Camera Alignment Not Holding

Hello. I moved my Glowforge and worked through the camera calibration after the move and was thrilled that things were spot on with the test pattern in the upper left and center.

However, when I tried testing to the lower right, it was off by quite a bit. My thought was that perhaps the right side would always be off, but now when I test back near where things were spot on they are off as much as the right side. It seems like the calibration isn’t holding or somehow printing to the right side is breaking it.

Anyone had this issue? Suggestions to fix?

Thanks for any help.

  • Alice
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There is always going to be what appears to be distortion at the outer edges of the bed (fisheye effect from the lid camera).

The way to correct out at the outside edges is to use the Set Focus tool there (where the design is sitting) and then it corrects that distortion in that spot. If you use Set Focus in a different spot, it will correct the distortion there, and other apparent alignment will change.

If you’re looking for accurate placement - either use Set Focus right before you place the design, in the spot where the design is located, or place the design and material underneath the lid camera.

(It’s okay to run the Calibration again too.)

Thanks. I understand about the fish eye lens and am used to adjusting for that.

The issue is that upon finishing calibration things were spot on at the top left and center, but as soon as I test printed to the right side all of that went out of wack. If I print again near the first two prints that were spot on, they are now off as much as the right side. This includes in the center under the camera. This is all within the same test session.

I’ve used set focus for each test print and this is the second time I’ve run the calibration. Same issue. Perfect until I print to the right side, then everywhere is offset.

Does that make sense?

I’ll try it a third time, but am running out of draft board :slight_smile: but maybe third time will be the charm.

  • Alice

Just put a new sheet of masking over the previous one.

That said, calibration doesn’t “shift” unless the machine is twisted.

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Yes, once you pick a new spot to use Set Focus on, everything else is going to shift a little.

Just want to make sure you understand what is happening…when you use Set Focus in one spot, it temporarily transforms that area into a “directly under the lid camera” view. So you can place whatever design you have in that spot accurately.

In order to place the stuff on the other side, you use Set Focus there, and it will give you an “under the lid camera view” in that spot. You place that design, but then all of the other ones are going to look like they shifted. They did not actually shift, just the image on the computer screen changed. (It is generated by an algorithm - the actual shot captured by the lid camera is HUGE and very warped. The Glowforge interface corrects that view for us and sends the image back to our computers.) Where the actual engraving is going to happen on the material on the bed (which is what is important) does not change. (Even if the view of it does on the screen.)

This is what they see:


They will convert that using the algorithm into what you see on the interface. The trick is to use Set Focus if you need accurate placement out at the edges of the bed, place your design, and then ignore it when the rest of the view shifts.

(Might be more than you needed to know, but I’m not sure how far of a shift you’re talking about.)

The view also always resets after a job is run. That might be what you are seeing.

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I wonder if they have ever used multiple cameras (1 in center and 1 in each quadrant), then stitched the images together for a distortion free image?? :thinking: :thinking: :thinking: :thinking: :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:

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One of their competitors does that panoramic stitching. (Not sure which is better from a placement standpoint, but once I got used to this, it’s been fine. I can nail placement to within a hairs width. They really have improved the algorithm over the years.)

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I didn’t know there were any… seriously! It would have to be really darn nice and half the price to get me to switch.

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More expensive, Basic only, and no goodies like Passthrough. (Muse 3D.) They just beat out the Glowie on delivery, and they have a rotary add-on I think, but I was never interested. (Also a couple of Asian knockoffs I believe.)

I would like a rotary attachment and may modify my current model if I ever buy another.

There has been some earlier work on a manual rotary device for it by a few of the guys…you might want to check that out…

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@taylor.a.jenkins designed and built a rather ingenious tray that allowed for some rotary work.


I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve hit this snag, and I apologize for the material you’ve hit the snag with. I’ve extracted the log files from your Glowforge to review your most recent prints, and I’d like to take a look at a specific print, on the far right side of the bed.

When you have a moment, could you please follow these instructions?:

  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 on the far right side of the material, 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.
  • 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 type “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.
  1. Send us the screenshot along with the date and time of the print, and we’ll investigate.

Once the print completes, please let us know. We’ll review the log files, and send over the next best steps.

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Monday, August 10, approximately 8:03am Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)

Followed the steps outlined. Screen shots included of the full bed after printing and zoomed in on the print area.

I appreciate any information on follow up steps to take.

  • Alice

Thank you for working through those steps. I’ve extracted the log files from your Glowforge to review this print.

We’ve made a small change on our side. When you have a moment, could you please reboot your Glowforge, and perform another Gift of Good Measure print? Please utilize Set Focus during the print, and send over a screenshot similar to the one you previously posted.

Let us know how it goes! Once we can review this screenshot, we’ll send over the next best steps.

Hello. Upon first try printing to the right side using set focus I had the same result - quite an offset.

I then moved the print to the middle of the sheet, directly under the camera and got the same offset.

Rebooted the Glowforge, again, and tried printing in the middle above where I had just printed - lovely alignment.

Printed to the left side, using the set focus - lovely alignment.

Tried the right side again with set focus - lovely alignment.

So perhaps things are all fixed now? On to some projects!

  • Alice io

Thank you for updating us! I’m going to close this thread - if the problem reoccurs, go ahead and post a new topic. Thanks for letting us know about this!