Lid Camera blurry and misaligned

My camera seems to be awfully blurry and with bad alignment I placed something well away from the border and I had to stop printing because it was about to start cutting out of the material.

Am I doing something wrong? Is the machine faulty?

NOTE: I have only used the machine less than 10 times so far

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Factors affecting offset:

  1. Normal .25" tolerance (hopefully improved in the future)
  2. Material height (the image scales as the height is changed)
    a. Mis-identification (always verify before cutting)
    b. Warped/bowed material (use hold down pins, magnets)
    c. PG material out of spec (check with calipers)

Once you’re learned your machine’s offset, you’ll develop a knack for better placement. When precise placement is crucial you can try:

  • Adaptive targeting: Do a very low power test on the masking to discover the offset at your target location, then adjust/correct in the GFUI and do the full cut at normal power.
  • Sacrifice: Pre-cut an outline out of a sacrificial material like cardboard and use the hole as a jig for your next cut(s)
  • Absolute jig: Create a more permanent jig that you can place at a known location. This requires a cut area template into which you place your designs. Read up on this, there are examples around the forum.

All that said, if your machine is out of tolerance the friendly support folks will want to help! There’s a precise procedure they will ask you to complete so they can examine the logs and images.


When you take a bed snapshot with the preview it provides more information if you include the rulers and the area that includes the material selection.

Did the unit recognize the material type as Medium Maple Hardwood? If not and an incorrect material type/thickness was used then the bed image will be in the wrong place. The unit might have been cutting correctly.

Before you press print always ensure that the material type has been automatically selected, or select it via a drop down menu or if you are not using Proofgrade always enter the correct material thickness manually.

Some units don’t pick up the material label everytime. Usually because of a dirty lid camera. But it happens sometimes to most everyone even with a clean camera.


It’s possible for the QR code to look blurry, but still be interpreted successfully by the app. Would you let me know if the app doesn’t recognize your Proofgrade materials?

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.

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", we’d like to have you try a few troubleshooting steps for us:

  1. Turn off your Glowforge.

  2. Check for small pieces of debris or dust.

  • Check the lower door to make sure it closes all the way. It may require some force to open, but open it, wipe any dust off the edges, and close it all the way.
  • Remove the tray and clean any dust or debris from the surface underneath. Pay careful attention to remove all debris from the four dimples where the tray rests.
  • Check the lid to make sure it closes all the way. Small particles of material, such as dust or debris, can prevent it from closing completely.
  1. Check the surface your Glowforge is on to make sure it’s flat. Ensure it is not twisted slightly and that there is no debris propping up one side of the machine.

  2. Turn your Glowforge back on.

  3. We included an extra piece of Proofgrade Draftboard with your materials shipment for troubleshooting. Place the Proofgrade Draftboard in the center of the bed and print the Gift of Good Measure using the default settings.

  4. When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture updates. Without moving your artwork or your material, take a screenshot of the Workspace to show us the difference between the artwork placement and the actual print placement. Make sure to include the rulers in your screenshot and show as much of the bed as possible.

  • Mac: Press Shift-Command-4 and click and drag a box around your image. You’ll find the screenshot file saved on your desktop.
  • Windows: Click on the Start Menu and type “snipping tool”. Open the Snipping Tool > New then click and drag a box around your image. Click the Save icon and name and save your file.
  1. Send us the screenshot along with the date and time of the print, and we’ll investigate.

I am having the same problem, with a post that is still open but somehow buried. Sorry to see several others going through this but hopefully someone will find the issue. This has only been a problem for me since one of the updates.

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email