Centering larger material

Hello. I want to engrave on an 11.75” round cutting board that is .43” thick. I want to make sure my design is centered. With smaller stuff I have first cut the product dimensions out of cardboard to make a template to lay the product in. What would be the best way to center in this case? Thanks in advance for any help!

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Could you mark out center lightly with pencil to use as a guide? If you add a center mark to your design file you could also use that but then set it to ignore when you print. I would also be sure to use the “set focus” option to set the focus right on your material center mark. Just spitballing here so maybe there’s a better option out there.

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Another option, and it may not be as precise as you want, would be to cut a 10.75 inch circle out of posterboard and use that as a jig of sorts. Put the circle and your artwork in the GFUI and ignore the art and cut the circle. Then, without moving anything (either onscreen or in the machine) try to accurately place your 11.75" round on top and get it as centered as you can. That would mean 1/2" overlap on all sides. Then ignore the circle and print the art.

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Create a file that has a 11.75" circle with the artwork centered within the circle. The outline should be one color and the engraveable artwork another. Place your cutting board on the tray, use the set focus tool very near the center of the board. Move your artwork over the board such that the circle matches the outline of the board. Ignore the circle and engrave the art. This would work for me because my Glowforge’s alignment is spot on. If you don’t find that your camera alignment is nearly precise, you will need to adjust according to your experience.


Thank you all. My machine is not spot on (at least on stuff not in center of the bed. I will test on something centered and see. If not I may try to do what tjones suggested. Many after cutting the smaller circle I can tape the cut out cardboard circle to the bottom of the cutting board and lay it right in the cutout. With this thickness do I need to remove the crumb tray?

You shouldn’t need to, depending on the thickness of any cardboard you have underneath it for positioning. As long as it is under .5 inches total. The problem might be that your positioning might be off if your original “circle” is cut at one height (card stock thickness) and your actual art is at .43 inches. Definitely will need that as centered under the camera as possible.

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Ok thanks. I may need to find something same thickness to practice on or sacrifice a board in testing.

You can mask a section of the board and score lightly to see your placement without sacrificing a board. Just note the precise position of the artwork center from the measurement/placement tool and place the board exactly as you did in your test.

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Thank you. What settings would you recommend for that?

Fast speed and power of like 5 or less

I had issues like this and what @dklgood suggested worked spot on for me!!

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I just wanted to reply back with what I did. When placing artwork in the center of my bed it does engage pretty spot on when I checked after calibrating. So what I did was follow these instruction to find center on a circle and made a tiny penciled X on the center of the board. I am placing a small plus sign on my artwork in a separate color so I can ignore it when engraving and placing that over the center mark. It did the trick. Thank you all for the help!


Do as @dklgood said. Then on the work piece find the center and mark it. Pencil is difficult to see, so I would recommend this:

They have different colors so you see it and cleans off very easily.

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