Focus point off!

Hi! My Glowforge is working like a charm, except for a problem that occurred (supposedly) yesterday; whenever I set a focus point on the screen the actual focus point on the material is a couple of cm off. This is quite inconvenient while engraving small stuff, are there more who experience this problem, an more importantly: is there any solution available for this?

When you are working with very small items, it’s possible for the little red light that sets the focus to fall off of the edge of the material…and that is going to cause a really wide variance in where the print lands.

Your solution is to make sure that the red light lands on something that is the same height as the item - you can stick a wide piece of white masking tape on top of it so the red dot lands on the paper. (Something I’ve done next to cut outs in material.)


Thanks for the quick reply! The problem is that the red dot is wayyy of, like almost an inch. So focusing on things like handles is a hassle since I have to keep trying to hit the material with the red dot by clicking randomly on the upper left of it until it hits the object. This was not the case a couple of days ago, so I’m guessing something’s wrong here

I am having the same issue. It’s way off. Moreover, I recently did the camera calibration and the camera is now pretty close to dead on, making this even more of a head scratcher.

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Same here!

Try this… Give the GF a rough estimate height from a caliper or ruler in Unknown - Unknown material. That will set your GFUI image to close to the right place and then try Set Focus.

We are depending on the GFUI positioning the piece at the correct scale and location to aim the focus dot that is then used to set focus height. It’s circular. How can the image on the GFUI be close to right for your piece if it doesn’t know the height yet? Anyway, I tried the steps above and it worked.

Good luck.


I understand, but it happens also when I have already focused before so I don’t imagine this will solve the problem. I’m currently running an extensive print so can’t try now but will still give it a try when it’s done!

Me too.

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I think it’s a real issue. As I think back, I didn’t end up using the red dot after it failed.

My workflow was closer to:

  1. GF precalibrated for new precision.
  2. Red dot kept missing piece (wood pen barrel)
  3. Set height manually
  4. GFUI refocused on manual height.
  5. Set steps to manual height.
  6. Visually positioned the vector on the pen location.
  7. Ran job. Position was right on.

Clearly, I never got the Set Focus to work in this scenario, but the new precision made it easier to place the art if I manually inserted the height.

@riverbank - nice work (on your website) BTW! I’m in WI too.


I tried it and unfortunately the focus point is still off…

Thanks for letting us know about this. So sorry for the trouble. I’m looking into it now, and I’ll follow up when I have more details.

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Yep we have same issues too. used callipers to get width of material of non proof grade material.
is it not more of a software issue? as when you see the image on screen and have it placed where you want it, height set, its focusing off left or right.
so I now ask if there is over compensation needed and not take the literal measurements ? I.E 6mm needs to be 5.7mm? just spitballing.

I agree about the software thing, especially since everything is cutting spot on

Hi! Any news yet?

I have noticed much better performance. Now there’s a new focus icon in the UI, and after you click on the material and the focus is set, a smaller version of that icon remains in the UI until you open the lid. So from my perspective, this problem has been resolved except for a little wonky behavior here and there where I get a “material is too far or too close” error when it’s definitely not too far or too close.

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I sincerely apologize that it’s been so long since I followed up. I’ve let the team know about this, and I apologize for the inconvenience.

The Set Focus target is an approximate target for the spot where the red laser light will land to measure your material. The light will land somewhere within the target box. If you’d like to use Set Focus on narrower pieces of material, you may need to adjust your Set Focus position based on where the red light lands during the Scanning step. for instance, if this red light lands a cm to the left of the intended material surface, click set focus about a cm further to the right. Since the light can hit the crumb tray occasionally, this may be difficult to see and require some trial and error. However, I recommend adjusting your focus target to compensate rather than changing the material height you enter.

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