Alignment/focus issues

I’ve had to run the camera calibration program 3 times in the last 2 weeks is this normal?

First time I noticed my cuts weren’t going threw the same wood same settings same pattern. So I ran the calibration and all great again. Everything is clean as a whistle but started happening again and the cuts to me and my wife had to bring her into this anyway the cuts and scores look——-well—— a little blurry for lack of a better term they don’t look as crisp. So ran calibration again and again all fixed. Now I’m at it again things don’t look good and my settings won’t make it three the wood I have again same settings same wood same pattern.

I’m gonna assume this calibration will fix it up again but this can’t be normal I’m wasting a board every time I do this not that it’s an expensive board but still a board.

Anything I could be doing wrong? Have made sure the lense is firmly seated the tray is flat wood flat don’t know what else to do.

Support will only help if you use proofgrade material and print the GoGM file (gift of good measure)…which is how they determine any issues that might be going on. They will ask you to supply photos of that.

You can use masking tape over your boards to reuse them for calibration.

Definitely not - you should only need to run the calibration again if you’ve moved your machine to a new surface or something. I think it’s likely that you’ve got dirt or debris hiding, and the fast repetitive motion of the calibration is shaking it loose for you. Blurry would indicate that you’re not getting the correct focus. Are you using Set Focus before every job? Not cutting through can also be a focus issue, but most frequently it’s the mirror under the left edge of the machine - it gets missed a lot.

So instead of calibration, run the Gift of Good Measure (in your dashboard) on a piece of PG material and if there are any issues post the time you ran it, and photos of the front and back. If there aren’t any issues, then it’s not the machine - but possibly something in your art - post that info then :slight_smile:

We, or they, will get you sorted!


Are you using “Set Focus”?

Appreciate the help I’ll keep messing with it. As far as clean it’s a diamond at this point mainly because of this have cleaned the living tar out of it. Just has me perplexed.

At this point I’m just going to do what I hate and go with higher cut threw settings for whatever reason if I over power the cuts it seems to clean them up a small amount

Be careful with the excess cleaning. Many, many complaints on here begin with “I just did a deep clean and now my GF won’t work”.


As stated above, lid camera calibration is not something to be done often - I have done it once since it was introduced long ago.

Can you share a photo of the cut/scores that have the blurry lines you describe? This is not something that the lid camera has any influence over. The lid camera helps align artwork, but the set focus is what influences the material height for focus/cut issues.

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Have you moved your GF recently? The case is a bit flexy, so any shifting, rolling around to a different spot (my table is on wheels), moving to another table usually means I need to recalibrate for best results.

The score is a double line so it’s a bit hard to get a good reading on a photo but it’s always been crisp and clean and the cuts are wide and sooty in my opinion.

I get you can have a bad board or hit a filled spot on a board but this has been way to regular and all over several boards.

I gave up for the day I’ll start with fresh eyes tomorrow.

Make sure you lens isn’t in upside down - the cup side should go into the head.

As already suggested, confirm the lens is properly oriented. The cut lines are too thick. Also what material is this? Your focus could be off or your speed too slow.

This sounds oddly similar to my issue. See my findings here: Not cutting certain designs - #4 by seanchu88

TL;DR: Auto-Focus laser lens had accumulated smoke/dust INSIDE of the lens which could not be cleaned out directly. Using manual material height resolved the issue. Also using compressed air got a majority of the dust out but not the smoke residue so I can still using Auto-Focus but not reliably.

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I’m gonna try setting the height manually like you did

If the speed is to slow wouldn’t it basically be cutting to far threw for lack of a better term? I’m not cutting threw at all using settings I’ve used over and over.

I have a feeling it’s the focus so I’m gonna try manually putting in the material thickness and doing a test cut alongside a focus test cut and see if it changes or not. It’s the only thing at this point I can come up with that something is not allowing the machine to focus properly and thus throwing off the material height. I wish there was a way to know what height the auto focus was determining the wood to be.

Question with proof grade material it reads the code to determine the material in the machine. Does that also auto put in the material thickness? If it does there is no reason to use the focus correct? I’m trying to remember the steps I’ve taken when using proof grade. I don’t remember using the focus.

Regardless I’m going to be a bit more scientific I guess tomorrow and see if I can’t figure it out.

With Proofgrade, the auto focus is engaged, I believe. Don’t confuse set focus with auto focus. The set focus focuses the lid camera to facilitate design placement. The auto focus is used by the machine for focus height.

I’m still new only had it maybe 3 months but are you sure on that?

I ask because when you set focus it over rides the material thickness that you might have put in and while I haven’t used a lot of proof grade and it’s been awhile AND I’m going from memory I don’t recall using the set focus when starting a carve nor setting the material thickness. So choosing “set focus” from the menu at least for me seems to set the focus placement and the material thickness.

If I’m wrong then this is most likely my issue I had read you are better off using set focus than manually choosing material thickness.

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You are correct. The set focus sets the height for that particular point of the material and is used for the focus height. Setting a manual height with the toggle set to manual overrides auto. I guess the confusion could be that if you select an uncertified material, you can set the thickness.You can also toggle height to manual for operations within the job and override auto focus.

Glowforge explains it best: Alignment – Glowforge

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Ok well found the issue and it ISNT ME OR MY MACHINE. Little bit peved off. I wasted 3 proof grade boards and 5 of my boards trying to narrow this down.

I am including a couple photos or a video to explain.

So this board is a board I already ruined so I used it for the test.

It is 1/16th plywood my settings are 180 full power.

The circle on the left is a preset I have for 180 full power. The circle on the right I manually put in 180 full power. They were cut at the same time both of them I used auto focus and did not input the material thickness.

As you can see the circle on the left looks charred and the cut is thick like the laser didn’t focus correctly and thought the material was I don’t know a half inch thick or something. The cut does not come close to going threw either probably because it wasn’t focused.

Also in case anyone questions the material is perfectly flat or as flat as wood is capable of being there are no knots and I’ve tried this a couple times not in different locations just in case as some say you hit filler. Well if it’s filler the entire board is full of filler except the tiny circle that I manually inputted my settings.

As far as support not helping if it’s not proof grade material well it’s not going to replete with proof grade because that’s not using the same user presets.

So the problem is the preset? I use presets but don’t experience this. What happens if you set manually and save as a differently names preset? When you click on the preset, does the flyout show the settings you think it should be? Is it possible there is a manual height set in the old preset?