Laser is engraving, scoring, and cutting very skewed


I’ve used my Glowforge a dozen times or so. Tonight, I loaded up some acrylic and all of my designs were WAY off. It seems like the back and forward movement is very off. It definitely seems to be something with the machine itself because of the horrible noises it makes when the arm (not sure if that’s the right term) moves back and forth.

I’ve attached two photos to illustrate what’s happening (The SVG file and what the machine ended up doing instead) as well as a video of the machine making a horrible cut on a very simple piece of jewelry. Note in the video that the horizontal score is perfect…


The video was too large to upload, so here it is in a public google folder:

I’d really appreciate any help. With holiday markets starting up this weekend I’m trying not to panic over here.

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There are two common causes for this. 1. there is something preventing the travel or 2. the belt moving it is loose.

If you turn the machine off and run the gantry back and forth you should fell where it is hanging up. Before doing so you should push the gantry all the way back on each side you can get it parallel to the back.

If you have a Pro check especially for a wire that sometimes catches on stuff on the side, If the gantry moves back and forth easily then check for a loose belt or any damage under the gantry, An easy way to do that is a phone in selfy mode as it is easier to get under the gantry than your head.


Thanks for the quick response. There doesn’t appear to be any loose belts, and I did the selfie camera trick to get a better look under the gantry (now I know what it’s called, thanks!). I don’t see any damage under there either, although I’m not 100% sure what kind of damage I would be looking for. I fired up the machine again this morning and I’m still having the same issue.

Here is an official response to a similar issue…

lots to check out there for how tight the belts are
sometimes a magnet or crumb gets in the way of travel keeping the gantry from moving properly. You should as I mentioned above with the machine off move the gantry all the way back and pushing on each side make sure each end is all the way back and thus that the gantry is parallel to the back of the case.

Okay, did some more poking around in the machine. Everything appears to be normal until it’s time to cut. Here’s a video of me moving the gantry back and forth, smoothly with no jolts or jitters. Also in this video you can see me testing the tension of my belts, which seems taut in the way that support recommends:

Maybe the problem isn’t the gantry? I re-did the ruler tutorial cut and it came out super wonky.

Google Photos

Here’s also a few photos of under the gantry - both sides. Everything looks in order (and surprisingly clean)

Google Photos
Google Photos

How about if you do the same thing going left/right? Any catching on that direction??
It looks smooth back and forth but that’s definitely not right!

Has this been resolved? Im having the same exact issues with my Plus.

You’ll want to open your own thread in P&S (unless you’ve sent them an email). Support can only help one person per thread since opening a post opens a ticket.

I see you did. Fingers crossed it’s solveable!

Not yet. Have you had your machine a while or is yours new?

First cut :frowning:

Ah, bummer city. Sorry to hear that you’re having problems right off the bat.

I went ahead and e-mailed customer support a bit ago. Folks have been very kind and helpful in this thread but nobody has been able to nail down the issue yet - hoping the experts at GF might have some insights (and soon!!)

FYI for the future - opening this thread started a ticket with CS, so by also emailing them you’ll slightly slow down their response time because they have to find/verify/close any duplicates before they can respond to an issue, and they will always prioritize email so you’ll know you’ll get a response soon when you see this thread get closed.
Next time just do one or the other :slight_smile:

Oh no! Doh, I didn’t know that. I should have read the rules + intro threads a little more closely. Thanks for the information, I’ll be sure to only do one in the future.

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Almost all of us did it with our first one!

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I see you already emailed us about this and we’re working on it there, so I’m going to close this topic.