Alignment off

Hello Everyone,

For the last week my GF alignment has been progressively getting worse. Now I actually have someone who has paid me to do a job and the end product is bad. I have not used anything other then GF approved wood and acrylic. My files are correct. What is going on? Please see photo of the acrylic cut on top of the print out paper from my computer. So frustrating!!!


I’m confused as to what’s being done here… are you printing out the design and then using the scan function to make the cutout?

Sorry – I was unclear-- I was just trying to show how “off” the cut was from my design. I designed the file in Illustrator ( cake topper ), uploaded the file into the GF and printed on clear acrylic. The print underneath the acrylic cake topper is to just show the difference in what I thought I was printing and what I actually got from the GF. Let me know if I’m still not clear. Thx for your help!

Inkjet prints are not 100% accurate… and it’s a cake topper, so is the 1-2mm difference in height an actual issue?

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I guess I’m not understanding still.

If it’s alignment, the current spec is within 1/4” of where the design is shown on the on screen overlay.

If it’s a size issue, since you mentioned you’re using Illustrator - make sure responsive is not checked when you save your SVG.

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It’s more with the stick part. If the stick angle is off it could be an issue. I guess I thought printing on the GF would have exact results which has not been the case thus far. It printed well at first, and has progressively been off a little here and there, that is why I am concerned. Just trying to figure out if its the machine or something with the app.

Your gantry might be out of square. You can correct that with a set square with the power off.

Could be.

Also - your inkjet printer is going to print the stroke. The Glowforge doesn’t care what the stroke size is - it’s going to use the vector path. So unless you are designing with a stroke that mimics the laser kerf, it’s not going to be exactly the same as your print out.


It appears you just have not aligned the cut acrylic part with the print underneath. The print showing through is at a pretty consistent angle through the entire design.

Try aligning points at the top-center and bottom center, with the print, and see how it lays out.

Just remember that inkjet prints have their scaling issues too, and if the design has any stroke width applied in the design software, that will also show up in the printed version and make it slightly offset from the laser cut version.

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Oh!! Thank you!! Do you happen to have any instructions on how to do that or where I can find instructions? Thank you!

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Widening that stick part might take care of the problem. Looks like it might have sprung free from tension when it was removed from the backing material.

You might also try rotating the whole thing 90° when cutting it to run in the direction of the tension. There might be less deformation.

I know thin acrylic cuts flex slightly, is warping ever an issue as a result of heat application to long skinny shapes? Perhaps it was removed too quickly and it set in that shape?

Don’t know, but that might be a function of the material you are trying to work with. Widening the stick should help.


I think it’s a combination of a few factors. I think it’s a bit of warp. And not comparing apples to apples. Whatever is being printed is being printed with a fill and possibly a stroke. Whatever is being cut is being cut with either a stroke or a fill shape converted to a stroke cut.

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There could be some material warp but it would happen throughout the upper/middle section of the design where there are more cuts (thus more heat) and they’re closer together at the thinner sections holding the design together.

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If you’re cutting thin parts like that in acrylic, you should expect some warp post lasering. The heat is going to build up stress in the material and it’ will warp just based on the fact that some areas will cool down faster than others. I’ve had acrylic pieces warp as much as a full cm after cutting. They don’t come close to fitting back in the hole they were cut from. The thinner the parts, the more you’ll have to deal with that. I’m not saying this is absolutely the problem. Your gantry may be out of square but, it’s something to be aware of.


Thanks for your help, @palmercr.

@jen, can you follow the instructions and let us know how it goes?

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It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email