Material Alignment

I’m just starting with my Glowforge. I’m having some alignment issues.
I’ve attached an image of the “Gift of Good Measure” that I made.

You can see where the image was placed in the app does not match where the cut was made on the material.

Any ideas or suggestions?cut%20misaligned

The spec at this time is within 1/4” from the on-screen display to the actual cut. They are working on refining the software to improve that.


All of the post operation images on my machine(s) show that displacement. I believe it engraved and cut right where you initially positioned the file. If you didn’t move the material at all and ran the file again, it would print in exactly the same place - in spite of what this image shows you.

I have run 5,000 tokens engraved on both sides. The file is both sides super imposed on each other, so I run the first side with the cut and then flip the token ( the lid is opened so the camera takes a picture when it is closed), while ignoring the other side. The image for the second side is just like your pic here, displaced - but the second side engraves exactly where it should.
If you want to see how far off the placement is, make a mark on the masking and place your file right on it. Any deviation that you see from where you marked it and where it cut is how far off the camera calibration is from the file. That’s the “within a 1/4” that is refered to.


My suggestion would be to read a bit more on the forum, because this has been discussed a lot lot. You might find more info by searching for “alignment”, like so:

On top of that, since you’re just getting started, Jules has a great breakdown of key stuff to read when you first get going… you’ll find so much good stuff here:


This confuses people with second cuts and other actions also.
If you made a cut and nothing has been moved, you can just ignore everything else, then select cut again and it will mirror the first attempt.
It may not look like it will (as in your picture) but if nothing had been moved it will be where it is suppose to be.

I got nervous the first few times I tried it, but it does what you want it to even if the camera image is a liar.


Welcome to the forum. Your QRC looks a little blurry, but it seems that they are working on what is a standard for that

It looks within specs of 1/4". One thing you could do is get a full sheet of very flat cardboard and cover the whole bed. Use a target graphic that shows placement over the whole bed to give you a sense of how the displacement shows up. If it significantly warps over different areas, that might be an issue. If it is pretty close or exact on the center, yours might be within specs.


Here is one of the most robust discussions back in the pre-release days before production units rolled out and we were discussing what is normal and how to tell.


Thanks for reaching out. The screenshot you shared with the Gift of Good Measure shows that your Glowforge is performing within the range of accuracy that we expect right now. 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.