 1/8th walnut. It cut like butter without issue.

Along with this issue, I’ve was getting “print error” every single time I would hit “ready” in the app.

Machine is cleaned, lens and fans are all clean. It’s been calibrated.

I’ve spent soooo much money in wasted materials it’s not even funny.

Are you adjusting the focal height?

Do you happen to have one of the “new” glowforge units? I’ve been having the same issue with 2 different units. It won’t even cut PG. It’s all been since the autofocus update, but I can’t be sure that it’s a software issue or a hardware issue.

Do you get really “fat” kerf that doesn’t cut through too?

I was using auto focus and someone said manually try .5”.

So I did that and it cut through but it was very spotty in many places and wasn’t exactly cut all the way through.

I don’t think I have a new machine. I got in December 2018.

It’s actually been more than 3 days since I’ve ran this.

When did the autofocus update go out?

I was talking new unit like within the last month or so, so it’s definitely not that.

Update was 3/16/20 https://glowforge.com/latest-improvements/autofocus-update

I’m noticing a lot more focus related complaints since then.

If you were using .5" you were firing the laser about a quarter of an inch above the surface of the wood…I’m not at all surprised it didn’t cut through.

If you want to cut through it, and you aren’t using the Set Focus tool, enter the actual measured thickness of your material into the Unknown Materials button at the top of the thumbnail column. Or just use Set Focus. Most people find it easier. :slightly_smiling_face:

Focus the beam at the top surface of the material, as measured from the top surface of the crumb tray. (It’s more of a math problem if you are working without the crumb tray…but if you are placing the material on the tray, you can just use the Set Focus tool.)


I was using the set focus tool and even then it wasn’t working. I have tried various heights including the correct height if .125 and I get the same results each time.

Okay, next thing to do would be to try to cut the Gift of Good Measure on Proofgrade draftboard (or any proofgrade material really) at default settings, and then post a couple of photos of the front and the back of the cut so that support can use it to analyze what’s going on with your machine. Also tell them the time and time zone that you’re in when you run the job so they can find your machine in the data stream. It speeds up the troubleshooting, and you can post it here so they see it when they check in.


I’m so sorry to hear about the trouble with cutting through the material.

I have extracted the logs from your recent prints and have made a small change on our end.

Could you please try a test print and let us know if you are still having trouble?

Please post the result of the new print and we will follow up with more troubleshooting steps.

If I’m having similar issues with cutting, I’ve had my machine almost a year with no problems, would I need to open a separate ticket? Or are you able to take a look at my logs with this comment?

Hi @jam68stang, I’m so sorry to hear you are having trouble as well. You are correct, to keep everything organized we only help one customer per thread.

Please start another thread in Problems & Support or you can email us at support@glowforge.com. We’ll be happy to take a look.

Thank you! I’ll send an email.

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.