What confuses a lot of people is that what most folks call Auto-Focus is only changing the screen view for placement purposes - setting the Focal Point for the engrave is different, and it over-rides the Auto-Focus if it is keyed in manually. What you are doing is making the focal point for the engrave land where it needs to…and what you see on the screen is not where it’s going to land.
You can use the Auto-focus during the cut stage on the cardboard - that is a nice flat surface and it should have no trouble.
- Put the engraving and the cut lines for the jig into the same file, with the engraving centered inside the jig shape.
- Bring that file into the Glowforge interface. It should have the engraving and the cut lines already in it.
- Set the engraving to Ignore in the thumbnail column.
- Set the cuts to Cut. Use the correct cut settings for cardboard, and you can let it auto-focus, or you can enter the thickness of the cardboard in the Unknown Materials button (use Set Focus).
- Put the cardboard into the machine. Pin it down.
- Let the Auto-Focus run and then cut out the spoon shape.
- Open the lid, take out the cutouts, but leave the backing material in the same place and don’t let it shift. (That’s why you pin or tape it down…so it cannot shift.)
- Put the spoon into the cutout area in the cardboard.
- Open the Engrave settings information in the thumbnail, and enter the thickness information for the engrave Focal Point. In the Manual settings flyout.
- Set the Cut to Ignore in the thumbnail column.
Do not under any circumstances move the design on the screen, even if it looks like it is offset. It isn’t going to be offset when you print it.
- Send the Engraving to print.
Don’t look at the screen and think that’s where the engraving is going to land…it’s going to land inside of the cutout area.
If you feel uncomfortable about trying it on your spoon - run a test case on the cardboard cutout first. Take it out of the hole, put it right back in the hole, run the Engrave with a reduced power setting useful for cardboard (2% power) and see where it lands. If that turned out okay, change the settings for the engrave to match the wooden spoon, put the spoon in the hole, and now that you know where it’s going to hit…run the engrave again.
Just make sure you do not shift the backing material or the image on the screen, and you can drop one spoon after another into the hole for engraving.