Alignment with different steps

We all know that alignment is a hot topic here but this is something abnormal - at least to me.

Last night we were running a job that had a bunch of small engraved circle that were then cut out. The engraving is concentric so it makes it very apparent if the alignment is off because the circles will have different boarders. The engrave step is set to run before the cut. When the glowforge cut them out they were misaligned a tiny amount - were talking maybe 1/64" (0.5 mm) +/-

The part that’s really weird to me is that it’s all within the same file so it shouldn’t matter if the whole cut jumps a bit. It’s like something happened between the engraving step and cutting step. No one or nothing was near it when it switched from engrave to cut so I don’t think it got bumped and the material was magneted in place. We ran it again and it seemed to be a little better but it was a waste of material and 30 mins of engraving. We also reviewed the file and nothing is out of order with it.

It’s not something I really documented so that’s why I’m posting it here and not support. Has anyone else had anything similar happen? any ideas how to prevent this? does the software struggle with lots of small steps?

What settings did your various steps use? Can you upload a pic of the final result? Can you upload the original art?

There have been cases where belts have slipped. Check the tension. There are posts about how to do it.

Check the tracks for debris. Gently move the gantry and head while the unit is powered off. Any undue friction or rough spots?

There have been cases where high speed operations caused the alignment to miss that were apparently not slippage but more motor steps being lost (in theory. It was never explained).

More info might help us narrow it down but this is all I have at this point.

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Post I referred to:

I remember reading that thread some time ago. I could definitely be belt slippage / track debris. It is due for a clean - maybe I’ll do that tonight and check all the belts / tracks. It almost makes me think there was some rounding error because the designs are so small.

Unfortunately I can’t upload anything - I’m all for information sharing but it is a proprietary product we sell. As far as settings; they are tried and true for a non proofgrade hard maple, we’ve made thousands of cuts at these settings on consistent materials - engrave (900S / 35P / 450 LPI) cut (250S / 100P). Sorry I can’t share more, mainly just curious what others have experienced.

That info is helpful - we will try breaking it down into smaller steps - that just starts to limit production capabilities…

That’s why I asked if you can upload it, not if you will :wink: There are plenty of reasons why people don’t have liberty to upload their art, I try to be sensitive to that

The settings question was because I saw less artifacts at lower speeds, that 250 isn’t bad, but I found if I stayed under 200 it was better. In theory whatever issue I found was resolved, I never got firm feedback from GF about thatm though they hinted that it was a bug they discovered and should only affect a few small number of people. If they found the bug, you’d think they quashed it, so you may be experiencing something totally different.

Can you recreate an equivalent scenario that you can share?

I encountered what was absolutely a bug in the head movement routine a long time ago and posted all the details. Dan confirmed the information was forwarded to engineering, so if you can reproduce a software problem, it may at least get on the to-do list.

This was my find:

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Not sure that I can. I gave the glowforge a much needed clean and that mixed with smaller groups as @evansd2 has suggested seems to have solved the issue. I really don’t have the time this time of year to troubleshoot. It’s cheaper to swallow the material and run it in smaller steps. Mainly curious about other peoples experience and best practices.

Also just read through your post. I have had that behavior happen and they ended up replacing my first machine because of it. Do you still have issues with the circles? The speed up is quite alarming when you’re watching it.

I haven’t run any projects that would trigger the circles issue since then. I’m curious, I will do a test later.

I am surprised they replaced your machine. Did that actually fix it? My intuition is that it was a software problem.

Whatever it was, it was clearly, obviously wrong behavior and I was surprised more people didn’t run in to it.

In retrospect it may have provided a hint about the speed potential waiting in our machines…

I think it was a combination of my original machine being one of the first 300 off the production line ( it had the gray crumb tray). and it being so bad on that machine that it wouldn’t even complete the circle or in other cases it was more water drop shaped. But it exhibited the same behavior as yours. When it came to good circles it was fine but bad one it would speed up and be all over the place.

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