Alignment Issue On Second Replacement GlowForge

I just received my second replacement GlowForge and I’m really becoming super frustrated. This is my 3rd unit in just over a month and this one has some kind of alignment issue now too…When placing objects on the bed image, the actual cut is way off. I’m hoping this can be fixed somehow. I’ve cleaned the camera lens, rebooted multiple times…but the issue persists. I don’t know what to do at this point, other than ask for a replacement if they can’t fix it remotely. Maybe it’s time to send it back and just ask for a refund and say “Thanks, but no thanks” I have customers looking for their product and I’ve hyped up my designs and now I can’t deliver. This is super frustrating. OR, is it simply just how it is near the edges of the bed?

If absolute dead-center vertical and horizontal alignment is necessary, then you’ll want to set up a jig and a file that uses absolute positioning. The current specs, and that were mentioned in the original link you clicked to agree to receive your machine, are that the machine may be off up to 1/4" from the camera display, especially as you begin to near the edges.

I can’t see how far off your cut is because the rulers are not clear, but it looks to be within or at 1/4", no?


Unfortunately, that looks like it is within the 1/4" specs at the moment.

But you can work around it easily.

If you create a jig, you can work around the alignment issues now.

All you have to do is create a file that has a rectangle the same size as your tag, align the artwork inside of that rectangle in the same file and give it a different color than the rectangle.

Save it as an SVG file, take the whole thing into the Glowforge interface, set the logo to Ignore, and cut the rectangle out of a sheet of scrap cardboard that you have taped down so that it does not move.

Then remove the cutout(s), drop in the dogtags, and without changing anything or moving anything on the screen (even if it looks like it is off), set the cuts to Ignore and set the Engraves to process.

It’s a two step process that works with 100% accuracy as long as you don’t move the material or shift anything on the screen once you cut out the holes in the jig.

There’s a tutorial on it here:


Here is an engraving directly under the camera. It’s definitely off. The machine I replaced wasn’t having this issue.

I assume those are anodized aluminum blanks?

The camera is extremely sensitive to having an accurate height entered for non-proofgrade materials. Are you measuring with calipers and inputting an accurate material height?

I recorded this a little bit back on my machine - this is the difference that just 1/32" can make in the camera placement accuracy, and shows the need for inputting an exactly accurate material height.


Yep. And now I’m getting some error in the browser that I can’t get rid of…going to reboot now.

I have the same problem. Mine seems to be off by about 1/8 inch to the right even with PG. However, it is consistently off by that. I can run multiple engrave paths over the exact same position as long as I don’t move anything. The cardboard jig method mentioned by Jules should work and I’ll try it when I’m ready to do engraving of existing objects.

However, this is a pretty big frustration for me too and I’m just playing as a hobby.

Rebooting everything still has no effect. I have a set of slate coasters I need to make for a customer, so I decided to do that instead of the dogtags. When I went to line up the artwork on the slate after putting in the correct thickness, I engraved it without much alignment issue. I did notice that when the print head scans the dogtag with the red laser, it hits the very top of the piece instead of the center…sometimes it hits the crumb tray instead of the piece…I’m wondering if that has something to do with it?

I really do understand the frustration this issue causes, having dealt with it since last April, and I’m reasonably certain that Support is aware of the issue. From the acceptance email…


At this time, no amount of rebooting or wiping is going to zero out the alignment residuals. Jigs, as described above, really do work and are the most constructive way to move forward until the software is 100%.

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You might find this interesting re: slate alignment, if you haven’t read it yet.
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I’ve had that happen and found it didn’t affect anything at all. Which makes me wonder if it’s actually serving some purpose at this time.

Thank you @Jules, @dwardio, @jbmanning5 for that information!

I’m so sorry your prints are not showing up quite where you expect.

The software on your Glowforge is responsible for ensuring that the print lands on the material in the same place as the preview. When you’re done with a print, let a new image load. If the print appears on screen far from where it was supposed to go, you may have an alignment problem.

Most alignment problems come from the material being closer or farther from the camera than expected. While the software is still improving and you can expect to see an offset up to about 1/4", you can take these steps for the most accurate alignment results:

  • Use Proofgrade™ materials.
  • If you don’t use Proofgrade materials, use a precision set of calipers to measure your material, and enter the thickness in the “uncertified materials” dialog.
  • Use material that is not warped or tilted.
  • Place your design near the center of the bed.
  • Clean the area underneath your crumb tray, particularly the four indentations on the floor.
  • Reboot the machine. Alignment can drift over time, particularly if you bump the head of your Glowforge while removing material.

Should you finish all of these steps, and find that you have an alignment error of more than 1/4", please contact us so we can investigate.

It looks like your Glowforge is performing within the range of accuracy that we expect right now. Most importantly, that means that as we make improvements to the software, I expect you to see much better alignment.