Image engraving off object

Hi I am having issues engraving. The images are not engraving as seen on the app. Instead it is engraving outside of the object.

Can someone please help as this is becoming frustrating.

Are you using the set focus tool before placing your artwork? Is there a chance you moved the printhead when the machine was turned on? The reason I ask is because the alignment seems fine top to bottom, but is off quite a bit side to side.


I had the same problem .I had moved the head to clean up the bits from a previous print and after that it wouldnt print in the right spot anymore. I cleaned the cover lens and it did it again. Finally i shut it off turned it back on and let it rehome. now its back to normal.


As you discovered, don’t move the printhead with the machine turned on or the software loses track of the location of the printhead.


Hi thanks for responding. I am
New to glowforge so please forgive me if I do not use the correct terminology. I do use the set focus. Tool before I print/engrave. Once I select print, I do not move image.

Do you think that you physically moved the laser printhead when you took your honeycomb tray out or put your board into the machine? If so, turn the machine off and back on and it will recalibrate. As I said, it looks like your design printed where you expected top to bottom, but not side to side.

We were all new at one time, and there are lots of people here that will try to help you get the most out of your Glowforge. That is a beautiful board, and I know you are disappointed that the engraving is not where you wanted. Are you going to try sanding down the board or will you have to get another?


It is very important that you use the set focus before you place your artwork where you want it. If you do that after placing the artwork it will not be correct.


Ok I will definitely try printing again. I will definitely sanding the board to try and reuse as this is my fifth board not printing properly. :pensive:

Tape a piece of paper on top of the board and let the print begin using very low power. If it is printing where you think it should, stop the print, remove the paper, reset your speed/power settings and start again.


Yes this - a power of 2 won’t cut through the tape, but you’ll be able to see exactly where it’s going to put your art. If your art is a vector you’ll even be allowed to select score instead of engrave so it’ll give you your outline very quickly.

Actual masking tape works, but it’s expensive and thick. Paper masking (you can get it fast and more expensive or in bulk but slower) is exactly what this is for!

You may other things of great interest here too!

1 Like

You guys have been extremely helpful and I am
grateful. I am still however unable to figure out what I am doing wrong. The print is still not printing as pictured on the app.

Do you have any recommended video I could watch on engraving ?

Do you understand that the camera shows the usable area of the Glowforge and not the entire bed?

1 Like

I can’t tell from the photos what is going on. Is the engraving still about an inch to the right of where you expect? What is the size of the board you are engraving, and how thick is it?

Yea the print is still about an inch from where it should print. The board is 1.25” however I added another board underneath which is .25 “

I think I see what’s going on. You placed that black pencil line in the center and lined up your art so the heart touched the pencil line - but what printed was to the left:

That looks like it’s a material height issue.

Let’s start from the beginning.
With the machine off, add another board underneath so your surface is about 1.75" from the bottom of the Glowforge.
Place a piece of tape where your centering line is drawn.
Turn the machine on.
Add a small circle to your design with the premium tool.
Use the set focus tool and have the beam land on the small piece of tape.
Orient the circle you just added to he center of the blue tape.
Set all of your design to ignore except the circle.
Set the circle to score on a power of 1.
What happened?

1 Like

Your calipers show 1.82", not the .25" + 1.25" you stated. If this is correct, don’t add anything else under the board.

1 Like

Just a thought, but have you run the Calibration routine? Every machine is a bit different and even moving the machine can throw the calibration off. Getting a fisheye lens to be able to locate a 3D point makes my head hurt to think about it, but all the math starts with the calibration, and the set focus places the location exactly. Only then can you move the design to where you want and expect it to cut or engrave where you intend. :slightly_smiling_face: