Discussion of September Announcement

I am honestly asking this question: So how are you achieving such accuracy? Is that accuracy only on thin stock or does with work with thick stock where you have to take out the crumbtray?

I am doing everything correctly: calibrate the camera (and the laser hasn’t moved since calibration), set focus before aligning the vector, I have an outline of the shape to help align on the camera, I zoom in to check alignment, I have my wife double check everything and it is still off by .1" which has ruined hours of work to make something ready for engraving. I just need it to accurately work.

If you are having that much trouble…the closer you can get to “directly under the lid camera” the better results you’ll have. Or have you tried using a jig?

Jigs provide absolutely perfect results, anywhere on the bed, because the cut line and the engraving are included in the same file, and so their relationship relative to each other is 100% accurate every time. They are also very handy if you are needing to do multiple engraves on several objects that are the same shape and size.

The way a jig works is this…

  1. First you create the shape of the object as a cutline in Inkscape or AI. (Or Corel or Affinity or whatever you want to use. Say a box lid that is 6" x 4"…you just make a 6 x 4 rectangle.)
  2. Then in the same file, you align your artwork to be engraved inside the cutout. You can use the alignment tools in your drawing program to get it perfect.
  3. Save the file with both the cutline and the engraving in it.

Then the trick is:

  1. Put some material like thick cardboard or cheap MDF into the machine. (Try to get something that is about as thick as the box lid that you are engraving on.) Pin it down.
  2. Cut the rectangle shape out of the jig material. Take the center out.
  3. Put the box lid in the hole and do the Engrave part of the design.

As long as you do not shift either the material on the bed or the design on the screen it’s going to land perfectly centered on the lid, according to the original design. (One note: The jig material and lid need to be somewhat close in height or you will need to adjust the Engrave focal point to keep from getting blurry results.)

That might seem like more work to take it in two stages, but it works very well for precise placement, and you’ll waste less material. You can re-use the jig until you close the file, when it will need to be re-cut.

*(Or you can subscribe to Premium services because the SnapMarks do the same thing. They make re-usable jigs a reality. You only have to cut those once, the snapmarks can be used to align the design afterwards.)

*It’s been indicated that the SnapMarks will be a Premium feature when they are released.

Update: I saw your other post in Problems and Support and left you a much more specific set of instructions for your case. You have some special circumstances that you are going to need to make adjustments for.


Off topic…Hi Tony. Hope you’ve been doing well. Nice to see you drop by, here.


Thanks, life has been busy. Nice to see a lot of familiar people still here.


Jigs, are definitely the best. Particularly for production runs. Optical alignment is quite amazing but slower than a jig since there is no figuring out time, it’s just load and go. I often tape the jig down to the tray sides or the bottom of the machine with blue painter’s tape off-cut, so the jig won’t move. it’s a little trickier if your object is weirdly shaped in Z like a spoon or something. Then you have to find sort of the perfect touch points for your jig so the spoon repeatably drops to the same spot. When I’ve done even short runs of stuff (like a dozen) I use a jig since who has time for all that figuring out stuff… that way text is always square, etc. also if your part needs th4 tray removed, you can of course build your jig as a 3D jig (yes, all jigs are 3D but you know what I mean) I mean if you’re doing 3 of something a 3D jigs is a lot of work, but if you’re doing 20, it’s a huge time saver. I’ve used jigs even with snap marks particularly for weird objects.

As an example of jigs, when I did the sweat scrapers at the barn last Christmas (they were spline curves) so needed something to hold them at the correct angle.


I ran the calibration, which improved things a lot. When I need precise alignment, I place the target material in the center, where the camera correction is most accurate. I use a piece of 90º material to square my target to the front of the machine. In the GFUI, I use the Set Focus tool on the center of my material, then zoom in and place the artwork. So pretty much what you’re doing.

It’s been a while since I did anything that required removing the tray, but that shouldn’t matter as long as your material’s surface is within 0.5" of the head. If it’s below that, you’re not going to be able to visually align, because the lens correction will be off no matter what.

Since that’s not getting you precise alignment, then I’d recommend using a jig as @jules advised, or masking the material and running a very light score to check your placement before committing.

In @timjedwards Ancillary Mode Dial instructions he used an alignment method I haven’t seen before or since. I’ve never been able to wrap my brain around it completely, but it worked for me, so it’s maybe something you could try with the “light score” method for placement:

  • Print the shape on a color printer.
  • Lightly etch the red guide lines near the target as displayed. Don’t get too close, you don’t want to hit the ring itself.
  • After the view refreshes, zoom in and align the image with the etched guidelines. Now you’ll get an accurate cut!

I have snapmarks, but use a jigs most of the time. I won’t be crying when they get taken away.


I checked and double checked, but I must have missed it. Can you point to where he said it.

