Dice alignment with jig

I am trying to engrave dice. I have created a jig to make the alignment better, but it’s still not working properly. I have tried to “guess” where to put the design to allow for the alignment being off. My alignments are always a bit off, but it generally doesn’t matter so much, because I am nearly always cutting out something from a larger piece, so I always allow enough space for errors. However, with dice, there isn’t much room for error and I getting frustrated burning product for no reason. I seems like I am generally a 1/4" to a 1/2" off of camera alignment. I couldn’t honestly say if it’s always been off, as I had a deep learning curve when I first received the GF. I can only say that it seems as though it’s been this way from the beginning. I wasn’t really sure if this alignment problem was standard with all machines or just with some of the machines, but I can say that I have read about the new suggested software to improve the alignment which may only be only offered to pro machines (I have a basic) and at an additional cost. This is super frustrating to me, as I own both the Cricut and Silhouette Cameo and neither charges to cut with registration marks, the software just comes that way. Silhouette Cameo also offers a picture mat as an alignment tool that’s available for about $30 for 2. I mention this because both companies also offer great design software that is included with their products (you can upgrade to Silhouette business edition software for about $100) and designs to cut from .50 (both Silhouette and Cricut have over 30K cut files available) and commercial design licenses from about $3.00 to $8.00. GF has almost no design files available and what is available is pretty pricey. Clearly I understand that the GF laser costs a lot more to build than blade cutting machines, but I’m not sure why the need to have such a different price gap and availability of designs and not to have any included design software. GF also offers a fairly limited assortment of cutting materials, which I had hoped would improve by this point. I am guessing by your beta testing comments that you are still focused on improving the GF itself, but I am hoping that improvements to material options is in the works. It would great to have at least the most basic design options from the GF interface, such as grouping un-grouping, aligning, etc. Its frustrating to always have to jump back to AI for something simple. Just my suggestions and maybe you might not find it fair to compare, but after owning the other products for several years (both under $300), I keep finding myself comparing and wondering why can’t I do this or that on the GF? I appreciate your time and any help or suggestions for these alignment issues and I hope you don’t mind me venting my suggestions.

Thank you, Amy

If you don’t have the Snapmarks enabled on your machine, you might find this tutorial helpful…it’s how we did alignment before the Snapmarks were made available and people have very good success with it.


This post has helped me with alignment. A way to improve object placement
As for your other points, I hear your frustration, but the Glowforge interface is for controlling the behavior of the laser, not the artwork. Similarly, I don’t expect my laser printer to change my artwork.

1 Like

Aren’t the snapmarks only for certain Beta authorized machines?

Thank you for your response, this is awesome and simple, I can actually understand how it works.

You Rock!

Thank you so much for your reply, I am totally going to try this. I totally respect you opinion on the GF software.

Thanks again! You rock!

Yes, but the good part is…any machine might be picked for the beta. It has something to do with the machine dynamics. There might be people out there who have it turned on that aren’t even aware of it. (Look for the magnet icon on the top row of the app.)

So I guess I don’t know what this means - machine dynamics? Is it Pro only models? Models with newer components based on when they shipped? What are the dynamics?

It’s kind of annoying, granted I haven’t had a need for it yet, I’d LOVE to be able to play with it.

:smile: You’re not alone, we don’t know either. Only the engineers know for sure.

Dan also said that not all machines would be used for testing, they might pull it back at any time, and it might not wind up being worthwhile, so the main goal (for me anyway) at this point is to show that it actually is worth persuing.

1 Like

I wonder how you know if you have it?

I believe you get an email stating that Snapmark has been enabled on your machine. Then you see a magnet icon in the Glowforge interface.

I thought I would have been notified, but I wasn’t sure. Thank you for your reply!

The easy jig method.

  1. Make an SVG of holes that fit your dice dimensions. I think you are best with single dice, spaced out. Gives you more options later.
  2. Stick a sheet of draftboard or other cheap wood into the GF and push as far back and to the left as it will go.
  3. Cut out the dice holes.

That has made your jig. Next
4) Go back to your SVG and NEVER move the holes, Inkscape has layers which are great for this.
5) Dice designs, pips, or whatever else always go in the holes you’ve outlined
6) When you need to engrave -take your jig board and push it as far back and to the left - just as you did before.
7) put your blank dice into the holes
8) engrave for a perfect fit.

1 Like

That is a great idea, and one I can actually accomplish! It is really frustrating and time consuming to try and figure some of this stuff out, so I really appreciate your reply.

You rock!

I do this a lot but with cardboard instead of wood. I load my SVG that has the project and a cut vector for the jig in the same file. Whenever I want to do the project, put in a new scrap of cardboard, set the engraves to ignore and cut the jig out, change the cut to ignore and do the engrave.


That is another great tip and I always have cardboard on hand for “experiments.”

Thank you for the reply! You rock!

1 Like

Thanks for the great tips everyone!

@alindblade have you gotten what you needed?

Yes, thank you.

Glad to hear it!

I’m going to close this thread - if you have any more questions, go ahead and post a new topic. Thanks for letting us know about this.