Cutting is off on simple design?

Update - I got help on the Glowforge World FB page and it turns out I still had that carriage belt wrong. After fixing that, it works like a charm now. Thank you to everyone for always being so helpful.

Hello GF family,

I am trying to cut a simple cross. I drew one myself and also tried one from the insert menu. It looks fine but it cuts off. I can’t see how to attach a picture but the 4 protruding rectangles that are supposed to form the cross are wacky. Hope this makes sense. Any ideas on my problem?

Thank you!

Sorry, but I need a picture. Simply drag a screenshot or photo into a forum reply box.

Thank you for replying. Here is what is happening. Would not cut a circle either :frowning:

Your cut line seems very thick so I suggest you check that your lens is inserted properly and that the focus beam is landing on your material. Also, the wavy lines indicate either a broken wheel or a carriage plate belt tension problem. Have you recently removed the belt and replaced?


I did have the belt off that moves the head right and left when cleaning last time and have not used it since then. How do you control the tension on that belt. I remember struggling to get it back together. I did check the lens that is removed with the blue tool and it seem to be seated properly as far I know. (not that I know much … lol)

I SOOO much appreciate the help and support :slight_smile:

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The lens goes cup side up into the tube. Here is how to fix the tension - especially if you loosened the bolt to remove the belt.

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THANK YOU! The carriage arm belt is very loose. I am looking at the video to tighten and hopefully that will fix the problem. I will post the result.


I got the belt tightened but I can’t test it because it is stuck in ‘Homing’ mode
Eventually it says it can’t find the print head. ???

I have turned everything off and on several times and reset my modem and router.

Any idea what I can try now?

Turn off your GF. I recommend removing the print head carefully, make sure the carriage slides back and forth smoothly, ensure the ribbon cable is properly inserted, and when you replace the print head, you should feel a strong magnet as it more or less takes it our of your hand and seats properly. When you go to turn the GF back on, remove everything from the bed, so the homing doesn’t have any material to focus on, sometimes that trips it up. Good luck!

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Thank you so much for your time helping me with this. The carriage slides but when it gets to either end it seems tight. Maybe 2 inches from each side but the belt does not seem tight at all.

Also, the bed image has not changed since I turned it off to tighten the belt. Refresh bed image is dimmed.

You ought to remove the belt, remove the carriage, and make sure the carriage wheels are in good condition. The front wheels have a tendency to break after time. Reinstall the carriage per the GF instruction video, ensure the drive belt is BETWEEN the front and rear set of wheels, and make sure the carriage slides back and forth easily, it should be super smooth from side to side, all the way.

After you believe the carriage is sliding smoothly, you can reinstall the belt. First put the right side on, and making sure it is seating properly on the right hand wheel, then you can work the left side of the belt onto the drive wheel, it’s not easy, but you’ll get it on.

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Put a mirror on the bed of the Glowforge so you can visualize the belt and the carriage plate is moved back and forth. Are the teeth facing in? Is there a twist in the belt?


yikes, the teeth are out. is that wrong?

I can’t tell you how much my ‘dorkyness’, and I suspect many others, appreciate your help and patience. I have had my GF for about 2 years and just use it for hobby, fun stuff. Very lucky for me that I have had few problems with my cutter.

THANK YOU! I suspect (hope) to post success shortly.

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Good news is I got the carriage belt turned around and what a difference. Those pesky little details… I am certain that was the original problem prompting this post.

Bad news, I am still stuck at ‘homing’ and the camera has not refreshed the bed image since I got the wonky cuts a few hours ago. I guess the camera is not working?

I have a ticket in at GF to see what is causing that.

Thanks again for all the help!

While waiting for support, clean the top of the printhead and the lid camera. Then with the machine off, position the printhead directly under the lid camera and turn the machine back on.

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Stuck on ‘focusing’ and the head has not moved at all.
Refresh bed image and set focus are both dimmed.

Restart your computer.
Turn off the Glow forge and put the head in the Far Left hand corner.
When you turn on the Glow forge you need to hear it go Online

I have found that for whatever reason I have to restart the Machine several times for it to Kick on to the Internet before the Head even attempts to move.

Remember to clean the Top Camera lens as well. but I think your problem is the Machine is not going on line which would explain the Non Refresh .

Thank you! I will try that tomorrow.

Other than hardware failure (motherboard, the computer inside the machine) or communication with the laser head and/or camera, the only cause I am aware of that will prevent the head from moving shortly after power-up is no wifi connection. Centering the head is the next thing the machine does after validating the kernel (firmware) is valid, checking a bunch of sensors, and the wifi/internet connections to & is established.

As you have been messing with the head, checking the connection to it (wide grey ribbon cable that plugs into the large black connector) would be the first step.

I hope when you cleaned the machine, you didn’t use any liquid around any of the connectors. Also, for future reference, there is never any reason to remove that cable, or loosen the bolt for the idler pulley wheel unless you are having to replace the belt.