Cut Registration and Tracing?


Hi, so a high level of what I’m trying to do is this: I have a printed image on paper, I want to place it in my GF and have it trace out the outlines to cut, then cut it.

Problem is when I do this, the registration is ALL off and nothing aligns correctly. I figured maybe the GF camera is having a fish-eye issue, so it’s not “WYSIWYG”… so I made a quick SVG with vector shapes to cut and did my best to align visually.

Things didn’t line up here either… even the final bed shot before you hit the button seemed off. I took a screen shot of it and compared the results to the screenshot. While it seems that final image is more accurate than the one you use to initially place your artwork, some parts weren’t cut in a way that the final screen shot showed.

I don’t mind going the extra mile of having to create my own SVG of vector cutouts, but am I missing something? Is this a bug in the queue to be fixed? Did I just do everything wrong?

Any help is much appreciated, thanks!



Is there a way to rotate artwork? I can’t figure that one out.


What are you setting the focus height at?


Check the focus height. If that doesn’t fix it email support with screenshots of what your source looks like and the GFUI before & after scoring/cutting.

No you can’t rotate bitmaps yet.


The focus height is just set to 0.01 since it’s just paper. Is there a more ideal or accurate setting for standard paper?

How about svg? Can you rotate vector graphics?


Standard A4 bond paper is closer to .002 inches. Not sure you can specify that in the GFUI though.

You can rotate vector graphics. When you click on it you’ll see the 4 corner handles and up on top in the center is a lollipop that you can grab to rotate. If you click that and hold the shift key and then move the mouse it’s constrained in rotating on 45 degree increments.


My calipers say 0.0145" thick… Round up maybe?


Please try this process and see if it helps:

Please note that the settings I used then were the old ones–you’ll have to determine appropriate power and speed.


Hmmm, I tried this just now and it was more or less spot-on from the get-go.


Was it spot-on zoomed in to 450%? That’s the zoom level I used for my determinations.


Spot on at 500% zoom, yeah. More or less… since I can’t get the graph paper perfectly perpendicular to the GF.


Yes, perpendicular can be a problem. Well, I’m baffled that you are still having trouble with such great alignment. It’s better than my Pre-release!


Try putting the paper on something that is at least .01 thick to give the layout camera a fighting chance? Then use the total height in the material height setting. I tried a piece of plywood and that helped a lot. When I do not set the height, or if it is off, then the alignment suffers significantly.


Nope… that didn’t work either.

In fact, I’ve been testing with the crosshair svg above in different locations on a random print-out… and the further you get from center, the worse the registration becomes. It seems it’s fish-eyeing and can’t be predicted.

@dan is this a normal thing to be expected for the time being? Is a fix in the hopper? Someone mentioned “Precision Alignment” is in the works?


I wonder if the Print and Cut tutorial would help? I’d taken it down because @cynd11 's method is a lot easier to use, but so many people seem to want to do P&C, and it worked pretty well with the poorly aligned PRUs when I wrote it.

(I like the idea of sticking it up on a piece of scrap ply though too - that would probably help.)

Let me know if you want to try it…if these other methods don’t get you the result you want.


I tried the above where I put my paper on top of a maple hardwood 0.125" board… same problem.

The more I think about it, the more this completely breaks the usability in most scenarios for the Glowforge. I’d planned to cut some custom dice later on… but if the images can’t cut in a pixel-perfect, predictable location, this becomes an impossible task for me.

Unless I’m doing something fundamentally wrong… unless you plan to cut/engrave on raw material where all placement is determined purely by artwork, the Glowforge is too dangerous to use to customize anything. =(


I would send an email to


Yeah… probably a good idea…


Well, give this a try before you give up on it:

Print and Cut Process.pdf (769.7 KB)


Hmmm… what worries me is if that works and that is what is necessary to do a simple print/cut off existing artwork.