Introducing Snapmark (September 2018)


You don’t have to burn the snapmarks after it’s been aligned. Just ignore that operation.

(Sorry, I see now you said by default)


So glad the feds aren’t monitoring this forum.


Or are they?


BTW @bonny,

I realize there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work, but I just tested the Snapmarks function while the machine was in Compact Filter mode and it worked just the same as always.


Introducing Snapmarks? Really? Can you change the topic to: “Start-Up Failing techniques 101”

Its January 31 and I am downright peeved.

I ordered a Pro the week you announced the “Snapmark” and have been waiting patiently for Snapmarks for 5-6 months now. For an alignment feature. I turn off and on my GF to realign before every cut or etch I make. This has gone from many a day down to once or twice a month since I now just get mad when I look at the damn thing.

I typically am the most patient and good natured of folks. I am a geek and love the start up maker revolution. Enough so that I started a maker space and have developed a pretty good following out where I live. Now people see the awesomeness of the GF as they walk by and I am telling them that its a waste of money for the accuracy reasons until you deploy the SnapMarks feature.

I have wasted several hundred dollars (almost a thousand or 25% of my purchase price of the machine) in unique (read: one of a kind) merchandise I purchased specifically to etch on and could easily have doubled that money if it wasn’t 100% destroyed. Due to the incredibly bad alignment over time issues I have lost all desire to use the GF and now I am avoiding use of the GF altogether and I am incredibly frustrated. I bought this as a small business owner for the scale of what could be done, as a force multiplier, but its all wasted if I can only do one or two prints of anything without a 1/8 inch variance at the edges. I am almost to the point where I am going to publicly smash this pile of nearly useless garbage on YouTube/Instagram/Twitter/Facebook/Reddit and any other social forum I can think of. Where the GF should have already paid for itself with my work it has cost me some of my incredibly hard earned start-up money.

5 Thousand Dollars is a lot of wasted money and I am thinking that a public execution of my machine may make for some really bad but popular PR (everyone loves to see a guy smashing things with a maul). Not to mention it may be the only way to enjoy the GlowForge again…

Roll out this damnable feature or get ready for some incredibly negative press. If you have engineers who tell you “we have a plan and it can’t be expedited or changed even if the customer is obviously pissed over it” then you have either crap engineers or crap delivery management or both. Its not that Snapmarks are required for your product to be useful, but that accuracy across more than a 6" x 6" area of a 12" X 21" bed shouldn’t be a feature request, but priority number 1. If you cannot understand that this is going to be the issue that ends your company than you must have crap company leadership.

I mean, I don’t think “is accuracy important for this laser cut” should be a question every time I hit go, do you? After half of $10,000 has been thrown in, and what amounts to several thousand in potential sales wasted, on top of the nearly thousand of damaged and unusable product costs? Thats nearly $7,000-$10,000 thrown into the fricking street and danced on by your so-called engineers who have told us, “just go ahead and make sure to restart your machine occasionally so you may get into the secret sadistic lottery system we invented for our own evil humors, and get up every morning to pray to our alter and hope we give you the icon we totally know you will love”

Get this resolved or be ready to reap the whirlwind of collective social experience.

Oh you released pause… yeah super important… thanks for nothing.


I am not looking for a fight with you, and I am sympathetic regarding your frustrations. However, the Snapmark announcement was clear - Snapmark was experimental, Snapmark was beta, Snapmark was not to be released for all machines, Snapmark was not necessarily going to be a “forever” feature. There are other very reliable ways to achieve alignment goals.


I’m not saying I love how they are handling this, but you can probably get where you need to be without Snapmarks. Start a thread about your specific alignment desires and someone will be able to help you figure out a workflow.


I run several businesses and this is not how to please your customers.

I don’t want a workaround. I just want to be able to print reliably, and not have to waste all of my precious time engineering a solution to a problem caused by sophomoric developers who think that you can tease people with features and pull them back just because you warned people.

The car may come with headlights as a beta, but don’t plan on it since we may decide you can’t handle them and may revoke them at a later time, strap some torches to the bumper and go like hell you’ll be fine. Oh and don’t drive at night, that should work too…



I don’t have Snapmarks, either, so I can sympathize, but a Beta program isn’t offering something and taking it away. It’s testing out a possible new feature to work out bugs and see how it works. I think perhaps announcing it widely in this way was not the best of choices because so many people feel like they can’t accomplish things without it (whereas before it was announced, people were making things work). But, on the other hand, at this level of laser, you don’t really have any machines with perfect alignment. They pretty much all require workarounds and jigs. I think because we’ve got the camera it seems like we SHOULD have perfect alignment, and hopefully it’s on the way, but that’s not the norm.

Anyway, I get the frustration. It may be that this isn’t the right machine for you. But I think, since you already have it, that it might be worth seeing if you can easily work past the challenges you’re having. As mentioned above, there are plenty of people who would be happy to help.


Please do not mistake me for an employee or independent kool-aid chugger. I have made plenty of spicy posts myself, and plenty of posts defending people like you who are righteously steamed.

But now that you have aired your grievances, a simple choice remains… You can become more productive with the friendly help available here, or not.

If you decide to move ahead, I bet you will find success more quickly than you think is possible right now.

Whatever you decide, good luck to you.


There are people who ordered their GF units 3 years ago, have had them in hand for 18 months, and still don’t have Snapmarks. It was never an advertised feature.

You could also spend 3X what your Pro cost you, on some other company’s laser cutter, and you’d still be without any repeatable software alignment solution and wouldn’t even have the camera. You would have to rely on making physical positioning jigs basically just like others here have mentioned and every other laser cutter on the market would require.

You bought a HOBBY machine. It’s not GF’s fault you didn’t spring the $$ for a production workhorse.


