Alignment off with longer prints

Hi all! I’m trying to troubleshoot my Glowforge Pro. I primarily make earrings, but currently, if I put more than a a few rows of earrings, I have alignment issues (substantially off). This is especially true with engraving across the entire print surface.

If I only print a row of earrings at a time, things are fine. I set focus every time, and my camera was recalibrated when the issue started without resolving it.

I cleaned everything again. I just can’t figure out why it’s only not aligning on larger prints, but on a short 10-15 minute print it works fine. Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

The lid camera calibration has no impact on the machine performance. Can you share a photo demonstrating the misalignment. Is it always the same - along the X axis or the Y axis? Does it get progressively worse as a long engrave continues? It is possible a stepper motor is slipping or the belt has stretched. Have you noticed if cuts are distorted as well as engraves?

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This was a print I was working on last night. I’m not sure if you can tell from the photo, but the engrave should be a uniform “u” shape that is cut out above with scalloped edges. The problem is on cuts and engraves. I mostly notice when I have multiple rows. Usually, one row does fine, but if I had 3 or more, it starts being inconsistent. One row might come out perfectly, and then two others might be off. This happens with cutting, too, but the cut is not distorted (like a belt is loose), rather it’s just off to the left slightly. Sometimes they run into each other even though they are set up evenly spaced in the software.

I might try to line some in columns today to see if it happens—to see if I can figure out your axis question. I’m just sick of wasting material and doing really short prints.

I really appreciate your response!!!

I sort of see what you are saying, and it even looks like the design changes as you move toward the right side of the machine. Is the image rasterized or is each individual earring engraving separately? Have you triple checked for cracked wheels?

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It engraves all across the machine. How do I set them up to engrave individually? Maybe that would help! ( I probably should already know this). I also just want the issue fixed, but if it helps in the meantime, that might be beneficial.

I’m going to check my wheels again right now. I could not find any visible damage when looking for the issue, but I’ll look again. Thank you for the advice!!!

I think you are probably better off engraving the entirety of the bed as it is doing now. Sometimes the copy/paste think gets wonky, but it is hard to identify. If you want, I could try engraving the section you showed on cardstock to see if I get the same result.

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Thank you so much for that offer. I’m sure it’s not a file issue because it keeps happening even when I try to complete prints I’ve done previously. It really feels like this machine has a mind of its own. I can’t figure out a consistent issue, other than the more pieces I’m trying to do, the more likely it is to mess up. Today, I have run it for 20 minutes at a time, and just kept moving the files over to reprint to work across the martial. Works like this just fine. I just keep feeling like there is something I’m missing. I used to be able to do an entire sheet and it was perfectly precise across the whole sheet.

First off, I have no idea what the issue is… or if my thought here is related or not. But… a while ago (2021) I had a cutting alignment problem between first and second passes. All sorts of trouble shooting and I worked out that it was because the speed of the rapids (the name for movement between cuts). The quick switching from one position to another was such a tight and short movement that the head became misaligned. It sort of skipped a little. By a much smaller amount than you appear to be getting. There is no way I know of to control the speed of the rapids (which are automatically calculated) but I found two workarounds. First… I get quite specific about the order of cuts using different colours in the design. This seems to have eliminated the issue. After your engraving, is the first cut very close to the end of the engrave? Is there a little jump to the cut? Can you use colours to force the gf to cut on the other side of the sheet first? The other workaround was to rotate the artwork 90 degrees and this makes the gf recalculate the rapids (and for some reason, in every case so far) to be longer distances and I don’t get the sudden jump in alignment. Good luck solving the issue!

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Thank you so much for this information!!! I am willing to try anything to get back up and running (fully!)

I will try to play around with the colors to see if I can get more consistency in the order!!

Thank you!

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