Lid Camera Calibration Beta

One of the most requested Glowforge features is a way to improve the alignment between the camera preview and the actual print on the software. Our team has been working hard to make this happen for you, and today we’re releasing an experimental beta tool that is available for everyone right now. We would be extremely grateful if you could try it out for us.

The tool builds on the data we gathered from the Snapmark experiment. It prints an entire grid of markings on a sheet of Draftboard, takes a picture, then measures its height in multiple locations to build a 3D model of the surface. All of this data is then combined with the calibration data we took at the factory to make your camera more accurate for future prints.

When you’re done, the Glowforge software will assess the results. If it’s more accurate than what you had before, it will be used; if it is not more accurate, it will tell you and not change the results.

The new calibration will then be used permanently, for all future prints, and should make the camera layout more accurate. However, once calibration is done, the flatness of your material makes a big difference in preview accuracy. The preview image is adjusted for a single height. You can choose where, and have your Glowforge measure it, by clicking Set Focus. The preview will be most accurate where you use Set Focus. Uneven material will be less accurate farther away from that spot.

How to recalibrate

You’ll need a 12” x 20” piece of material with no markings or stickers. It’s very important that the material be exactly 12” x 20”. The feature was designed to be used with a flat piece of medium Draftboard, used upside-down (with the sticker side down). It should work with other materials that are the same size and use the same print settings as well, like Proofgrade plywood, but we haven’t tested it on materials besides medium Draftboard yet.

To start, visit the Camera Recalibrator page and follow the instructions. It may take up to 40 minutes, depending on the speed of your wifi and internet connection.

How to test

When you complete the calibration, you’ll get instructions to test the results of your calibration. This includes a test target SVG that you can use. The mark should land within 1/4" of the preview.


One other update - the Snapmark experimental feature made this possible, but there was still a tremendous amount of work to do to finish it. We decided to stop development of the Snapmark feature to develop this instead. You can learn more in this post about Snapmark status.

This post will be updated with changes and clarifications - thanks so much in advance for any feedback you can share!

Snapmark work stopped
Thanks to the new calibration feature I could attempt this bit of geekery
New image calibration corrected front/back displacement, but not left/right
Feature Request: Show Material Height
My Snapmarks feature has disappeared
Engraving on Small Objects
Wrong Focus (Auto-Focus)
Calibration and lack of material
My design came out smaller then what the size was supposed to be
Help newbie with lid camera, Jiggy Jigs... Snapmarks etc
New alignment is awesome - thank you
First attempt at pass-thru...what went wrong? Aligning the image
Proofgrade medium hardboard cuts fail in top left area
Stuck Gantry
Glowforge Pro finally arrived!
Alignment is off
Odd alignment issue on my Pro
Off... by a lot!
Image centered burning issues
Problems with re-cutting a failed cut
Cuts are now much farther off pattern
Laserhead bumping bottom right corner due to (magnet?)
Accuracy of focus
Glowforge off focus
Laser Cutting an Inch to the Right
For anyone who is a COMPLETE BEGINNER with laser design, designing softwares, etc
Has anyone been cutting 0.37-0.40 material?
Proofgrade not cutting through at all
Christmas Puzzles
Access to the speed update and snapmarks
Image moves
Calibration and lack of material
Using the Passthrough with Illustrator (Beginner's version) :thinking:
Using the Passthrough with Illustrator (Beginner's version) :thinking:
Got my camera calibrated
Camera is BLURRY
Centering watch band design in glowforge
Video walkthrough of the Camera Recalibration
Pattern tweaking and reprinting within same project print session?
Pro weaker than Basic
We were told the horrible speed and performance would be fixed but we weren't told that it would cost us more!
Normal or Too Blurry? Lid camera image
Red cable getting caught on heatsink
Papercraft MTG commander card
How can this be the most precision laser cutter ever
Laser Cutting Issue
Snapmark work stopped
Print area changing after initial print
After printing a design can I cut the design out if I didn't at time of printing?
Trying to make this on the Glowforge LOL
Calibration misses exactly one target to the side
Proofgrade and Store
Design not lining up on wood
Rowmark - Bag Tags
Proofgrade and Store
Square Shot Glass Engraving Jig
Issues with my GF bed
Design not lining up on wood
Calibration made it WAY worse
Using Inkscape with the Passthrough :thinking:
Had trouble with the lid camera calibration
Engraving left and/or off scale
Artwork uploading LARGER than it was designed
New machine with blurry lid camera that can't recognize material
Handy Reminder! Glowforge Rules
Looking for advice on alignment/cutting after engraving + painting
Trace function is useless
Preview totally different
Alignment is off, new user
Preview of Bed Jumping In Scale Before Print

Guys, this is THE BEST THING YET. Seriously. Look how close to the edge I was able to get on this cut!


