Laser is shifting during engraving and cutting

My Aura works well on project start, but partway through (timing varies) the laser is shifting unexpectedly. In one case I’m using 1/8" plywood with the thick Basswood settings. In the second, I’m using the proofgrade acrylic. The shifting is very inconsistent. I cleaned the metal rails and we blew out the machine to make sure there wasn’t something in the side rails. I’ve also tried restarting. The view within the Glowforge app looks great - aligned correctly. Suggestions/thoughts?

The smoke deposit on the rails seems to build quickly enough that I wipe the rails with an alcohol-moistened rag after every run.
With the machine off, you can feel any drag by gently sliding the head from side to side.


Thanks! I’ll try that :slight_smile:


This doesn’t help with the shifting - but using the thick settings on a medium material means you’re lessening the amount of power that’s reaching the plywood because it’s focusing 1/8" above the material (since thick at a default is 1/4").

Use the medium material settings, and if you want more power push that up manually :slight_smile: Might allow you to lessen the number of passes and therefore the buildup of stuff in your rails!

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I had a similar issue with my GF Pro… it turned out I had the gantry belt installed on the smooth side of the belt instead of the toothed side. It would cause the head to slip just a little whenever it reversed direction. That’s the only time I have ever had anything misaligned like you are showing. Slipping or improperly installed belt would be my guess.

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this is happening on both of glowforges suddenly, which is making me wonder if its somehow software related? even the gift of good measure is failing

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If it were software it would be happening across the forum. If you haven’t already reached out to support you should, but in the meantime have you checked your belts as suggested above?


I am new and this is my first day actually cutting aside from the project to get started, and this shifting in mid cut has also just started, it looks great on the screen, and then randomly just starts cutting like it lost its path. I did multiple of these cuts today all with success so it can’t be the file. I guess I will contact customer support but just would like to say your not alone!

Cleaning the metal rails with isopropyl alcohol has helped. To the suggestion earlier, I now do it after every run.


I’m struggling with this as well and I’m getting pretty frustrated at the amount of material wasted. I’ve vacuumed it out and cleaned the rails multiple times.

I have had my aura for about 3 weeks and I am running into the same situation. I am using glow forge proof grade materials and wasting a lot of materials/money. I clean the rails constantly and have cleaned per the instructions. I clean and sweep the tray and make sure my materials are flat on the screen. I don’t know what else to try. I am getting ready to send mine back. Very disappointed. Laser runs good for a short time then cuts outside the pattern or the cutting gets skewed. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. If not, I am done with the aura.

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Glowforge Proofgrade materials are guaranteed to work if you’re using the PG settings. So my first suggestion would be, stop throwin money away. Contact support (you can call or email) and submit proof of the failure, and let them help you.


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