Glowforge alignment is off by *several inches*

Hi All!

I’ve had alignment issues on my Glowforge Pro since it was new in August 2020 (just a few months ago). The issues made it difficult to do a double-sided engrave and the results weren’t awesome, but I rarely needed a double-sided engrave, so deprioritized fixing it. Honestly, I was enjoying my Glowforge!

Today, however, I followed these instructions to align the printer: https://support.glowforge.com/hc/en-us/articles/360033633714-Alignment . I started by measuring the camera accuracy, so I cleaned it first with Zeiss wipes, downloaded the focus SVG, then set focus, and printed. The result was surprising:

. Yikes. Clearly, I made the problem worse!

What did I do wrong? How can I fix it?

Thank you!

Heather

UPDATE: I realized I may have forgotten to move the print head back to the far left position, so I did that and re-tried the measurement.

It’s still off substantially, but more like it was when I first got my Glowforge Prior (prior to cleaning it today).

I still need help, as you can see, but it’s not several inches off the mark.

The 2nd print, after moving the printhead back to the far-left position is still misaligned:

Here’s how it looks on the printer:

Thank you!

Cheers,
Heather

It looks like maybe you moved the print head while the machine was on. That makes it lose its position. Always power off before moving the head or gantry! :slight_smile:

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Double checking - you are using set-focus on the corner, correct?

Yes, I’m setting focus in the center of the graphic.

Thank you!

Cheers,
Heather

Why would you ever “move the print head”?

There is no need at all to ever touch it, except while cleaning - and then it will re-calibrate during the power on “centering” operation.

I moved the print head during cleaning per the instructions.

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Thank you! I’ll try turning it off and back on again.

Heather Simmonsen | 206/619-1538

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OK. If it’s not re-calibrating correctly during power up, then you have a different issue.

The head will re-center with an accuracy of within 1/1000". I’ve posted images before, but you can make a score, turn off the machine, manually move the head a little, then turn it back on and re-print - you shouldn’t even be able to tell there are two prints on top of each other.

Yea I think the problem here as others have said is moving the print head while the machine is on. Avoid doing that at all costs.

There have only been a couple times I’ve had to run the alignment setup. But anytime you do, it should be right after powering the machine on and letting it center.

Since your prints are landing more than ¼” away from where they were positioned in the preview, I recommend recalibrating the camera in your Glowforge to fix it.

You’ll need a 12” x 20” piece of Proofgrade material with no markings or stickers. The feature was designed to be used with a flat piece of medium Proofgrade Draftboard, used upside-down (with the QR code side down). It may work with other materials that are the same size and use the same print settings as well, like Proofgrade plywood.

It prints a grid of markings, takes a picture, then measures its height in multiple locations. This data is used to make your camera more accurate for future prints.

To get started, click on this link: Launch the Camera Recalibrator

Should you finish all of these steps, and find that you have an alignment error of more than 1/4", please measure the accuracy of the camera and send us a screenshot of the results.

Thank you! I turned the forge off and on and it re-centered, which made it much better:

Thank you! I’ll try now.

Hi Jeremyh,

I ran the camera recalibration tool:

Then ran the accuracy measurement tool:

Here’s the result:

It’s definitely closer. I’m not sure it’s close enough to engrave a pencil, but it should allow me to do a double engrave. Thank. you so much!

Do you know how I can get a tighter calibration for small surfaces like a pencil engrave?

Cheers,
Heather

The specs are for it to be within 1/4". You are well within that, so your machine is functioning as well as it should.

For repeated engraves where you require more precision, use a jig.

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A jig is pretty much standard for something like a pencil since the length and the narrow target requires the pencil to be normally dead horizontal along the length of the engrave. You can use the camera but that assumes your pencil isn’t going to shift while engraving from the air assist.

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Thank you!

Hi @thesimmonsens, those results look really good now. I’m glad to see the camera recalibrator helped.

As @eflyguy and @marmak3261 mentioned, using a jig will help you to get the precision results you’re looking for when engraving on objects like pencils.

I’m going to go ahead and close this thread. If you run into any other trouble, please start a new topic, or email us at support@glowforge.com. We’re happy to help!

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