Introducing Snapmark (September 2018)

Is there any update on the snapmark feature? I’m a graphic designer, and registration is key for many of my designs. Right now I am scoring my own and then lining up by eye and trial and error. It’s imprecise and time consuming, certainly not workable for a production run.

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As it has been over 6 months, and I like many are still waiting patiently for Snapmarks, it is frustrating. I’ll keep my little rant small. I hoped that Santa would bring it, but it didn’t happen. I promise I was good last year. Honestly, can we please get a response from @dan on the status of the beta feature. Rolling out a feature that needs to be singularly specced to the metrics of each machine seems a crazy way to implement some future updates.

Phew. All done. Now back to your usual channel. Apologies.


common core maths?

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I think it was September 5th of last year that Dan announced Snapmarks. That’s what I meant by over 6 months. But, then again, who’s counting? :grinning:

LOL, you, but it was the 18th and on the 18th that will be 5 months. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a trillion times not to exaggerate. Anyway, yes, it was probably a mistake on :glowforge: part to announce them until everyone could have them at once but I’m sure they did not anticipate the mythos that would grow up around them.


I had snapmarks for a while, and lost them when I had to exchange my machine. They were very handy, and I’d love to have them back, but honestly they didn’t let me do anything I couldn’t already do; they just made it a little bit faster. So I’ll be happy when I eventually (hopefully) get them back, but I’m not handicapped in the meantime.

There have been some great ways posted in the forums that you can use to nail down your registration without having to use trial and error. If you take some time to read through the Tips and Tricks section you’ll get lots of great ideas, depending on the types of project you do.

I use a lot of jigs, myself:

You can also make a crumb tray ruler for exact visual positioning (there are a lot of these; this is just the first one I found):

And to nail it down even more, you can use these to make sure your tray is always in the same place:


It’s still in beta - we’ll let everyone know when the status changes.


I am absolutely loving using Snapmarks! I do also have to echo what others have said: not having them should not stop you. I was doing precision alignments before, it’s just different now. using fixtures and jigs, a quick measurement, and running a test on cheap draftboard is a good practice and normal for any laser cutter. It’s like kids nowadays complaining if their smartphones take less than .5 seconds to return a search. It’s magical, give a second! I’m very appreciative, all the hard work being done in Glowforge HQ is paying off! and…we get it all magically delivered to our machines as an update. Also, I love the new main screen and run screen. Keep up the good work!!!


Glad you are enjoying them. We’ve had our machine about 8 months now (our replacement - the first one died in a week…) and none of the fun. Well, if you call cutting a cardboard jig every time we want to place something fun, then we’re having that.

We bought based on all the cool videos. None of the videos showed how hard it was to line anything up or repeat anything with accuracy. Left that bit out, they did. So, for @Tom_A - we bought on what they sold us, and they sold us short… @dan - with so many successful users, what the heck?

You should try using the bed rulers. Line up your jig the same way each time, and as long as you don’t move your design, you’re golden.


everything we’re trying to do is custom… so, its’ one or 2 shots. getting closer to one, but amazon-cardboard is a prized commodity here… but in any-case, the glowforge folks sold a ton of units on what is essentially ‘false advertising’. They ought be glad that lawyers are not creative people… :slight_smile:

I don’t cut a lot of jigs unless I’m going to do multiple copies of a project. I do use the 5 power high speed score on a piece of copy paper. Then I put the piece on the copy paper in the score line. Or if I’m doing something on PG or masked material, I’ll do an even lighter outline score so I can see where it lands without cutting through the masking.


How would you guys recommend aligning a passthrough project where the item to be cut is a continuous 26.5", in other words, it is 1 object which is cut in 3 sections which must align perfectly. Thoughts?

I’d probably cut it in four or five sections. (It’s a lot easier for it to get out of alignment on longer runs.)

I’d use snapmarks if I had them, or just use index marks and the side of the tray to anchor to, if I didn’t. But I do believe I would just set up separate files for the sections now…it’s bound to be easier to handle.


I have snapmarks and don’t use them for pass through. Too much trouble. I just index the part forward and cut the next. I get results within a mm or so. If I needed sub mm tolerances I’d make a permanent acrylic jig and include stop marks in the file or use the snapmarks.


hi glowforge people!

I’ve been using snapmarks for a while now and they’re pretty useful. The biggest problem I’ve encountered is that if I go over a certain complexity level, the alignment goes wonky or fails completely.

My message is mostly feedback, as I’m glad to have the snapmarks even with their limitations; but if anyone knows otherwise, please speak up. Can snapmarks work with complex real world data?

I have been using the snapmarks for about a month now, with no issues, until today. Recently, I have been receiving a pop up saying “everything looks good,” after clicking on the snapmark icon for alignment. As of today, I’m no longer getting that response, it just says “ready” and it’s taking about 4 times longer to supposedly align. However, it’s is not aligning properly. I tried shutting everything down and restarting, but I still have the same issue.

Thank you in advance for any help or suggestions.



I’ve used snapmarks before and they’ve always worked great for me. But tonight for some reason they aren’t working. Here’s the scenario:

  • I load the snapmarked jig into the glowforge and close the lid and load the snapmarked SVG
  • I get a good image of the jig in the bed
  • Then I click the ‘magnet’ button to scan for snapmarks
  • The bed image goes black as it’s scanning for snapmarks
  • At some point the head homes to upper left and starts grinding for a few seconds
  • The status changes to ‘read to print’
  • I’ve tried power cycling the GF a bunch of times.
  • I’ve tried power down, them moving the head under the lid camera and powering back up.

Hopefully some one can help me out.

Yes, it can, that doesn’t appear to be that complex. The problem in your case might be that the cardboard you’re using looks like it’s got some warp or bowing to it. Might be impacting things in that case.

Every time I had that happen there was something out of whack in the file. Did you try it with a different file that you know works?

I’ve seen that happen a couple of times during the testing, usually when the machine has gone into sleep mode, and oddly enough, if you just go ahead and hit Print, it lands right where it’s supposed to. I would suggest testing it on a cheap piece of cardboard or scrap just to make sure you don’t lose material. (Or you can just cancel the print, walk over and open the lid for a second to turn the lights back on, go back to the dashboard, then reopen the file and snap it again. You shouldn’t have to recycle the machine.)


Hi @bonny snapmarks seems to have made my Glowforge slow… not sure how that can happen but the Glowforge has gone slow suddenly. If you think it could be another reason then please let me know.