Laser not cutting on material where I place graphic

So I’ve been dealing with this issue for months but figured I’d just bear with it and trouble shoot. I’m getting to the point now where I feel like it’s just stupid to continue to deal with this when I spent so much on this.

In the app on my computer screen it shows the bed of the glowforge with my material. I have my graphic placed in a specific spot. For months my graphics have been actually engraving/cutting about 1/4 inch lower and to the left on the material. This really sucks because I’m trying to optimize my material and I’m usually pushing it to the edge already. I’ve been having to throw a lot of things out because It’s cutting off the material. I’ve been trying to account for this focus error every time and I’m sick of it.

I clean my Glowforge regularly with the Zeiss wipes. I clean throughout the bed and all the lenses so I don’t see how it could be a dirt issue.

I’ve tried to search the forum for this issue but haven’t found it. Has anyone experienced this and fixed it?


Currently there can be up to 1/4" variance at the edges of the bed due to the fisheye effect from the lid camera lens. It should be considerably less right under the camera, so if placement is critical on something that you are not cutting out, try to locate it under the lid camera.

There is a way to get perfect alignment now though, even out at the edges of the bed, by using a jig.

Writeup on it here:

Jig demo here:


That’s just how it is. The camera is not as accurate as one might hope.

As @jules said you can put the material in the center of the bed to minimize the error, or use a jig.

Another trick is to put to put some paper or masking tape on your material, and run the outer cut line at max speed/min power to just barely mark the paper. If the cut line went off the edge of your material, you can adjust placement in the app and try again.


The software on your Glowforge is responsible for ensuring that the print lands on the material in the same place as the preview. When you’re done with a print, let a new image load. If the print appears on screen far from where it was supposed to go, you may have an alignment problem.

As we make improvements to the software, I expect you to see further improvements to your alignment.

Most alignment problems come from the material being closer or farther from the camera than expected. While the software is still improving, you can take these steps for the most accurate alignment results:

  • Use Proofgrade materials.
  • If you don’t use Proofgrade materials, use a precision set of calipers to measure your material, and enter the thickness in the “uncertified materials” dialog.
  • Use material that is not warped or tilted.
  • Place your design near the center of the bed.
  • Clean the area underneath your crumb tray, particularly the four indentations on the floor.
  • Reboot the machine. Alignment can drift over time, particularly if you bump the head of your Glowforge while removing material.

Should you finish all of these steps, and find that you have an alignment error of more than 1/4", please contact us so we can investigate.

I’m going to close this thread - if you have more questions, go ahead and post a new topic.