MacBook Air etching snafu

So I just tried to etch my brothers new MacBook Air. (New two weeks ago, so not the recently announced model). I cancelled it after about 3 strokes because the image was about half an inch to the right and off center. It didn’t get bumped, and after I cancelled it the image that popped back up on the screen was exactly what I wanted.

Look below and to the left of the D and below and to the right of the S… you can see the etchings there.

I set it at full speed, 68 power and 340 lpi

I set the computer on 1” of stacked proofgrade materials and set my height at .1” because the MacBook is supposed to be .6”

I’m new to this and haven’t done any work other than from the Glowforge store on proofgrade stuff.

Any idea why this happened?

It is unfortunately normal for the image you see in the app to not be perfectly aligned with where the laser will go. When placement is critical you need to take additional steps. For example, you can tape paper to the top of the object, and zap a super fast, minimum power outline of your art to see if it lands where you intend. If not, scoot the object, and test again.

It is unfortunate, but that is how it is for now.


You can also put a bounding box around your design the exact size of the laptop in a different color, register a piece of cardboard on the bed with tape or magnets and cut the box out ignoring the engrave, put the laptop in the hole and run the engrave.
After you remove the cutout and close the lid, the new image of the bed will show the design displaced. Ignore that. If the cardboard jig hasn’t moved, the design will register perfectly.

Nice save on the first attempt, and great result! :+1:


Like GrooveStranger and PrintToLaser said. Another thing - are you sure .1" is the correct material thickness given that the computer “is supposed” to be .6"? Best to double check all measurements after reading the various posts about using the Glowforge without the honeycomb tray. Nice image. Good luck. I hope you succeed and share a photo.


Would the curve of the surface effect the placement? Also, should I mask the aluminum?

Not definitive, but since the partial engrave is wider than the original art appears in the GFUI, I’m rather sure that your height settings are wrong.

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Your height is wrong. The crumbtray 0 point is about 1.37”. So your material height should be .23” if it’s supported by 1” of material.


And I should add, i would be surprised if you were exactly an inch with the Proofgrade. Do you have a pair of calipers?

Glowforge should offer a Starter Accessory Pack for sale! Include calipers, etc.


maybe check out this post, if you haven’t already (i found it helpful):

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You’ve got guts. I’ve ran the bejeezus out of my GF over the last year and there’s still no way I’d put my own laptop in there and expect it to turn out right, much less someone else’s. :wink:


The first time it’s hard to push that button :grinning: You know in your head you can’t do any damage since it won’t cut the metal…but…your stomach doesn’t know that so you have to squash the butterflies and press the go button and watch what comes out.


My recollection is that it’s not .125 at all. But yeah, you’re going to have to measure.

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Thank you so much for the details. I’m looking into it now. As soon as I have more information I’ll update this thread.

Since this problem is being seen on materials that were purchased from another company, we can’t offer support for prints that don’t come out as expected. I’m going to move it to Beyond the Manual so other folks here can help. Should this happen with a print on Proofgrade materials, please open a new ticket in Problems and Support and we’ll help you right away!

That’s actually a really good tip re paper. I hadn’t thought of that and had effectively given up on using my GF to engrave anything