My GF is cutting squiggles instead of straight lines!

So it comes and goes, but has been more of a problem lately. Straight lines that should be getting cut will have small waves. It’ll do the same exact waves on the same design in different places in the tray too, not just one area. It’s NOT in my design. I’m trying to figure out how to troubleshoot this.

Also, still need to adhere the dang glass to the hinge, never got around to fixing that and it’s going to get worse I’m sure… I’ll save that for another post. I have NOT had great luck with my GF machines… and I don’t abuse them… I don’t even use them as much as I should!

If you haven’t already, check to be sure there is no debris!


Yeah, the belts are clean, tracks clean, etc. It seems like the motors were told to squiggle right there in those spots. It’s wierd, phantom designs. It’s not an open vector line or whatever either.

I see it’s been a min since your last post. Just incase you didn’t see it. Support doesn’t use the forum anymore. So you might want to email them if your aim was to get support outside the wonderful community here.

So it’s not your design. Got that. Does it happen on other projects? What about the gift of good measure.

Are the belts tight? I have seen other posts where it slips and causes artifacts in the cut.


Eh, truth be told, I feel like they usually brush me off and point me in the direction of you guys anyway lol… This is my 3rd GF, and a hand full of problems so far.

Yeah I haven’t been around here much lately. Had some family issues that really needed more of me than my side biz. But moving forward, trying to stay motivated!

Side belt tension seems right, but maybe I could remove the belts and give them a good cleaning. When the squiggly lines appear, it’s almost too perfect, like it was in the design to begin with. But I’m not seeing then in my .ai file, thats for sure. I remember having open vector problems in the past, it’s not that either.

I wonder if it’s related to my belt jumping. I’ve had an issue sometimes where if the laser head is moving too fast, lots of little cuts and movements, it tends to jump, and then it’s no longer alined to where it thinks it is… so on pass 2 or in another spot, the cuts or engravings don’t match up, like the pixels have shifted a few lines, if that makes sense.

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I haven’t made a “Gift of Good Measure” in a long time, maybe I’ll do that!


My first thought was to check the wheels for cracks, but if you have had a belt ‘jump’ that would suggest belt tension.
The gift of good measure is a company file they use to diagnose the machine’s operation because it does engraving, scoring, and cutting. If it shows a problem, they want you to send pics of the front and back.


There is a support guide for this specific issue, but I don’t know how helpful that can be given you’re already quite experienced.

Usually when someone has this complaint, it’s immediately after taking the x-axis belt off to clean their air assist fan, and then putting it back on wrong or with the wrong tension. But flat spots or other issues with the belt causing it to slip/skip could be the issue too.

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Can you post your design & picture of the result?

I once had a design where a single curve made an abrupt reversal of direction, and I was trying to cut it at maximum speed. Glowforge couldn’t make an instantaneous change of direction that fast, because of the elasticity of the belts. The result was a squiggle as the print head bounced back and forth a couple of times.


I’ve definitely experienced that. In this case 85% of the lines are cut straight, then some are curvy (should be straight) and the entire thing is done at the same speed.

In each of these cases, the designs haven’t changed, and they are not supposed to have tiny squiggles. Designs are straight lines. Lasered, they are curvy.

If the pictures are oriented the way they appear, the error is in the horizontal direction, not the vertical. I can’t tell the scale from the photo, but if the squiggles are very small (same as your engraving lines-per-inch), maybe the print head is slipping every time it changes direction? You said you checked the side belt, but this could be a loose horizontal belt? (I’m guessing.)

Orientation is as pictured, yes, but you can see in the buttons on the radio, the squiggles are on both the vertical and horizontal cuts.

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