Camera not precise

How can I increase the precision of the camera so my images actually cut where placed? This is about an 1/8-1/4 of an inch issue. Thanks!! :slight_smile:



Up to 1/4” variance is the current spec. This should improve over time. They are working on it.

It’s important to make sure that your material is very flat, or held down flat. Any warp can cause the UI overlay error to increase.

It’s also important to make sure that the tray is locked securely in the “dimples” on the bottom of the case and that they don’t have any debris under them.

The camera and dewarp of the bed image is very sensitive to changes in height which is why those two things can make a difference.


Was the height of the material set correctly? In your first image it looks like it might have been set for a thicker material than what was in the bed.

geek2nurse has the right idea . although this looks to be PG material) and thus, thickness would be set automatically), did you over ride the setting for thickness? That is a sure fired way to have this issue.

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Alas it is a fisheye lens to see the entire bed, and it is most accurate in the middle of the bed, and “distortion” due to the optics of the fisheye lens increases toward the edges. As noted by others, ensuring your material is flat and correct thickness entered helps minimize the shift, but is something have to learn to work around when placing designs. Fortunately when you place multiple copies of a design all are shifted together (relationship to each other stays the same), but gets tricky when placing a design on a board with a lot of cut outs already… keeps notes which way the shift happens on different areas and adjust the placement accordingly.

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Yes it was automatically set by QR code

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What confuses me is the shift in some spots compared to others. I would image the error happening at equal distribution when being sent just once. I wonder if measuring the material and making the copies in the original file prior to placing the image would have an affect on this. I am working with vector PDFs and I am also curious if different file extensions may be more friendly to the system as well. I will play around with it some more when we get back from vacation. Although the material was completely flat, does anchoring also help? Is there a shift happening due to the fumes being sucked out as well with light materials?

Definitely anchor the material–use thin magnets or the hold down pins (pattern is available in the free designs section), since if the material moves at all during the process, the cut will be screwed up.

Another thing that helps is to make sure your Glowforge is on a very flat, very solid surface. If you are able to push down on the edges of the machine or the lid, and anything moves, you might be getting more camera distortion than you have to. I found that shimming one of the corners of my machine made an improvement, back before I got a more solid desk.

But some inaccuracy is unavoidable with the current software. You can rely on the camera for gross placement, but to get it perfect you need to use some of the alignment/jig tricks.

Bottom line, give existing material edges some room for error when placing your image and keep the material flat.

I’m so sorry for the delay!

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.

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.
  • 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.

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 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