Introducing Snapmark (September 2018)


So, I thought Snapmarks might be the solution to print PCBs double sided. Maybe my process is flawed.

I created a rectagular template with the snapmarks centered within the rectangle. I cut the template and scored the snapmarks, and without moving the waste piece, flipped the template over and put it back in the hole, and scored the snapmarks on the other side. Now I have a template with snapmarks mirrored on both sides.

I then taped a PCB on one edge in the center of the template.
Engraved one side, flipped it over and engraved the other side.

The resulting engrave is for some reason, off by 3.11 mm on the horizontal axis. The vertical axis is fine.

I did notice during the first snapmark scan the red laser was left of the snapmark, and on the second side, the red laser was in the middle of the snapmark. (about the same distance the engrave is off.)
I did measure the template, and it seems to be accurate on both sides.


Second attempt. This time, just using some score marks to test positioning. Did the first score on the piece, flipped the template over.
Did the Snapmark scan on the second side, but wasnt watching the position of the red laser to see where it was, so I cancelled the scan from the GUI. 3 or so seconds later I heard loud banging noises coming from the forge, and ran over to switch the GF off as the head was grinding to the back left trying to go home. (Can I say a $2.00 limit switch would have prevented this)

Turned the unit back on and did the snapmark scan again. This time the red laser was in a spot consistent with the first scan.

I’m running the print now, the test looked good, really good.
But I’m going to avoid that “Cancel” in the GUI like its E-Coli.


Yah. It works!

Don’t forget to flip one side horizontal!


man I wish I could get in to the Snapmark action. half the request I get are for oversized/ passthrough designs…


You don’t have to have snap Marks to make passed from work well .

Short tutorial in the matrix.


I tried, it failed. I tried again, it failed again. I want this to be almost automated. Not a hassle.


I agree it should be automatic but like most things, once you wrap your head around the pass through it is pretty easy. Took me several tries to understand and develop a good work flow.


It would be nice to have an indicator so we know that the Glowforge is using snapmarks when they are engaged. It could be an icon next to the print button, or text. a different color for the print button on the device, or a different pulse rate would also be helpful.


It only uses them when you tell it to, so I’m confused why you wouldn’t already know --?


I’m forgetful enough that at some point, I’m going to forget to scan for the snapmark before I hit the print button in the GFUI. :slight_smile:


I’d like to see the preview align the image to the snap marks, so that you can see visually what the laser is about to do. It’s nerve-inducing having to press the button and hope that snap marks work. Sure, so far it works every time, but when mistakes are expensive, it’s reassuring to see a preview to make sure that you’ve not forgotten anything.


The more I use the Snapmark feature the more confident I am that it will work. The only time it failed was the first time I used it. I print a few score marks in a scrap area before the actual job to ensure everything is in it’s place.


If i ordered a basic, and receive snapmarks after my (short 6 month) warranty runs out, and it turns out snapmarks don’t work because there was a factory defect with my machine that was only uncovered as a result of the attempt to use new features, am i going to be royally screwed?

Or - if it turns out that through whatever magic / analysis is happening behind the scenes, they determine that my machine was not configured / factory calibrated accurately enough for snapmarks to work, and this is discovered after my warranty expires. will i just never be offered the feature - and hence also be royally screwed?

I think we all need more transparency behind the algorithms being used to enroll folks with the snapmark feature.

Oh - and BTW - can i have snapmarks please?


There are more questions than answers right now, but they’ve made it clear that Snapmarks are not guaranteed for anyone. All you can do is keep your fingers crossed, unfortunately.


I love the new Snapmark feature! can’t wait for it to be available on my other two Glowforge machines!


Time again for my thrice fortnightly plea… “Can I please have some snapmarks, PLEASE!” @bonny


Sadly, I had them on my first machine, but when it was replaced I was never able to get them back. Sad, too, becuase the work I’m doing now would greatly benefit from them.


Twould be a great Christmas gift from Glowforge.


@bonny Hi, just saw that I’m supposed to report issues here as opposed to making a new post in support. So I’ll just copy what I said here for reference.

I’ve been using snapmark for a while now and this is the first time that I can’t get it to align at all. I’m currently trying to make something for a customer and needed to ship it out by tomorrow. I’ve made the jig and used it about ten times now. When it starts scanning for the snapmarks it goes through the usual routine of positioning the laser above the left snapmark and then moving to the right one. At which point the laser is supposed to go back to its upper left hand corner (where it starts every time). But every time at this point it goes back to about 5 inches off of where it’s supposed to be, thus setting the entire print off by five inches.

I’ve tried realigning by turning it off and setting the laser right under the camera (which usually works), and I’ve also left it off (for a half hour) and tried again multiple times.

Any other suggestions that could be useful? Thanks!


Try moving the jig. Bring the snapmarks further into the field of view.