Exact Placement on materials

It appears that in many examples, you show the GF etching and cutting on material larger than the final part and then cutting out the perimeter of the final part.

What if you have a blank raw material that is already the desired perimeter size and you just want to etch or cut designs onto the middle of it, but you want to have those designs be centered or otherwise aligned on the blank. Will you be able to do this automatically?

Being able to do batches of these at a time would be very cool: For example, throw 25 blank business cards onto the bed of the GF without precisely aligning them, load 1 artwork file into the software and say “center this artwork on all 25 cards”.


This sounds awesome. I would love to see something like this, too!

A concern I have also had when watching the videos so far. If you have to manually drag and drop designs into place, then alignment can easily be very sub-optimal. I like to have parametric control for EVERYTHING that I do, because manual control is always off by at least a bit.

And your idea of being able to toss in a bunch of cards (which would include not all of them being at the same exact angle) and having it print the same to each would be a phenomenal capability to have available.


I noticed that in the Tested video, in the UI one part appeared to be right at the edge of the wood, but when it was actually cut there was about 1/4" of clearance. So I’m looking forward to the answer to this question. Precise alignment is super critical not just for cutting, but for engraving an existing item. You don’t want your beautiful Macbook engraving to be 1/4" off :smile:

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As someone who wants to cut a lot of components for mechanical assemblies this is something I’m curious about as well. Precise control is hugely important, and user-friendly drag and drop UI, while nice, is not at all precise. I hope there is an additional level to the UI for those of us who need precision.

Due to the fact that it can engrave a mac book once you put it in (advertised in their video), and that you can cut on one side, turn it around and cut on the other to get double the thickness, I don’t see why this shouldn’t be possible. At this point it’s not a mechanical thing, the Glowforge should be able to do it, it’s just a question of software. Which can be updated after you receive your Glowforge.

Of course that’s if it doesn’t already support it.

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I would love to see some basic “Align With Left Edge” or “Center on object” kind of functionality. If you’re designing the whole object out of a cuttable material, it’s easy enough to center up the design in your graphics program, but I’m also thinking that I’ll use it a lot to engrave on existing objects. More precise controls would be great!

I would like to know this as well. Also, how do you align perimeter cuts with internal etching?

This is why I posted in another thread asking for them to release the software before they start shipping the printers out. Let us see how it works, and report if we feel it’s missing anything critical.

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The only problem I see with this (although it would be great if it did work) is that the GF would have to act as a scanner and basically map everything in the bed (with the macro camera) then send that to the cloud where it would do all the calculations to align everything. So it might end up taking a lot of time. For someone doing a handful of business cards thats probably not a huge issue but if you were doing 500 then that will add up.

Personally, I would make some kind of template that the business card would be able to sit in while on the bed so then it is easy to load in a bunch of card in the same orientation every time. Then just replicate the design and align it to the template. But then again if I was etching business cards on my GF (which I intend to do) I would just etch and cut them out in the same job (etch then cut). — I guess this is really specific for business cards

Then again as mentioned it would be great for other things and that the software was “smart” enough to do a lot of the aligning.

—also sorry for adding this comment 9 days later :neutral_face:

This. People doing batches usually use a jig to hold repeated blanks at regular intervals (like anodized dog tags). It would be AMAZING to just put something in and hit go without worrying about job setup; however, the demo at World Maker Faire NY had the raster engraving about 1/8" off the drawings people were making. Not exactly precision work but that was a demo months before release and as stated above it is a matter of software tweaking and calibration. No physical reason this can’t be done, unless it’s a camera optics issue.

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