Alignment but at a weird time

I’m desperate and really need some help. I need to print 3 projects consisting of 2 matching pieces and 2 individual ones asap. That’s 4 sheets of 1/8th" plywood. All are close to the maximum allowable size, 19 x 10. I made up the designs and for the first time tested them on cardboard. I now love cardboard! I’m afraid of the whole fire and paper thing, but I think I finally kicked that. I cut and scored multiple times without GF issues. Multiple times to get the design right and GF behaved very well every time. Now it’s time to do the real thing and I have limited amounts of flat plywood to do this. But first, I thought I’d be a good girl and completely clean the machine so nothing will happen during the process as something always seems to happen during my projects. I fire it back up, load up my first design and start. It’s afu. Turn everything off, clean lenses again, still afu. So I search the community for alignment issues and find a post from a guy, sorry guy I don’t remember your name, who says after he cleaned his GF alignment was bad but remembered he’d used 1 hand to move the arm and when he went back and used 2 all was well. Genius! I gave it a try and it worked great! I scored and then cut 1 piece, loaded the next ply in and scored beautifully and then the alignment on the computer was TOTALLY afu. I mean, not like before, this was off by 1/2" or more. I hadn’t opened the lid or moved the wood or leaned on the keyboard to move the design. So I thoroughly cleaned the lenses again, including the hidden one on the side of the machine, shut of the computer again, shut off the GF again, waited about an hour and tried again. Still not lining up by a lot. Changed computers even loaded Chrome on my computer to try that and nothing changed. So flipped board over and tried it that way. I thought I had it lined up but when it cut it was off about 1/8"+. Not sure if I can use the piece but hope I can make it work somehow. I have 2 more to do and I’m scared to start.

So…any advice on what is going on here? Anything I should do before attempting the next 2? Why would it do excellent on a score/cut on one piece and a score on another piece and then fall completely out of alignment?

I’d appreciate any advice out there to help me get thru these 2 pieces. They are also score then cut projects on plywood. After that I can figure out some way to make the machine work better.

I think we are going to need a picture or two to help us understand what is going wrong.

The main things to check are for cracked wheels or pulley and for belt tension gone awry.


Two thoughts… instead of messing up everything try the smallest one first, then if that works try more. If you have less materials than time, then it is worth more time to save material. If you make the first cuts at 500 speed and 3 power you will not likely make it through the masking but you will see where the the cuts will align.

Or, if you are not already doing so, make sure you use Set Focus before aligning the design to where you want it.


Unfortunately, if you read enough posts on here, you will discover a sizeable number of issues arise after a cleaning. I recommend keeping that very gentle and to the absolute minimum.


Make sure you didn’t twist your belt when you took it off to clean the air assist.


Thanks rbtdanforth that was very helpful! I flipped the board and tried that and was able to place the cut to match the rest and finish the piece. I’ll keep that in mind for the future too.


Hey all, I think I know what happened. I didn’t change anything but nature changed, I think. I can’t remember exactly but I think it got dark during the 2nd piece during the scoring process. I was reading about calibrating late last night and I noticed they said to make sure there’s no light shining on the machine causing a shadow. When it got dark, I closed the curtains and turned on the magnifying lamp, which is something I’ve never done before. I’ve never used a lamp near the machine before. It was near the machine because I used it to see inside while I was cleaning and because the room was darker I just instinctively turned on the lamp. If I remember, it did look like it was not only out of alignment but also shadows? It looked like nothing I’d seen before so I really think that was the problem. I was able to get the piece done this morning and worked on another that finished perfectly. So now I only have 1 more to go. Fingers crossed! Thanks all for your suggestions. I’ll know where to look for problems and how to test a cut the next time I run in to trouble. Thanks!!


Good luck!!!

Hi @axetotem Thank you for the last update, and I wanted to check in and see if you were running into any further trouble with the alignment. It sounds like the advice from fellow owners was able to help, but I wanted to check in before closing this out, and will be happy to continue with any needed troubleshooting. Thank you!

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Well sports fans, the appraiser just left and I was able to cover the damaged ceiling areas just in time. Thanks for all your help in getting the project completed. I’ve uploaded before and after photos so you can see what I did. With a 2 part piece I was able to hide the 90 years of paint buildup design left when the old fixture was replaced by the fan. And the guy who installed the pendant lights said he’d come back and repair the 8" x 4" lathe and plaster damage that happened during that installation but disappeared and never came back to fix it. These aren’t my designs so I’m never happy about posting pictures of things that aren’t completely mine, but I thought I’d do it this time as an example of the Glowforge’s ability to fix a problem and have fun at the same time.

Brandon, thanks for checking in. The community was indeed able to help. I do think it was the light I used and will be more aware of that issue in the future.

Thanks all!



Absolutely gorgeous! That’s thinking on your feet! (And you should consider a career as a decorator!) :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Indeed. Nice repair camouflage.

I really like the fan though. Who makes it?


Jules, thanks. Coming from you that means a lot to me!

Jamesdhatch, it’s a ParrotUncle. I’ve seen it on Overstock, Amazon and Ebay. There’s no name for the style which makes it difficult to search for. PM me and I’ll send a link if you can’t find it. Not sure if I can put it in a thread publicly. Just so you know, the fan is super cool but the light is really bad. It’s that blinding bright white led color and you can’t dim it. I only use it when I need a really bright light. But if all you want is a fan with an occasional bright light, it’s great.

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Found it on Overstock. Thanks :slight_smile:

Didn’t even realize it had a light - just liked the wavy blades & cage effect.


I really love that fan too! Going to search myself. My daughter needs a new one for her room and I think she might like this one.

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Just FYI, it is about $300 cheaper on Amazon.


Thanks. I took a quick look there but didn’t see the same model. I’ll go back and look now.

You have opened a whole new world to me - I don’t need a Fandelier but now I want a Fandelier! Plus protected fans are FTW


I did not find it. The one from the company direct and through Amazon were both Yipes!

Excellent news @axetotem I’m glad you resolved it! Thank you for updating my colleague Brandon.

I’m going to close this thread. If you run into any other trouble, please start a new topic, or email us at We’re here to help!