Alignment issues still post calibration


It won’t “work itself out” - if you want precise placement, you need to use some kind of registration marks - I use small circles set to score, with my project set to ignore. Run the print, then align my project file relative to the registration shapes. It’s not what we expected, but it works just fine…



Blowing the image up to 500% seems to show that the preview post-view and the cut aren’t parallel. I’ve never seen this before – either a fisheye distortion or the head is actually out of line?

I agree with Jules, et al, re giving yourself more room, but since you mention “listing” I thought this might be the issue…



It will eventually improve. Glowforge is making adjustments to the algorithm used to place the images on the screen, but we don’t know when they will finish it and roll it out to everyone. :slightly_smiling_face:

So for now, leaving a little extra space between your cuts is a good idea.

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I’ll roll with giving myself some space, but I do hope that will be fixed soon. I’ll try another alignment later.



Love to see how that works since that seems like a great idea. Any chance you could shoot over a pic of the alignment circles?



There’s a tutorial by @cynd11 in the Matrix:

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Does anyone know if Glowforge has given any recent updates to this issue? I can’t find one. How is it possible to sell the pro units without the ability to do design alignment using the camera? I have seen a couple of references to the software improving and the alignment improving if you clean the feet, but that hasn’t been my experience.

I just performed a thorough and careful cleaning using the instructions

I took over two hours.

Using a piece of Proofgrade Acrylic, the flattest and most regular material I have access to, my test shapes are still cut out ~0.25 inch out of place.

I’m pretty patient and a big Glowforge fan & “founder”, but my disappointment is starting to grow. Am I alone in thinking we should have some progress on this issue? It is still just as bad for everyone else?


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Your alignment is within the currently defined tolerances. (And actually looks considerably better than mine does at the moment.)

I’ve had the advantage of seeing exactly how perfect it can get though, on the PRU unit, so for now, I’m content to patiently wait for them to roll it out to everyone.

And in the interim, I leave a little extra space. It’s not really much of a game changer. They’re not going to tell us about it until it’s ready and has been tested. (It’s just the way they do things, and always have).

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My Pro has a very small, but noticeable amount of skew. A friend of mine has a pretty dramatic skew, which is too bad.



If the image is skewed, that’s because the camera is not “square” to the laser mechanics. This is something I’d expect GF can adjust since the image displayed by the GFUI is already heavily processed to “un-fisheye” it, a little rotation of the image ought to be pretty much implicit to that algorithm.



So, at this point it’s a waiting game?



I made an observation with regard to my Glowforge. This is an observation only and has no testing or empirical data behind it. When I first got it out of the box, the alignment was dead on, and the lid fit perfectly. After several weeks, the lid didn’t fit quite as perfectly and the alignment was a tiny bit off. I am wondering if since the alignment is done on a perfectly flat surface that when you put your Glowforge on a surface with a slight bow or twist that it starts to take the same bow or twist and that affects both the door fit and the alignment. This is where I start to wonder if the long foot idea is a detriment instead of a leveling foot system, but again, just idle thinking about things, no real data behind it. If you have huge alignment issues, it might be worth checking the flatness of your surface and making sure the GF sits square and flat.

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Your alignment is much better than mine as well.



You can do a lot of cool things if you are willing to compensate for the alignment. But etching projects onto already cut materials take a lot of careful setup and extra time and risk ruining the material – all of which is the opposite of what was promised. As a founder, I understand and respect that I was asked for patience, and I give it. My concern is when new ads are being shown showing perfect alignment:


And when new units are being sold “ready to ship” which require perfect alignment (pass-through on PRO is useless without perfect camera alignment), I feel like mine should be perfect, first.



I would stop waiting at this point. The alignment is probably as good as it’s ever going to get with the hardware we have. Some people believe there are mysterious software updates that make the alignment better or worse at random times, but I see no evidence to support that. I think it’s just coincidence. The tolerances of the lid fitment alone make it seem pretty unlikely unless we had the ability to run a recalibration on our own machines once they’ve settled into place.

Regardless of what the future brings, you should make your peace with the Glowforge as it currently operates. The company says anything up to 0.25 inches is acceptable. If your machine is significantly worse than that, they might replace it for you. Otherwise, find a way to work around the visual alignment system by making jigs or running low power test marks or whatever you have to do. If you get your hopes up thinking every day that maybe tomorrow it will work like the ones in the commercials, you’re just adding stress to your life. If it does magically start working as advertised some day, that’s just a bonus.



So, what you are saying is, in my opinion, “make peace with getting screwed” because the banner feature which distinguishes this device (we waited two years for) from something 1/4 the price doesn’t work and never will.

Which I interpret as either “stay silent while other people are also mislead” or “suck it up as other people get something you were promised and didn’t get”

I realize you are saying “just try to be happy” and I respect that opinion, but I disagree. I think we need to hold Glowforge to the standards they say they hold themselves. If we don’t advocate for ourselves and future customers, who will?

This is exactly what I think should happen. It just doesn’t seem to be too hard of an engineering challenge, if each of us was given a calibration object of precise thickness – maybe multiple of varying thickness – with a precise known pattern printed on it. The GF software could use the picture of the object(s) to reverse the fish eye and perfect the alignment. I don’t understand why there isn’t a calibration grid printed on he floor under the crumb tray

If that can’t do it, then new hardware needs to be added – a depth sensor to the modular print head, a better camera to the lid. Whatever it takes to satisfy what was promised.

GF staff does get on the forums every few months to talk about coming improvements, as recently as a few days ago, but a sense of urgency have never really been expressed. IMO the status of the coming improvement (if it exists) should be added to Dan’s monthly message, replacing “when are we going to ship to our backers” as the top issue.



The glass top on my glowforge has gotten increasingly warped over time, though only slightly worse. The fact that it continually changes makes calibrating it through a software fix a constant thing which kind of sucks. This statement below in the April update makes me wonder if glowforge is trying to adjust this in manufacturing.

“We’re changing the glass designs in the next few weeks. It’s a purely cosmetic change, but we don’t plan to ever make units with the original glass again - meaning your first edition Glowforge will forever be an original collector’s item. We wanted you to be the first to know.”

It also makes me want a new top without the warping so that my glowforge could function with alignment.



Sorry, I meant improve on his machine by itself - understand we’re expecting improvements from the mothership…

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