Calibration consistently about a half inch off to the right

Day one, last Wednesday, I believe everything was aligned, but my excitement with it, who knows… Every day since (the last 5 days) the layout seems to be about 1/2 inch off. I’ve moved the laser head to the center before turning on, I’ve made sure lights were off overhead. Not sure what to do. But I can’t trust alignment, particularly on small objects. Any help?


Is this proofgrade & proofgrade settings?


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Open the front of the machine (front part that has the word Glowforge on it drops down when the lid is open) and check to make sure that the feet of the tray are all the way down in the dimples. Move it back and forth and you’ll feel it.

The rounded handle of the tray should disappear into the indentation in the door when the tray is correctly seated. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks, they are definitely seated in the dimples. Double checked, took it out, put it back.

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Good. That’s one possible eliminated. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks @Jules for great advice.

The software on your Glowforge is responsible for ensuring that the print lands on the material in the same place as the preview. When you’re done with a print, let a new image load. If the print appears on screen far from where it was supposed to go, you may have an alignment problem.

  • Most alignment problems come from the material being closer or farther from the camera than expected. While the software is still improving, you can take these steps for the most accurate alignment results:
  • Use Proofgrade™ materials.
  • If you don’t use Proofgrade materials, use a precision set of calipers to measure your material, and enter the thickness in the “uncertified materials” dialog.
  • Use material that is not warped or tilted.
  • Place your design near the center of the bed.
  • Clean the area underneath your crumb tray, particularly the four indentations on the floor.
  • Reboot the machine. Alignment can drift over time, particularly if you bump the head of your Glowforge while removing material.

Should you finish all of these steps, and find that you have an alignment error of more than 1/4", please contact us so we can investigate.

It’s still happening consistently. It’s 3/8” off to the right. I can’t plan for perfect alignment. It has nothing to do with thickness or proofgrade or not. What I align in software on screen is not what prints.


Since we know the placement software is still slightly off at the outer reaches of the bed, we’ve been using the method discussed below to get good alignment on anything that we are also cutting out. (Until they finish tweaking the visual alignment.)

Had you seen this? (Comes in really handy when you need perfect alignment between the elements of a design.)

You can use that method to cut a jig out of cardboard to place the object in, and then engrave away, it’s going to align perfectly. (Works really well if you have something that you just want to add engraving to. If you are cutting and engraving in the same file, all you have to do is make sure the outermost cutlines fall on the material, so stay a bit away from the edges of holes.)

This only explains how to align things in illustrator. I know illustrator. That’s not the issue. I just can’t trust where the output on the GF is going to be. #TrustIssues

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I’m sorry for my slow response here @monosyth! Would you do a little more testing for us, please to help us see what you’re seeing?

  • Turn off your Glowforge.
  • Check for small pieces of debris or dust.
    • Check the lower door to make sure it closes all the way. It may require some force to open, but open it, wipe any dust off the edges, and close it all the way.
    • Remove the tray and clean any dust or debris from the surface underneath. Pay careful attention to remove all debris from the four dimples where the tray rests.
    • Check the lid to make sure it closes all the way. Small particles of material, such as dust or debris, can prevent it from closing completely.
  • Check the surface your Glowforge is on to make sure it’s flat. Ensure it is not twisted slightly and that there is no debris propping up one side of the machine.
    • Making sure the surface is flat assists with the lid closing easily. If your unit’s door doesn’t close easily, try inserting a spacer - for example 20 sheets of copy paper - under the center of the printer. If that doesn’t help, try moving the spacer to either edge.
  • Turn your Glowforge back on.
  • We included an extra piece of Proofgrade Draftboard with your materials shipment for troubleshooting. Place Proofgrade Draftboard in the center of the bed and print the Gift of Good Measure using the default settings.
  • When the print finishes, without moving your artwork or your material, take a screenshot of the workspace to show us the difference between the artwork placement and the actual print placement. Make sure to include the rulers in your screenshot and show as much of the bed as possible.
    • Mac: Press Shift-Command-4 and click and drag a box around your image. You’ll find the screenshot file saved on your desktop.
    • Windows: Click on the Start Menu and search for the Snipping Tool. Open the Snipping Tool > New then click and drag a box around your image. Click the Save icon and name and save your file.
  • Post the screenshot along with the date and time of the print, and we’ll follow up.

The laser lens was dirty on the side of the head. Cleaned it and i think it’s fixed. Everything was aligned today!

I am delighted to hear that!

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