Improving Alignment of Pre-Printed Cardstock and PDF Cutfile

Looking for some help here. I have an order of cards to make. I have a design, which I intend to pre-print on cardstock, then cut out with details using the same file. Everything is proper vectors and I have a separate designated cut line around the portions I want to print.

The problem comes when I try to actually cut. I cannot make the alignment come out right. The cut gets increasingly inaccurate as it travels across the page left to right, but none of the cuts are adequately aligned. I have cut a jig to ensure proper paper placement, and the thickness is correct in the GFUI. I just can’t figure out what else to check.

Any ideas?

If you’re not using the Snapmarks, it’s a little bit more difficult to try to align a cut to pre-printed paper. There is a method for doing it though that @cynd11 put together…it explains how to do it without Snapmarks.

I have had very good results using the method Jules links to from @cynd11. However, I have also had trouble cutting preprinted items without Snapmarks. Part of the problem for me was that the printed file was slightly different dimensions than the file in Inkscape because of some weird behavior of the printer I was using. Also, the printer was not always 100% accurate because of paper feeding slippage. In spite of that, I ultimately succeeded using @cynd11’s method and placing the material directly under the camera. It confuses me that the cut would become less precise across a single card unless there is something funny going on with the file as interpreted by the printer.

Thanks for the tips. After sleeping on it and investigating further this morning, I’ve discovered that my printer is shrinking everything by 4% or so. It’s not a Glowforge issue.


Yup - It didn’t make sense that the Glowforge would be correct at one point on the page and then not later. That is not an alignment thing, it is a file thing. Hope you have success soon with your project.

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After an afternoon spent with printouts and my digital caliper, I was able to modify a special file for cutting to almost perfectly match what was printing. It was annoying detail work, but it got the job done. I would much prefer to have an accurate printer.

I am glad you got your cards done and that you have this figured out now. Next time (if there is a next time for this kind of project) will go ever so much better.

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