Here’s my overall bed image now. LOOK AT THAT PERFECTION, PEOPLE!

This is what it used to look like:


Prior to calibrating my camera my prints were off by about 1/8 of an inch in the middle and 1/4 on the far left and right.

This is how the calibration really helped. I now can print spot on and can use my material more efficiently.

This is an amazing feature the team has developed…


This works amazingly.

Before calibration.

After calibration.

One word of caution, make sure your material goes all the way to the bottom of the crumb tray. The way the red dot measure falls, I noted that it had gone off the material.

Thanks for this update.


Woo Hoo! It’s a whole new ball game…

After re-calibrating, I am now getting consistent placement across the bed, with an offset of < 1mm – a 600% improvement over the factory calibration. :partying_face::tada::sparkler:

Upper left corner (500x zoom, metric scale)…

Center of bed on old scrap pendant blank (500x zoom, metric scale)…

Between this and Set Focus, my GF has evolved to a whole new level!
For me. YMMV. :roll_eyes:


Great stuff! :slight_smile:


Stonking update!!! Gone from 1/4 inch out to spot on.

Now if we can have a few more upgrades like this one that would be brilliant.

This is the best upgrade since I’ve had my GF


I’m very glad to have known this before I ran the calibration on mine. It really does come all the way to the very front when it’s making all those marks! I lined my piece of Draftboard up with the frontmost edge of the honeycomb and it worked great.

And the results are wonderful. Calibration was always pretty good on my Glowforge but now it’s almost perfect! :slight_smile:


Pretty hard to beat this…and that’s at the far right of the bed next to the tray edge…

Thank you Glowforge!


Run it now!!! Best thing ever!


MAKE SURE your material doesn’t have ANY paper sticking up along the edges! The process takes height readings there as well, and curled masking can trip things up.

This is great stuff, it feels like I have a whole new machine!


This improvement is great! At 500 magnification, you cannot see any separation from the artwork and the actual score. This is not in the middle of the bed, but off to one side. After using set focus, I purposefully placed the target very near a void in the material so I could gauge how close to edges I could now put my artwork. The alignment is near perfect.
Thanks Glowforge team!


Screwed up and this didn’t cut all the way through and it normally would have been a total loss. Now I was able to reload everything, eyeball the cut file and it was 100% dead on and I was able to cut the ornaments out. That was impossible before. Well done GF!


This made mine way worse. After calibration and using PG Draftboard for both the calibration and then flipping it for the test target (even aligned to lower left corner again), my camera now doesn’t see the left inch or so of my material. So it was supposed to print in the upper left corner as indicated on the screen but you can see from the actual GF bed image I took, that it seems have somehow calibrated the left side of the tray out of camera range. Did it line up exactly after finishing yes, but one inch or so into the Draftboard as it seems to think that is where the upper left corner is now.

I wasted a coveted piece of PG Draftboard on this to make it worse and now am afraid to run it again with my last piece of Draftboard.

Ignore where the purple target is, I moved it out of the way when I realized what had happened on teh actual GF.

Tanya, the left 3/4 inch of material is not accessible by the head, and doesn’t show up on the screen view. It’s never been visible, they only show us the printable area on the app.

That probably printed exactly where you placed it. The way that you can tell is if the purple preview falls right onto the resulting cut.


My crumb tray has a high spot in the middle. How much will that effect this?


Well, I was super excited to read about this, but it still looks off about 1/8". But it’s a little hard to tell because the image is so fuzzy. Not sure if it’s much better or not…

Congrats to the Glowforge team. An amazing update. Ran the cross hair test twice and double perfect alignment!!!


Theoretically it will improve your alignment. It does a mapping of the entire bed. Try it and see.