Alignment/focus issues

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?

I have been running a couple of experiments. I saved a setting and it included manual height that is pretty far off of the actual. I did not use set focus. When I hit print, after processing, the screen image changed and the cut used the manual height. The resulting cut line was very wide compared to when auto focus was used.

To help other people that might have the same problem with focus issues and presets, can you state whether or not your presets had manual height settings?

No I didn’t use manual height adjustment this was auto focus only.

I set the piece in the machine then auto focus so that my artwork is centered then put in my carve settings and save. This is on the first piece.

The presets shouldn’t be saving the material height just the cut settings or at least that’s what I would think since even the same material could be off by a hair one way or the other.

If the presets are saving the material height then I would think auto focus would over ride that.

Anyway if it’s by design then instructions need to be put out there by glowforge on how this works. If it isn’t by design which I assume it isn’t then it needs fixed. I looked around a bit and I’m not the first person to find this massive flaw there are a few very in-depth explanations on YouTube.

You are right that you are not the only person experiencing this. If you toggle manual height on and enter a setting, it overrides auto focus. This makes it possible to do defocused engraves and scores. I am just trying to understand the issue so I saved some settings with manual heights and they saved with the settings. I will continue researching as time permits.


I am using auto focus not manual I’m confused what your saying.

I get you can do defocused burns but that information shouldn’t be saved in the presets. At least not in my opinion. I can with no wood in the machine do no auto focus and not manually put in the wood thickness I can still set my presets if I want.

If the presets are supposed to be tied to the material thickness then why not have that information in the preset that you can set there? Or at minimum have it indicated that whatever the material thickness is be it autofocus or manually set that will be in the preset.

I still say it’s a mistake it’s tied together somehow making the presets worthless for me anyway.

I’m just glad I know now and can just skit the presets.

Oh no, I’m sorry to hear about the trouble with your recent prints.

Thank you so much for including all of the troubleshooting steps you’ve performed to help narrow down the cause of the trouble.

We’re seeing this too, and our team is currently investigating the circumstances around this trouble.

We’ll update you as soon as we have more information.

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Thank you for your patience. Unfortunately our team doesn’t have additional information at this time, but I wanted to let you know that we haven’t forgotten about you and we’re still looking into the issue.

Thank you.

If you don’t mind when it is resolved could you reply to this topic so I don’t miss it?

In the mean time I have everything running semi smooth by just not using any presets and manually inputting settings each time.