Glowforge not engraving straight

We’ve spent hours cleaning wheels, tightening belts, realignment. Redoing the design etc. design works flawlessly on my old glowforge but this one keeps doing this. Any advice?

My first and only thought is debris on the rails or a cracked wheel someplace.


Have you run the Calibration?

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Glowforge does have a troubleshooting guide for distorted prints, which points to the things you’ve been looking at, @hdavis0096: wheels, pulleys and belts. They’re all that can really be responsible for this kind of thing. Sometimes it can be hard to find the thing that’s wrong, like a pulley that’s slid down off its post part way, or some debris stuck to the teeth of a belt somewhere. You don’t want to overtighten everything either.

The lid camera is a human aid for placement of your artwork within the workspace, and is not involved in anything the machine itself does. Recalibrating the lid camera’s dewarping algorithm cannot fix any mechanical issue with a Glowforge.


Thanks I’ve read through this hundreds of times. I’m wondering at this point if the machine could be off. When I got it last month the lid has never fully closed and the laser tube in the back hits the back wall and my older one doesn’t. If it isn’t together correctly could that possibly be throwing the engrave off?

Thats what I keep getting told but the rails are beautifully clean and the wheels look perfect. I’ve been up inside of this thing more the last 2 days then I care to admit and I just don’t see what could be wrong

The fact that it’s stepping over like that leads me to believe it’s possibly a bad stepper motor on the X axis.

If it was a belt tension issue, when they skip a tooth, the step is much more pronounced (the tooth spacing.) If it was a slightly loose belt, every alternate pass would be offset, not a whole section stepped over.

I would take another pic with a ruler next to it for scale, and send to support using the contact form on the support home page.

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My only thought would be to score a big X inside a square box - Like 8"+ square. Do a couple separate ones on cardboard or something. That might give a clue as to what is off and what isn’t. If the whole thing is skewed the same way on multiple tries, that sounds like the carriage might be racked and not square. If it’s skewed differently on each test, then likely it’s software or as mentioned, mabey a stepper motor is intermittently bad / has a loose connector.

new design

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That’s not right. I’d go after fixing those two before worrying about anything else because whatever is causing those may well be causing your engraving issue.

For the lid not closing, if you’re certain that it’s not caused by something in the hinge or on the lip or something then see if you can shim the corner of the GF up to fix it. That will work if the “not closing all the way” is a fraction of an inch - you might need a couple/few pieces of paper under the corner of the machine on the same corner where the lid is sticking proud of the top.

The second sounds like an alignment issue. First make sure that there are no bits of stuff from the packing, tape, orange bits, etc trapped behind the gantry. Also pull out the crumb tray to make sure that’s not causing it. Check to see if it’s hanging up on any wiring in the back. Put your phone under it on the bed of the machine with the camera in selfie mode and capture what it’s seeing. See if you can move the gantry through its full range of travel. Check all the wheels - are they on the track correctly and are they cracked at all? Check for missing, loose or dangling (or jutting out) screws - compare to your other one to see what it should look like. Somewhere in here I think you’ll find an issue with the mechanics that is causing the gantry to bump into the back wall. That I think will solve the engrave tracking problem.

I’m leaning toward a screw that wasn’t fully tightened and is now causing interference, part of the wiring loom getting caught up or a wheel/track problem.


Thank you! I thought about that but I’ve been using it to score and cut and it doesn’t both perfectly! No alignment issues nothing etc, the only problem I’ve ran into is the engrave. It’s done this the last week or so. Only a few at a time at first, then every other design and now every design. I don’t think it’s the software because my older glowforge does the engrave for each design perfectly. I have examined the wheels and belts so closely. Other then the back of the laser tube hitting the back right corner on the new one, everything else between both units are the same. I’ve watched it engrave and it doesn’t look like it hits anything, bumps into anything, it just smoothly slides over the design.

Wait, it cuts and scores fine, only engrave is skewed? I would cut something thick next, like thick acrylic. And check if the cut is 90 degrees vertical to the surface, or pretty close. Normal chamfer is a tiny bit.

I would guess, it’s either software, or the carriage may not be flat to the honeycomb tray. You could also check that by measuring the clearance between the print head and the tray in all 4 corners. Might be worth a check.

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