Copy pasted images cutting differently

I’ve uploaded two images (circle and wheel looking thing). In the app, I copy pasted each twice. I would expect them to be identical when cut but as you can see there are some notches in the edges of the pasted items. Any tips to try to ensure the cuts are identical? Should I have to reload the image three times? thanks so much!

Updated: I made a perfect circle in Illustrator and imported it. It cut something roundish, but it is not a perfect circle. I did two circle of different sizes, its easier to see the small circle is noticeably off. The large one is as well.

While this is fine while I’m learning, clearly it won’t cut it for production to sell. Do I contact someone or wait for a reply here?

@camie, your image didn’t load…try dragging it onto it’s own line in the post. (You can edit it by clicking the little pencil icon at the bottom of your post.)

Thank you!

Are the notches part of the original design? Almost looks like something impeding the movement and it’s skipping a bit.

Not part of the design - the circle on the top right is the original. on the bottom right, a copy. that is where a notch shows up. It does sort of look like a skip. I’ve been playing only a week, so I’m still learning - vast mountain that learning curve. I’m tempted to try again and move them to see if there is something with certain spots. Does that even make sense to try?

How did you create the original circle, and in what program? It looks like it might not be a closed shape to start with, and somehow, that effect is being exaggerated in the copies. It’s trying to close, but it’s just a little bit off.

methinks you have a mechanical issue with your laser gantry. a belt that needs to be tensioned or a wheel that has popped out of a guide or the laser is not seated.
Are you using a big / strong magnet to hold down the work? if too strong or too high, this can tug at the mechanical parts of the laser gantry and cause havoc as well.


That could be it but I don’t see it. I put this image I owned through an svg converter online. This was before I figured out what I was doing in illustrator. I blew up the image and don’t see anything. I attached a screenshot of that - made the line yellow so you can see the path.

Yeah, that’s why I asked which software you used…some of the lesser used ones can have issues with how they export SVG content. I don’t know if that is the issue or if it is a mechanical problem. That does look closed so it might be a mechanical issue. It’s occurring on each of the circles, and it’s exaggerated in the copies.

What I’d recommend for now, until they get back to you, is to try making all of your copies of the circles in the file before you run it through the svg converter. See if the circles come out all round with that one. Then you would know if it’s the converter that’s causing it, or a mechanical problem.

(If they still come out not lining up, it will be a mechanical problem.)

It might just be the angle of the picture, but it looks like some distortion occurring in the circle also (stretched along the y-axis)

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Thank you so much! I had a similar issue on another image I just tried. I’m not trying exactly what you suggest. I appreciate the support!

I’ll try a clean circle straight from illustrator and copy paste to test. thank you!


You might want to try several circles in cardboard spread out over the bed, just score it lightly. Get a piece that is big enough for the bed and is flat. The obstruction might be in different locations.

No magnet, but I also worry something is off.

So, just this would help me locate the distortions - is there a fix when I identify the locations? My first cut (the Glowforge measurement keychain), the circles were not straight there either. I assumed it was first cut error but I think not.

If it is a software or firmware issue, Glowforge can look at the logs and the images and might be able to see if that is a problem

Doing a set of six circles over different places on the bed might show that it is one area. In the meanwhile you can check if the axes move smoothly. Check the belts. Sometimes a gear might be loose.

There have been times when something like this comes up that it is hardware. Sometimes you get the dreaded, "it looks like your unit is experience a problem we can fix remotely.

Also, post a pic of the gift of good measure you cut. That will assist too.

Your Glowforge should be accurate in its circles and squares and cuts. We’ll keep helping diagnose.


I’d check your belt tensions and see how they feel.

is something is amiss in the drive train, then it tends to show up when the machine changes direction from east to west or north to south, during a cut. Those notches showing up at the top of your circle are a clue that the drive is troubled with a mechanical issue. That is where the head stops moving back and starts moving forward or vise verse during a cut. With power on, if you gently try to move the laser head left or right . is there any slop? If so, the belt is likely not tight enough. if you feel under the horizontal arm, on the right hand side, you can trace the belt to a pully. If this can easily be moved in any way that is not a rotation, then it needs to be tightened up.

IF not that then grasp the laser head. gently try to wiggle it. Is the head well seated on the base it rides upon or does it rock even a tiny bit. If that seems solid, then Remove the laser head and try to wiggle the base where it sits. Does that base have any play? If so then one of the wheels may have come off the track, the rear ones are spring loaded. This happened to me once. if not that then if could be the drive that moves the arm fore and aft. (which seems likely). Does the entire horizontal arm have any play fore and aft. I am not clear on how to solve that one but if that is the issue, others will.

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Somewhere around here, a few people have.

Actually, @scott.wiederhold took a picture:

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I’m sorry you ran into trouble, @camie. I’ll echo the others in this thread who’ve pointed out that the issue seems to be with the belts. Could you please turn your Glowforge off and check the tension on the left and right hand belts, as well as the x-axis belt in the laser arm? If one of these belts is noticeably loose, please let me know.