Grid on the bed of the glowforge

You will often see sharpie lines on the base of my glowforge and that is because I use a grid on the base if I am needing to print on something and use magnets to hold up the items as opposed to making a jig. I also use it if I am printing on something where a part of the item is greater than 2" thick. I do not print on the section that is greater than 2" but I use the grid on the base to make sure the carriage plate will not pass over the section that is over 2" because that can cause it to knock off the arm.

In this guide I will go over how I get this result:

yet my app shows me that this was what was expected:

Logic behind this option
When I need a grid on the base of the glowforge I use sharpie to draw the lines. The reason why a method that is reusable is needed is because sharpie does stay pretty well on the base of the glowforge but any time you do a wipe down of the base with cleaner even as low in alcohol as simple green, the sharpie will get wiped off. So I am using this jig with the holes in it so that I can just draw the grid space needed for a project and not waist time doing a full grid that will only last till my next cleaning.

Items needed:

Making the jig, step 1)

Place your grid line up jig in the glowforge and a piece of scrap material on the base. I use masked proofgrade because it makes it easier to clean back up the base and the making prevents any marking on the base material and so I do not waist a sheet.

Making the jig, step 2)
Make a platform that will lift the jig to allow it to be cut. You want to make sure you are not placing the supports in spots that will be cut. I did 2 stacks of ceramic magnets in the front and one in the back. You do not need much support because you are only trying to make the jig at this point.

Making the jig, step 3)
Place the sheet of draftboard on the supports and line then up with the grid line up jig you use. Because you are wanting to have the jig be accurate, I use painters tape to help stabilize the draftboard only for the purpose of making the jig. You will see I don’t use the tape or most of this setup when it comes to using it.

Making the jig, step 4)
Right click on the image below to download the grid file and upload it to your app.

circ grid

When you upload it to the app you want to then set your coordinates and sizing to be exactly as shown below. There is actually logic behind these values and if you are interested in understanding why these values then look to this guide: Updated grid for engraving without crumb tray)

Making the jig, step 5)
Print the jig

How to use the grid, step 1)
Use the lineup jigs and place the cut jig on the base of the glowforge. Use the holes in the cut jig to mark where you want to draw a lineup at.

How to use the grid, step 2)
Use the markings how you want.

For my example I draw the lines around the points to make a 1"x4" square and write the center coordinated of the square on the base of the glowfroge. Then when I want to print in that space I use ceramic magnets to hold up the item and use the coordinated I have mapped to the spot and I don’t care what the app says for alignment at that point. Also, I proctor over the print. I am not going off what the app shows me and so if there is a point of failure in the print now, it would be me and not glowforge. I rather watch over the app because I never want to think I cant mess up a setup :slight_smile: Only human.


Thank you for sharing this write up. Its explanations will be so helpful to many users.


Good technique. I do something similar but use a jig that is always pushed up against the back of the machine.

I like your technique for getting it aligned side to side using the corner pieces, that’s neat.


This is beyond great!!

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Thanks! I love it and have found it so useful :slight_smile:

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I’m pretty new to jigs and I’ll need to read this a few times to fully understand, but I think it’s going to be very helpful, thank you for sharing!

This is exactly what I have been wanting and not figuring out. THANKS!

I didn’t go into as much of the logic in the post with drawing on the base but this other post has a lot more explanation