Alignment issues?

So does anyone else have issues with the alignment of what shows up in the software versus how things actually cut?
I’ve experimented with this constantly and it seems that I can not come up with an absolute registration point to use, that aligns with what I see on the screen in the Glowforge software. After I make a cut, if I want to go over the same area again, I know that the screen is deceiving, in that it appears as if there is misalignment, however as long as I don’t move the part in the bed or on the screen it will cut in the same place. However even with the addition of a calibrated rule in the bed, there is no guarantee that the cut will be where it’s placed.
Just wondering if anyone else has this problem and if so, how you dealt with it.


Yes, we do. Because of the slight variance due to the fisheye effect, if you want to add something to an item that you just cut out, align the addition to the pink design preview on the screen, not to the actual cut that you can see behind it in the wood.

As far as placement alignment being out of whack, that can be up to 1/4" at the edges of the bed, and is better (due to less distortion) right underneath the lid camera. There is an algorithm that corrects for that for each machine individually. (Still under development.) To reduce the effect, you always want to make sure the material is flat, and that you have the correct thickness entered. And if you can place the object under the lid camera there will be a lot less distortion in placement.

It’s also a good idea (for now) to leave about 1/4" leeway when you do the visual placement at the far edges and cutout areas on the material.

And if you need to use up a tight spot, just run a score on the masking at 2% power and 500 speed and you’ll see where it will hit and can make adjustments. (Shouldn’t burn through the masking with those settings.)

As far as alignment of the various design elements in relation to each other, those are always perfect if you include them in the same SVG file, so creating them in advance of the print is usually the best idea of all. That relationship makes the use of jigs a great way to go.

Tutorial and explanation here:


Or, y’know, this:


Ehhh… that’s not helpful.


Weird the context limited the results. Fixed.

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