I saw this in regards kettlerbrian question to what happens to snapmarks after Novermber 3rd if you already have them:

Disabling snapmarks to those that already have them is an action and is something more than nothing. Doing nothing would mean nothing changes if you already have them. I understand this feature is planned to be turned on for every Premium member at some point in the future.

I hope this makes sense. If you already have Snapmarks and do not sign up for Premium, will the Snapmark function become disabled after November 3rd? A simple yes or no from Dan or Glowforge staff would clear this up.

Also, if the response is no and you are still not a Premium member, will the Snapmark function become disabled if you already have it when it is rolled out as a Premium feature?

Which part of “Premium will be required to access them” is unclear??

They will be removed if you are not a premium subscriber.


(This was part of my post on an article on made on glowforge, someone asked me to post here)

I had some feedback on glowforge Premium:
1.) $15 a month seems high. $5/month seems more reasonable
2.) Has anyone noticed any speedup of jobs since premium started? or are we to expect the free jobs to start running way slower?
3.) While I LOVE that we can add fonts in the interface, we can not have those fonts follow a path, or even rotate letters, both features I would expect if you are paying $180/year for the software use.

I am wishy-washy on whether I want to spend the $15/month … I like the font selection better at dafont.com , much more choices, and the fonts are organized unlike glowforge interface.
But, it is quicker to not use inkscape to create fonts layed out the way I like.

I’m curious as to what others think?

As long as I am giving feedback, I was wondering, have they created a way for you to see how many hours of lasering you’ve done on your glowforge?
I saw it mentioned years ago as a desired feature, but have not seen it yet.

On more feature request for premium would be the “Repeat Last Job” option, so the Ultra Fast servers could just redo what I had just done on the previous 10 jobs. I laser cutting boards, Christmas ornaments, shot glasses, bottle openers and often need to repeat the last job. If processing a job is compute intensive, why redo it?

Or, could there be a way to process it on the local computer, and submit the processed job to the web interface? (Getting away from the need to keep increasing the glowforge server farm?)

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You could read this thread. There are a lot of opinions on what others think here.

Some share your thoughts and questions. It has been a looong discussion.

(They copied and pasted from their MOAG thread before seeing this one.)

Technically, he “copied and pasted from the MOAG thread” after being pointed to this one. That doesn’t mean he should paste it here and not read it.

We’re here for it! I agree 100%.

Thanks for the great suggestion! We’re listening closely.

We generally never announce work until it’s ready to share, but we did provide a sneak peek of a few forthcoming releases in the announcement.

Thank you, I’ll let the team know!


Is there anything like a timeline for this? I’d happily pay for that, so now the math shifts to “is it cheaper to buy in now?” vs. waiting for Snapmarks to actually ship and signing up then.

Snapmarks entered beta 2+ years ago. Assuming it will be another 2 years before it’s released to production, signing up now breaks even about 10 months later.

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Not liking that the free premium designs can’t be downloaded to my computer. This means I’m unable to adjust the file to work with the thickness of my materials. I’ve tried two of the files and the notches and tabs are so loose, even glue can’t help them! If this is going to be the case, I will probably cancel my membership.

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All of the files in the Premium section are created to be used with Proofgrade materials…(and thanks to the bleeping pandemic, those are pretty hard to come by right now) :roll_eyes: … but you should be able to scale them slightly in the Glowforge interface and tighten them up a bit for other materials.

Just CTRL+A to select all, then you can scale everything slightly by clicking on the little Resize ruler icon. (Make sure the little lock is constrained.)


Thanks Jules, I’m aware of how to scale items inside of the Glowforge interface, but that doesn’t always fit every situation. As you mentioned, proofgrade materials are near impossible to catch in stock, and I don’t care for the quality of proofgrade, to be honest. I prefer to work in hardwoods when possible, and often stain my own plywood in order to get more diverse colors. I stand by my original statement…this is a flaw in the Premium offerings.

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Well that’s a call that only you can make, but I can pretty much guarantee there will not be individual files created for every type of material out there…that would be impossible. (Makes me go pale just to think about it…too many materials.)

Nor will we ever be given the opportunity to download the sales files for modification on outside design software. That control is in place to protect the rights of the people who submit designs for sale in the Catalog. (No incentive for them to do so if anyone can download it and sell their own modifications without remuneration to the original designer.) Customers who submit a design that is accepted into the Catalog will receive a royalty on sales of the file, so Glowforge will be protecting those designers’ work.

Not a big deal though, the subscription isn’t for everyone. You might just prefer to purchase the individual files if you see one or two that you like.



The design catalog is best suited for people with limited design skills who depend on others to come up with the creativity. That’s how the vinyl cutter manufacturers based their subscription models.

If you’re already skilled using an external design application, then there’s probably not much value in the catalog here.