Alignment and Tracking Issues

I’m having a problem with my laser, I’m hoping somebody on this forum may be able to help.
I am cutting and scoring a very simple file. The cutting is perfect, however when it comes to the scoring, it is scoring my design at a very slight upwards angle, therefore the scoring and cutting are not lining up.
I have checked the file and recreated it, still having the same problem. I cleaned the machine, all the lenses, the mirror, performed a recalibration and I’m still having the same issue. I’ve attached two images to give an example of what it is doing:


You can see in the first image the design, the cut, and then the cut under the design. The second image shows a bit more clearly the slope of the score. It started out in the correct place, but as it went along to the right it gradually sloped upwards. It then went back to the far left to finish off the first part of the score and was scoring 1-2mm higher than it should be.

My problem is that I can not figure out the reason, as the cutting is fine, it’s just the scoring which is off. Any advice would be hugely welcomed!

Possibly an unrelated issue but perhaps not, I’ve just turned it off to have a closer look. When pushing the laser arm to the back, when you’ve reached as far as it can go it’s pushes back towards you a bit, almost like a ‘bounce’. However when I push the laser arm all the way towards the front, it hits into the front door without giving a push back or a ‘bounce’ (which I’m sure it used to do) almost as if the thing stopping it from coming off the tracks is broken - I hope this makes sense!

I am guessing your material moved slightly during the operation. I always do cuts last and always space my cuts so that one outside edge is done last. This prevents cut parts from moving before the other steps are performed, which is what I suspect happened here.

But that wouldn’t explain why the ‘what my screen shows’ image would show the cutting all perfectly aligned to the design on my screen. I usually cut last, however on this occasion I can first so I could do some tests, and if the material had moved during the scoring, the cut lines on the wood wouldn’t match up to cut lines on the design on my screen.

Is your work piece still perfectly flat? Perhaps it has lifted slightly in the center after the cut.

I see movement on both the scores and the lines.

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It is, I’ve run the cut with and without magnets and have had the same results. My confusion is why the cut would be absolutely fine but the score not. Surely if there was an issue with alignment the whole design would be off…

I was thinking since you did the cut first the piece may have humped up a little as the stress was relieved which would then throw off your score.

If you go to the Support page (linked up in the top menu) and search for “square,” there’s a procedure for squaring your gantry. I’m not sure that’s the issue, but it couldn’t hurt to check it. Also I’d check your Y-axis belts on each side and see if either of them feels loose.


Oh – also, to speed things up once Support gets here (posting here opens a support ticket), take a moment to print a Gift of Good measure on PG medium draftboard, and post photos of it. Maybe even do a couple of them lined up horizontally, since that seems to be where the issue shows.

+1 on the squaring & belts. When I push my laser arm fully to the back it contacts the back and just stays there. No “bounce”. Might be a factor, but I cannot see how right now. Hmmmm…

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Yes I think after looking at it more, it could be a loose Y-axis belt. The font is called Railways Dots and instead of being a line, is essentially a collection of circles that form the letters. So when the GlowForge scores them it’s moving so fast making hundred of little circles it’s possibly slipping backwards on the Y axis every time it scores hence the sloped scoring… How do we know how tight the Y-axis belt should be/how to tighten it?

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I’m sorry your print isn’t turning out as expected. It looks like you’ve already received some great advice and information from our other community members. Thanks folks!

I see you emailed us about this as well, and I’ve sent you some additional information with next steps there, so I’m going to close this thread.