Material Looks Smaller than Actual

Hello. I’m new to GF and I came across an issue that I can’t find the answer too. My problem is that I will put a 13x9 piece of plywood into the GF and after I select Set Focus the image of the plywood shrinks to like 12.5x9 (width x height). Why is this? So now my cut is showing that it will cut right on the edge of the wood, when there should be about 1/4” of wood left over. Hopefully that makes sense? What is happening?

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The lid camera has a fisheye lens lens and only shows the area available for cutting. Orient your material and artwork relative to the lower right corner. The cutting area of the Glowforge is approximately 10.9"x 19.5". This area is reduced if you are engraving.

Also, you should use the set focus tool before placing your artwork.


Also, in case you missed it, you can zoom in and out and pan the image. But yeah, Proofgrade (or similarly sized wood) is larger than the cut area.

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I’m not sure you are understanding my issue? When I get a chance I will take some pics and try and post them. I forgot to mention that when I put my material into the GF and the camera takes the image it is the correct size. It’s not until after I click the Focus button that it does this.

I thought that setting focus is so that the GF can determine the height to your material? If you click it before putting in your material, won’t that not be correct?


They’re advising you set focus before you place your artwork.

But your problem is that you have a piece of artwork you know is a little less than 13" high. When you put a piece of wood in the GF that is exactly 13" high and you set focus, your artwork no longer fits. The workpiece is smaller proportionally than it should be. The artwork appears to be exactly as high as the workpiece. But you know from measuring your artwork and the workpiece that the artwork is less than 13" and the workpiece is exactly 13".

The camera isn’t calibrated right. No manner of setting the focus will matter for this.



It may be that you’re missing the wood when you do the Set Focus - can you see the red laser hit it?

In either case you should run the Camera Calibration if you have not already, to get you your best possible setup!


Is your material thicker than 1/2” by chance?


HI there. I’m sorry to hear that you ran into some trouble with the material on the print bed appearing to shrink once you use the Set Focus function. When the focuser is run, the print bed image in the Glowforge app will refresh with adjustments based on the focus measurements. This is designed to allow users to adjust the the placement of the design on the material for for accurate prints results. I see that you’ve been getting some great advice from fellow members of the Community, including using the Set Focus function before placing the design in order to address this. Can you let me know if the suggestions were able to help get this sorted out? Let me know if you’re continuing to run into any further trouble after trying them and I will be happy to help. Thanks!