Made a jig, art was still placed incorrectly

So I’ve only tried this once and plan on trying again tonight. Here’s my process and what happened:

I wanted to etch some lovely 4.25" white tile. I don’t have snapmarks on my app.

I created artwork as well as a 4.28" cut box around my art in illustrator (I use this daily for work) and saved as SVG.

I placed and taped down some large flat new cardboard onto the tray, set the cut line to cut and the art to ignore and cut the squares out.

I extremely carefully removed the cutouts with a weeding hook into the middle and lifted straight out. No movement and plenty of tape on all corners holding.

I carefully switched cut to ignore and set my artwork to etch with appropriate settings. After about twenty five minutes, it was ready to print. I hit the button and I noticed the dots beginning to form about 1/4" below the cutout of the cardboard. This was about 1/2" from where the artwork should be.

I’m positive I moved nothing in the window.

Are there any known bugs or weird behavior like this? The only thing I can think of is that my art was rather complicated. In fact when I attempted to retry by just manually lining up, the interface was processing was about 35 minutes before I gave up and canceled.

Again, I will try tonight with a fresh piece of cardboard but wanted to ask.

The only thing I can think of is making sure you set the correct height for the tile before starting the engrave. (You cut the jig with material height set for the cardboard, then set material height to the height of the tile to do the engrave.)

Other than that, it sounds like you did everything right. Hopefully your second try will be successful!

Yes, I did set the height, I was very methodical and a little nervous! I measured twice with digital calipers and double-checked everything. I can’t wait to try again possibly this evening.

That shouldn’t change the actual placement of the artwork. Changing the material height setting will change the apparent location as far as the overlay/on-screen display is concerned, but it won’t change where it physically ends up.

What’s the source artwork? Raster? Vector? If raster, it could potentially have been noise in the image. Did you use a clipping mask on anything? Clipping masks will be ignored.

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Thank you for the input! No, the art is clean vector shapes, no noise it all. I could even tell what it was starting to score is correct, just lower than it should have been. I’m hoping it was just a fluke. Planning on trying again from beginning to end.

In your specific case, it might be corruption in the vector file. If it took over five minutes to process, the software was having trouble with it. (There could be hidden stray points overlapping others, or some other issue that might be hard to find.)

I would suggest rasterizing the vector art…especially if it is complex. Just create a duplicate file and turn the artwork into a bitmap in the second copy…then try using that one in the GFUI. Less chance of error, and if you use a high ppi, it will be indistinguishable from a vector engrave. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you Jules! I’m considered very proficient in illustrator. Definitely no corruptions in the vector file, nothing overlapping. Any overlapping items were already merged together.

What I didn’t try is rasterizing the art, my concern being then that I would have a bitmap image and a vector cut line.

It can handle that perfectly. Are you saving as SVG?

Yes, Save As not exporting. I plan on giving it another go shortly and hopefully no issues. If I still have a problem I will try a bitmap.

Good deal. I’ll rasterize complex vectors by turning them into a PNG file in the Illustrator software…with a PPI of around 300. (You can go as high as 600.) Gives great results, and the image is already embedded if you just use the AI software to rasterize it.

One thing though…when you Save As on the SVG, be sure to choose the little Embed Images radio dial in the SVG popup.

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if it doesn’t work again and you feel like posting the file, sometimes just getting a fresh pair of eyes on the work can be helpful.

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I stopped by the house on my lunch break and was just too lazy to give the full-on jig setup a try again, so I just optically aligned it directly under the camera and it came out great. I do plan to make a multi-jig as I have more to make for the gift I’m planning. Thank you everyone, and I will update if I have the issue, but for now here’s one of the items I was trying to make.