Alignment is off, camera image very poor

I’ve run through the alignment and calibration process multiple times now, and the results remain the same – bad! I’m just a hobby level user of the Glowforge, gifts, my own art, prototypes, etc. and not production. But this is making it unusable for anything that requires any precision in placement on items.

The image the camera produces is really poor compared to what it used to be. And YES, I very diligently cleaned the camera and lights with a Zeiss wipe. :slight_smile: And I followed the instructions in the alignment calibration process meticulously.

Results can be seen here! Screen Shot 2023-02-26 at 1.26.24 PM | Amy and Scot Leith | Flickr

I have also written into Glowforge, but I have heard their support is not the best in response so I thought I’d try you helpful folks as well. :slight_smile: [Edit: they did respond immediately with the same info on the web site that has led me here. :-/ ]

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Are you familiar with jig techniques? They will give you perfect alignment every time.

Yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing. Print, jig into same position. Reprint.

But I didn’t used to have to do that.

Are you in the habit of using set focus? Often camera alignment issues can be caused by improper material height setting.

If you’re using proofgrade and/or the set focus method generally the height shouldn’t be an issue.

Is your tray properly seated? If the feet aren’t securely in the sockets it will change the height of the tray surface and the camera alignment will be all wonky.


Do you recall anything major that changed, like moving the machine or a particularly dirty run of engraving?


You are right so say the camera is showing a terrible picture. While waiting for Glowforge to get back to you, I suggest taking a picture of the camera lens to provide to Glowforge. Does the set focus still work and the view changes after you click the set focus?


Ditto to what everyone else suggested - plus - check to see that the camera hasn’t gotten unscrewed. It shouldn’t - it’s glued into place at the factor - but there were a few cases where it was loose anyway. If it is, tighten it back up again and see.


OMG. A person in a Glowforge group, where I also posted, suggested “turning the camera.”

Yesterday I unscrewed the camera completely – I didn’t know the lens unscrewed! Cleaned it well on both sides PLUS the inside cavity in the top. Put it back in and… no change. I screwed it in shallow, I screwed it in tight – it changed the focal length of the picture but the quality was still poor. I’d screwed it in so tight I couldn’t move it with my fingers.

Tinkering again this morning, I took a pair of pliars and gently turned it loose a turn or two. Shut the lid and…

MUCH BETTER IMAGE. Not perfect, but GOOD. And the engrave I’d just made for a test was displaying on the camera image closer (not perfect).

I… I… I almost ordered a new laser. LOL. Maybe I should do that anyway… hmmm…



I use Set Focus every time, and I also am pretty serious about keeping the material height in the best range. I measure each placement.

Ah, good for you. The cameras are supposed to be calibrated at the factory and then glued in position. Sounds like yours got loose unfortunately.


I would do some tweaking to the camera - twist it in small increments and then do a “set focus” and see what the results are. Keep doing that until it gets worse again. Then back it off and use a spot of nail polish on the side of the camera housing to lock it in place.


Hot glue works just as well onn this style of camera, and is easily removable if needed. I have used them a lot - primarily back in the early days of radio-control video and picture capture.


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