Camera aberration

I’ve had my glowforge for over a year now. When I got it, I noticed the camera image and the object placement in the web app did not line up. I was very understanding, knowing the software was probably still in beta. Its going on over a year now with no change. This is ridiculous. I’m a software engineer with a degree in physics. Give me the code. I’ll write a calibration function to fix the field curvature.


We’d like to have you try a few troubleshooting steps for us:

  1. Turn off your Glowforge.
  2. 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.
  1. 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.

  2. Turn your Glowforge back on.

  3. We included an extra piece of Proofgrade Draftboard with your materials shipment for troubleshooting. Place the Proofgrade Draftboard in the center of the bed and print the Gift of Good Measure using the default settings.

  4. When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture updates. 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.

  5. Post the screenshot along with the date and time of the print, and we’ll investigate.

There’s only 21 million software engineers Worldwide, you think you’re the magic one that can crack it? They’re hiring!


It’s not a question of cracking, I think. Because it’s so wide-angle, and because of the way the image has to be digitally “flattened”, the camera’s position calibration is very sensitive to even the smallest change in its position. The camera is attached to the lid, which is a separate component that moves. No two printers are going to be exactly the same, and no printer is going to stay perfectly calibrated forever.

I’m just guessing, but I expect that when you send them a picture, they calculate the error and send a correction to your printer to recalibrate it.

The GFUI could easily accommodate a control panel function to let the end user do this. Left/right/up/down arrows on the keyboard would be all you’d need. Run a print and then use the arrows to move the image in the GFUI until it’s aligned with the artwork, then click save.

I have a SLA 3D printer that I need to take apart every once in a while and clean the optics (they haze over time and the printer stops working). The laser system is very sensitive to mechanical alignment and that alignment changes every time I take apart and reassemble the optics block. Happily, the manufacturer provides a feature in the UI to adjust the calibration. You make a test print, measure where it is on the build plate, enter a few numbers in the UI and everything is realigned again.


The 1/4" inch variation between the GFUI lid image and the graphic file placement and resulting operations still persists. You are correct. At the moment it seems that the accuracy of the placement for a machine is pretty much stuck at shipping.

They have improved things, but there is room to go. Expected accuracy of the camera placement routine does not match always the reality.

I am curious as to what are the difficulties that are preventing improvement. Is it a software problem only? As @rpegg recently said, using sensors to generate accuracy is a well-understood problem in many situations (cockpits of fighter jets as I recall.) What are the problems?

Never hurts to state your expectations. Hard to manage them with little information.

Having the opportunity to do a field recalibration would be super.

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Sensors cost money and add complexity and reduce reliability. The US military doesn’t care how much it costs if it provides them with an edge. Buyers of consumer products like a GF are often very cost-conscious. At least, I was. :slight_smile:

But it doesn’t seem to me it’d be all that much work to give users the ability to tweak the offset locally vs. having to do a cut you’re just going to throw away, so you can send GF a picture, so they can do it remotely… Hmmm, GF?

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