Blurry camera giving problems with trace function 2

Hi! Since my previous topic got shut down very quickly after a staff-member replied I am opening a new one since I don’t feel I’m done discussing the issue of my camera-blurrynes. Previous (closed) topic can be found here.

As stated in the previous topic, my camera is blurry (always have been but it has been gradually becoming worse) and this is preventing me from using the trace function. I contacted glowforge about this and they state that this problem is outside of the warranty (I have my GF basic a year and 2 months) and that I have to pay them approx $1000,- so they can have a look at it, but they are not sure they can solve it. Since this is obviously an outrageous amount of money compared to the cost of the thing itself (almost half :scream:) and they do not even know if they can fix it at all, I prefer to fix this problem myself if possible. Did anyone have similar problems, and how did you fix it? My camera is fixed, turning it is therefore not an option unless I know how to unfix it.

Thanks in advance!

Hello! This section of the forum has different guidelines than the rest:

It sounds like you got help from our support team already. Would you like this moved to Everything Else so you can leave it open for community discussion?

Sorry! Yes please :slight_smile:

No way for the user to adjust focus without risking breaking the camera itself. Then you would be screwed. The early machines had lens that weren’t glued down and could accidentally turn during cleaning. Lots of folks accidentally did that or intentionally turned their lens to get better focus. Often with worse results. All of the production units have glued lens.

All of the cameras are blurry to some degree. Some blurriness is unavoidable given the placement of the camera and fisheye lens. If the image you posted was in the center then yes, yours is worse than normal but not bad enough to stop the unit from calibrating on startup. If the image was not in the center but nearer the edges then that’s normal. Either way, breaking the camera on an optically operated machine would ensure that your unit becomes a brick.


Thanks for your reply! Unfortunately the picture was taken dead-center. The trace functonality is useless for me now because of this, but I agree a brick will have far less functionality :stuck_out_tongue:

I wonder if you could get a little better tracing results if you propped the image up a little higher, or removed the crumb tray and prepped the image a little lower to see if the focus is better at a different distance. The only issue might be that the traced image might be off a bit in size when you went to use it on different material.


This is probably not what you want to hear…

My take on trace is that it’s a toy, if you want good results you should scan or photograph and import into your art. It’s really the only way to be sure.

It’s extra steps, absolutely, but once you get your workflow dialed in it’s a fast process, and you’ll get far better results than trace ever will — even if it works as well as it can.

Like say your focus was perfect, the GF still has a serious fisheye and will subject your art to dewarping routines, which will distort it to some degree. That alone is a dealbreaker for me. And of your art isn’t totally flat, forget it, even worse.

Anyway. I hope you get it worked out and find a flow that suits you. Trace just isn’t it for me.


Working with other software indeed is my backup plan. I wanted to use trace in a workshop environment mainly because it’s quick and people can really see what’s happening! It add’s a bit of experience, even though the results might not be 100%.

Good one! Going to try that ASAP

I’m with you on this. I can clean up art work much better and easier if I just scan it in to my computer than if I use the trace function. Only time I’ve really used it is in the very beginning when I was starting to learn how stuff works. And, perhaps occasionally when a young grandchild just wants to do something unrefined spur of the moment.

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I used scan for the first time in 20 months of ownership a couple of weeks ago at maker faire to let people customize some little giveaways.

It has its uses, but they are definitely limited. Even taking a picture with your phone and adjusting in a photo editor on your phone will give you a cleaner result.


I’m going to give it a go! How do you edit your scan? I’m having trouble getting it cleaned up nice so only the black ink is going to engrave, also to get it in the right size!

are you talking about using the trace function or taking a photo with your phone?

if the scan function, holding holding down the CTRL or CMD key and clicking the down arrow on the keyboard increases what gets picked up in the trace. the up arrow reduces noise and stray marks.

you may find there isn’t a great middle ground. a couple of times, i used my phone, edited the image a little in lightroom on my phone, and sent it to myself to place in the GFUI. the trace function is a little limited in fine tuning.

for size, you just have to resize with the handles on the object when it’s selected.

Think you can also command-shift up/down. But, I’m not entirely sure what the difference is.

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