Frustrated with Focus problems

I am having problems with focus/auto focus on my basic. My item is 1 inch thick. I’m using the thin maple veneer setting. I either get a) material thickness setting error with the tray in or out it doesn’t care, it’s wrong no matter what I use or enter for measurements b)no thickness error message but the only thing on the screen is the image I’m trying to print and nothing but a black background with the glowforge logo behind it not even the item I’m trying to engrave. I’ve turned the silly thing off and on more times than I care to think about. I’ve reset everything I can find to reset. By the way, if I try to change the settings in manual focus it automatically changes them back. I took it apart, blew it all out with canned air, shop vac’d it. The lenses were cleaned a while back but I’ve not used it since I last cleaned it. I checked connections, everything looks good. It’ll soon be 2 years old so the warranty ran out long ago. I just need it to work through the end of the year when I’ll make it the back up. It’s getting a bigger faster sister at that time. In the meantime, what am I missing to make it run? I have 2 boutiques waiting on their stuff and my bank account would appreciate it if this is not a horrifically expensive fix.

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Since your item is 1" thick, I assume you are elevating it off of the floor of the Glowforge with at least a riser of 1/2". When using the set focus tool, it is necessary that the beam falls squarely on the material at the point of the engrave. Also, very dark material may not bounce the beam back properly so you may want to place a piece of masking tape somewhere that the set focus can hit.

Have you tried a different browser and/or cleared your cache? The incorrect image may be a function of the browser.

Perhaps you could share a screenshot of what you are seeing so that the community could offer better suggestions.


You are missing the very basics of operating this thing.


Hello @melissa.murphy I’m so sorry you’re receiving a black background while trying to engrave. I can definitely assist you with this.

I wanted to confirm if you are still experiencing the same engraving issues. If you are, I’d like to have you print the Gift of Good Measure on Proofgrade material with the crumb tray installed. This will give me a good baseline for how your Glowforge printer is performing.

That is a very helpful interesting diagram @beerfaced.

Hi @melissa.murphy. It’s been some time since we’ve seen any activity here, so we’ll go ahead and close this thread. Please feel free to create a new thread, or write us at, if you’re continuing to have any engrave issues, and we’ll be happy to help. Thank you.