Material Height Error (when material is not too tall)- possible fix

I had a problem with my unit sensing material height on .02" material that I’ve cut hundreds of times in the past. Had the error in October but everything has been fine for a month until today. It gives the “Material Height” error and won’t let me run the print.
This only ever happens on a job where I’m printing duplicates of the same file. So I tried placing just one in the center of the material, set manual focus to .02", and hit print- it gave a time estimate and no error. Cancelled that. Then I added the rest of the duplicates, and hit print again, and it’s working now.

Hope this helps if anyone else is getting this error for silly things now and then. I tried everything else I could find on the forums before this with no luck.

Well it worked once… now I’m back to the error. :frowning:

Sometimes it works if I move the “set focus” box around and try lots of different spots

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I’ve only run into this a couple times, but in my cases it seemed to be the focus point was picking up either a hold down pin, magnet, or even the crumb tray (when using smaller or pieces with areas cut out already). So I think regardless of what your material height entry is, if it sees something else, it gets confused. So picking the location for the “set focus” box does really help avoid a chance of that happening!

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Try elevating the material on a sacrificial backing of some type?

The Auto Focus measurement that is taken by the head right before a print starts, HAS to land on the material. What frequently happens if you are cutting something out that is small, or from a sheet of material that has a lot of cutouts in it, is that the autofocus beam will land in a hole or off of the material, and it will capture the wrong measurement. (The auto-focus for multiples is going to land in roughly the center of the multiples depending on where they are placed…if it hits a hole, you’ll get the wrong measurement.)

If you have trouble using the auto-focus on a cut up sheet, just manually code the thickness in the Unknown > Use Uncertified Material button at the top left column before you begin, or you can manually code the thickness into the individual operations.

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I’m sorry you ran into trouble when trying to start your print. I see you’ve already received great advice from some of our other community member. Thanks folks!

Would you please let me know if the things they suggested helped you with your project?

This sounds similar to what happened when my dog tag engrave stopped midway…several times.

Thanks everyone for your advice.
The pieces I have trouble with have an area of roughly 8x7 inches to 10x10 inches with no cutouts in them. The thin stuff is .02 inches, and I get this material height error whether or not I manually set the material height. It just happens randomly sometimes.
My jobs on the thin material seemed to work fine again once I ran some jobs on thicker material before trying the thin stuff again. Probably will either do that first next time the issue pops up, or try elevating the thin material on a sacrificial board.

I suggest you respond directly to support, and note date/time that this occurs, so they can look at the logs.

You should not be getting this error with thin material placed directly onto the bed.

I haven’t tried elevating the material yet, but I have tried everything else with inconsistent success. I think elevating the material should fix it, since I ran a successful job on .125" birch right after having the material height error with the thin stuff. After a few of those jobs on birch, I ran the thin material again and it was fine. I always start by setting material height manually, but have tried setting the focus as well.

The pieces I have trouble with have an area of roughly 8x7 inches to 10x10 inches with no cutouts in them. The thin stuff is .02 inches, and I sometimes get this material height error whether or not I manually set the material height.
My jobs on the thin material seemed to work fine again once I ran some jobs on thicker material before trying the thin stuff again. Probably will either do that first next time the issue pops up, or try elevating the thin material on a sacrificial board.

In order to check if your unit is working as expected, would you please run a test print for me? Here are the steps to follow:

  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.

Once you share the screenshot, I’ll also extract the logs from the print and take a closer look. Thank you!

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 support@glowforge.com.