Has anyone used Washi tape to give the passthrough software more details to use in alignment?

I often use passthrough to cut the base for a design. This typically means cutting a large shape with minimal details beyond the perimeter cut. This leaves little for the forge optics to use in the alignment process.

In the past I have added a defocused score as an outline or some other images in a location that was not going to impact the final part. My thought was that this would give a bit more detail for the processing and if I was crafty in the placement, could allow a preview of the alignment before the actual cutting part of a pass. This only works if there is space for the added artwork. I am about to cut a part that has no room for such an approach.

So, shower thoughts: what if I add some low tack tape with a pattern on it in the areas near where this analysis would take place? Would this give the forge a bit more to chew on?

This a quick search for such tape led to “washi” tape. It is relatively low tack and paper based (although some look like they have metallic inks added). The patterns on some of the black and white versions look like they would give plenty of details for alignment.

Anyone else have experience with this stuff or thoughts?


Interesting concept, though I believe that the glowforge only uses the head camera snapshots for alignment, so your washi tape would need to be very near to the extreme left and right cut lines.

Of course this is just my guess because glowforge hasn’t shared how it works to any level of detail.


Seems like a good idea? Let us know if you try it and if it helps.


I have some on order. Should be able to give this a shot in a few days.


I’ve got lots of washi tape but no passthrough project. It’s a brilliant idea though; let us know how it goes!


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I wish someone sold colored/patterned masking.

That being said, if your material is too visually cluttered it’ll be hard for the software to spot your cuts for alignment.


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If you can put clear tape in a regular printer putting it on something you can get it off of and printing the Glowforge Logo on it the Laser will cut through the tape but if that snap is still working both cuts could align on those and thereby manage the alignment. (you might have to put them in the design as well but it will make for perfect alignment.)

I tried it on a few pass-though cuts. It is hard to tell if it helped, They came out fine. I did a few similar parts without the tape and they worked too. So, inconclusive.

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Thanks for looking into it. I guess I am glad it works without extra material to aid in the alignment.