Design not starting at edge

Another newbie question if you please. I ventured into non GF material just to practice and used a 1/8 inch piece of birch plywood to cut out some earrings. That part went fine I am happy to say, but I placed the designs in the upper left corner with about 1/4 inch leeway and this is where is started. is there a way to calibrate it so that it starts closer to where it is supposed to start? It scares me that I might screw up some important pieces once I get going! and I am sorry, the last picture is a screen of what it looked like on my computer but after I had taken out the board. I just wanted to show you where I positioned it.


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The lid camera does not “see” then entire sheet of material and more importantly, the Glowforge printhead cannot possible get to the upper left corner of the bed. Zoom the view out and place your design toward the bottom of the material and work up.

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When we look at the screen image of the bed, we don’t see the entire bed, we can only see the cuttable area of it. There is about a 3/4" area to the left of the image where the head cannot go, and that you don’t see on the screen. (So there is always a 3/4" uncut space on the left of the material, and about 1/4" on the right side of the material that is cut to fit on the gridded portion of the tray.)

To optimize material use, use an origin for your placement in the front right corner of the tray and work out from there. (Only 1/4" unreachable on the right side.) When the sheet gets filled up, you can frequently flip it over and use up that left side uncut margin for small or thin prints later.

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that is a little odd, but I will try it. Still, I had everything within the cuttable area of the screen and the board was cut to just fit on the gridded portion of the tray.

Look where the printhead is when it is in the complete home position. There is material “behind” it and it cannot go any further back than where it is. Thus it cannot cut that area of the honeycomb.

Yah, same thing happens to me, even when I am working with a smaller piece so I can clearly see the whole bed, see it on the screen, I have the material pinned down so it’s flat, and then the laser cuts past where it’s marked. I feel your pain on the oddness!

Have you done the lid camera calibration? Are you using the set focus tool? The camera alignment can be off 1/4" under normal conditions, but it will be off even more if the material height is inaccurate since the camera will be focusing at the wrong distance. If you have completed the lid camera calibration and if you are using the set focus tool and your print is more than 1/4" off from where you expect than support needs to know. You will have to start your own thread in Problems and Support to get assistance for your machine. Posting in this thread will not open a ticket for you.

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I’ve experimented with manual settings and set focus. The results don’t seem consistent. But I’m no scientist. So you’re saying the camera alignments is off 1/4"? Cuz that’s what I’m finding! I guess it’s about calibrating my expectations! Lid camera calibration? Didn’t get the push memo on that one. Tell me more tell me more.


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THANK YOU! I’ll do that right now. Greatly appreciate you sending this info and link.

I went through the calibration process using the draft board that was sent…it is 12 x 20 (plus a little) and I put it up to the top left corner as shown in this picture and it printed like this…then it went through it’s reading stage and came up with this message : Material Problem

Your Glowforge was not able to finish calibration. Ensure that white, 20" x 12" material with no markings is used, and that the material is as far forward and as far to the left as possible before retrying.![IMG_2840|375x500] Ism(upload://jJzBrGiIMmE62nW2qjspiOWGtxj.jpeg) I am flummoxed

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Turn that sheet of draftboard over, shift it towards the front of the machine so that the gridded portion of the tray is completely covered without it touching the door, and try it again. You can see that the marks are cut off on the bottom of the material. Move the material forward and try again. The camera has to see complete marks on the sheet. If the design is cutoff, the calibration fails.

Sorry it didn’t work. The instructions state where to put the material, and I guess it is very important to the calibration. As Jules said, you can turn it over and try again.

Here is instruction 4 from the calibration page. Place your sheet of Proofgrade Draftboard, with the QR code facing down so that the surface is entirely white and no marks are visible, flat onto the bed. Slide it to the left until it touches the edge of the crumb tray, then slide it towards you until it covers the bottom edge of the honeycomb.


Also remember it’s a FISH EYE lens. The distortion is greater the further you are away from the lens. The lens calibration program helps minimize offset from GFUI placement and actual laser cut/etch, but not all. And 1/4" off at the very edges was pretty typical. And if the actual material thickness varies from what the machine thinks it is, then the difference becomes even greater.

It looks like you’ve already received some great information on this topic from our other community members. Thanks folks! I’m going to close this thread for now. If you run into any trouble in the future, please post a new topic here on the forum or email