Cut/Engrave Space and Centering

How do we know on the app screen where the actual cut/engrave space is? We put a large cutting board in the machine, it showed all edges/corners. We put a small stamp at the bottom right corner, it turned purple and showed everything was fine to engrave. It ended up engraving it perfectly well except about 1-2" higher than what it showed on our screen. How do we determine where the actual laser will cut? Also, is there a way to “center” the artwork on the computer so that it engraves perfect center on the material?

What were the results of your camera calibration process? When completed, it should be accurate to within a mm or so. If not, that needs attention from support.

As @eflyguy noted, calibrating your machine is one thing that will help with visual placement. The other is making sure your machine knows exactly where the top of the material is – easiest way to do that is to use the set focus option under the gear icon. :slight_smile:

If you make your art board in the design program 20x12", the design will always appear in the same spot on the bed. Getting the lid camera image to match that digital placement is the magic that Glowforge keeps improving. To get it very close, if not perfect, the camera image is processed to map out to the hieght of the material. The Set Focus tool uses the head camera to precisely determine material height and that is relayed to the image processor to make the bed image represent the material surface with the design overlayed where you want it. You can enter the exact material height manually, but that presumes you have dead flat consistent material in the bed.

To get the design image in the GFUI to align with material placement using the bed image from the lid camera, you have to have a well-calibrated machine, which has been pointed out. You have to have consistent and flat material. And the thickness of the material has to be exact, either manually entered or using the Set Focus tool.

I’m sure I have simplified things or perhaps over complicated them. But it’s one more part of the continuing narrative.

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Welcome. The camera/visual alignment is constantly being improved, but it depends on accurate focus information. Did you use the set focus tool or manually input the focus height? Using the set focus tool will give you the best results - be sure to place the focus point very near where you are going to place your artwork. Place the artwork after using the set focus tool.


I’m sorry if I come off completely ignorant on this; we’ve just started using the GF. How do I access the design program?

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He’s referring to whichever design app you’ve chosen to use to make your files for the Glowforge, ie. Inkscape, Illustrator, etc.


I always put a piece of masking tape on the top edge center and then the side edge center. Then mark the center of the board on them. Line up the center dots of your piece in the GF App and you are ready to go. I have never had it be off center or not where I wanted it by doing this.


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