I want to be clear, I want to LOVE the GF. But I am being hit in the wallet after I already spent enough to get an Epilog which does not have these problems, and also told that the key feature that I need goes through some magic shamanistic probability generator before being put on a roster of potentially upgraded nodes, its just insult after injury.

I don’t care if it was an advertised feature or not. I bought the thing to work and it should. I should expect that a purchase of 5000+ should be able to do the same etch 4 times on a 2 dimensional surface flat plane like my $800 3D printer could do 5 years ago (also all of that is open source so if I feel theres a feature or something that needs looked at I could help and we all win)

Please don’t defend the company by saying it wasn’t a promised feature because that is not a defensible position. If another user has a feature and it is working and solving an issue I were to have on a daily basis, and the code were open so I could pull from GIT the fix then I could understand you saying that, but really:

Closed software
Inexperienced Entrepreneurs
Poor Communications about features
are not the reason I am irritated.

What irritates me is that I have to wait at all while a firmware gets soft loaded into units because of some arbitrary algorithm instead of doing what a typical company would do and let me take the risk by opting in and getting a broken feature that I assume all risk for, after having the LSO training that I agreed to and take VERY seriously, I am MORE than responsible enough to take that risk and after paying for the privilege of the Professional Model already show the commitment.

You may feel that my opinion is wrong, but this is the worst method I have ever seen of beta feature (or even alpha) adoption in my life and I have worked in IT for 20 years.

Let me Opt in for gods sake and I will sign a form saying if I break it its on me, and I would still be happier that way even if I had to pay for the repairs. I would have chosen to beta. Instead of having a Beta feature tossed randomly onto my system to which I may not be prepared for and thereby increasing the call volume from unknowing customers with questions about a new button they may not have asked for. I would provide feedback and we would have walked away the better for it.

However it is defensible that the I bought a Hobby machine labeled Professional and expect that I get professional results? I also feel that my investment of 3x what the cheapest model of GF costs should provide me a leg up in the Q. Isn’t that what buying a first class ticket provides you? Besides who provides a better beta feedback loop (the whole reason people beta) than a professional user?

Otherwise open the code so the community can fix what the hubris and ego of GF seem unable to do in some reasonable time-frame.


You’re upset about reasonable things, but you have been around long enough to know the company is not going to change how they do things. The company that feels inches per second is too complicated for us is going to open git repo? Nope.

What you got is what you got. Make the most of it. We’ll help. Or … make a smashing video.


It is true that in NONE of the promotional material or on site content was there any mention of “you gotta make a jig”… Everything made it look like alignment was perfect out of the box. Yeah, I know, Marketing. But if I throw a snuggle dryer sheet into my dryer, I’m getting soft clothes. Soft as a squishy teddy bear? no, but closer to that than the glowforge is to “aligned.”…


You are correct. I will continue to use it, but if we don’t demand anything, we get what we deserve.

I work as an architect in a devops shop, where changes happen by the hundreds per hour and you can achieve safe reliable scientifically modeled product by moving to “brick and mortar” style micro-service architectures and putting out the motor control brick as well as ui and utility, focus you know whatever, open through an API, and keep anything controlling laser firing and power or whatever you feel you are more able to handle than the general populace of scientists and makers and engineers through compartmentalization of encrypted firmware and vdisk on the devices and be done with it. That way I can use my tools and source control to manage my own files and leave you to develop beautiful sweet smelling lasers of creation.

Believe me nobody is building lasers enclosures in their back yard of the quality you produce, you will always have consumers. I backed your product to my wife and had to justify it, and she can show me several other examples of open source solutions doing the tracking and motion control gimble on additive devices all day long and has been asking me why a device with that price tag does not have a larger passthrough and insults it as a ripoff. Forward thinking. We all agree your product can be an amazing tool, let the community help you help yourselves help us make amazing things.

Meanwhile, I will wait for the potential day when I get an email telling me in a few weeks I may receive a magic ticket when my machine reboots and an icon will just show up, I will start getting the hips ready for the chicken bone chicken bone wish dance… yet-again.


You don’t have to reboot the machine to get Snapmarks.


I am a huge proponent of asking for what you want, but demanding things seems just as likely to backfire. They KNOW we all want Snapmarks. People have threatened, cajoled, whined, cried, begged, pleaded, and become giant PITAs. And still, Snapmarks are rolling out the way they’re rolling out. I don’t understand the mysterious process, but it seems pretty clear it isn’t something that’s easily sped up. Even if we’re all annoyed about it.


I’ve been using snapmark on my other glowforge for a while with great results! I just got it on # 3 and did the pencil run with perfect results. but… I tried doing a custom design and it won’t recognize it (see picture). I cleaned all the lenses, re-positioned, and tried a power cycle to check. but all yielded the same result. the fudicials weren’t moved or resized. the head moves to each of the fudicials exactly when it scans every time, but still fails. Help! and thank you.


I think you might have missed several important posts stating that you may NEVER get Snapmark. And those of us that have it may lose it at any time. You should probably stop waiting for Snapmark now. Not sure why you’re running into problems using the machine. I’ve had Snapmark for months but I have yet to bother to even try it. Sounds nice though. And I’m sure one day I’ll get around to it. Meanwhile I’ve run off dozens and dozens of items since Snapmark was announced. And I’ve had my machine for a year and a half before they even existed. My point is, they’re really not required.

I didn’t read all of your posts, but I do believe you’ll get the most benefit by learning how to use the machine as it was designed to be used. And this thread isn’t the place to do that. You’ll want to open a thread with some specific issue you’re having and somebody, I"m sure, will be happy to help you fix it.


I had really hoped that a new machine replacing the old that even had engraved chastity plates would have also had Snapmarks but no such luck :frowning_face: