Not printing where I indicate

Well, now I have another problem most likely related to yesterday’s. It’s not printing where I tell it to. When I place the pattern on the Dashboard, the print is about in inch to the right. In the photo you can see where I placed the patter vs. where it actually printed.


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There are two things that can cause this:

(1) Moving the print head by hand. If you move the laser arm/carriage plate/print head at all while the Glowforge is running, it has no idea you’ve done this, and every job will print in the wrong place until you restart the machine so it can re-acquire its home position. Even if you momentarily bump into the print head while placing or removing material, you should restart the Glowforge so it can re-home.

(2) Using non-Proofgrade material without clicking “set focus” on the material before placing the design. The camera image can only be scaled to accurately reflect where things are in real life if the machine knows how far the things in the picture are from the camera. That knowledge is already built-in if you’re using Proofgrade materials, but must be measured otherwise.


It’s not (1) as I’ve had the machine turned off and on several times since the problem started. (2) is a distinct possibility since I’ve been engraving on non-proof grade leather. I’ll check out to set-focus and let you know. Thanks.

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Have you completed the lid camera calibration successfully?

Placing your material as close as possible to directly under the lid camera and using the set focus tool before placing artwork with give you the best results.


Some reading if you would like a more in-depth explanation of #2


I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know what completing the lid calibration means. And set focus? I found instructions saying to push the set focus button on the GUI, but what the H is GUI? Is it referring to the Custom panel with the Focus Height Auto/Manual option? I’ve always used proofgrade material that’s automatic. Never had to even think about changing anything.


Dan84, I’m reading your link now. Thanks.

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GUI stands for “Glowforge User Interface”, the webpage you control your Glowforge from. The “Set Focus” button is under the 3 dots icon in the menu.


Yeah, I was just about to say FOUND IT, thanks to your article. Continuing my education now…


So I take it selecting the material from the drop down menu isn’t good enough? I selected thin natural leather when my problem started.

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It was a piece of scrap leather I’m using to learn about engraving on leather.

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Here is the link to the lid camera calibration: Alignment – Glowforge


Since set focus came about, i hardly ever input the material anymore. If you’re always using PG, those settings should be fine, but anything else i just put it in, use set focus and it’s ready to go (after choosing my cutting/scoring/engraving settings).

Selecting the material will input a thickness of the PG material - so if what you’re actually using is different you need to use Set Focus to place your art correctly. I use PG settings almost exclusively, but always use Set Focus (even when I am using PG materials) because variations happen and I’d rather be sure :slight_smile:

I definitely suggest running the Camera Calibration though, that got me to sub-millimeter accuracy when using Set Focus (from about 3mm).


HI @terry720. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been running into some trouble with your Glowforge prints not aligning with the placement of the design in the Glowforge app. I see that you’ve been getting some great advice from fellow owners to try using Set Focus, and running the Camera recalibration. If those suggestions do not help you resolve this, the next best step is to have you run our GIft of Good Measure test print using the steps below:

  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.

  3. 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.
  4. Turn your Glowforge back on.
  5. Place Proofgrade material in the part of the of the bed that you are having the most trouble and print the Gift of Good Measure using the default settings.
  6. 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.

  7. Send us the screenshot along with the date and time of the print, and we’ll investigate.

Feel free to post the screenshot and photo of the print result in this thread, and I will gladly take a look for further troubleshooting needed to get this resolved. I’ll look forward to the results. Thank you!

So sorry, Brandon. Just this minute saw your email. Yes, I’m still having trouble. About 30 minutes ago I sent a message to Support because I rant the recalibration and test pattern and my print is still considerably more than ¼” off (see attachment). I’ll read your email in detail, but probably not until tomorrow morning. If I’m still having problems, I’ll contact you.

Thanks for your interest in helping me.


Test Patter Result.docx (28.9 KB)

Hi @terry720. No need to apologize at all, and I received your email now as well. I’ll go ahead and work through this thread to give you some time to try running the test print to help with the alignment trouble.

Also, since you have ran the camera recalibrator with alignment results greater than 1/4", feel free to take photos of the following parts that help the printer head move as it prints. I can take a look at those to review for any potential issues that could contribute to any alignment issues.

First, power off your Glowforge and remove the crumb tray.

1.The belt under your laser arm with the head pushed to the left:

2. The pulley under the laser arm on the right side from the front:

3. The right side pulley under the laser arm from underneath:

Thank you!​


Here are the photos you requested, Brandon.

Belt under laser arm.jpg

Right side pulley.jpg

Right side pulley underneath.jpg

Hi @terry720 Thanks for getting those photos sent in your response. I noticed that the pulley that holds carriage plate belt under the laser arm has become loose from its bearing. I’ve included an image below to highlight what I noticed, and a reference image of what it should look like:

Can I have you try reinstalling the pulley using the steps below, and let me know if it continues to slip off?

What you’ll need

  1. You’ll need a 3mm L-shaped Hex Key.

  2. Optional, but helpful to place on the bottom and “look” upwards to help find the hex-screw-hole: A small mirror or a smartphone with a front-facing-camera (aka selfie-mode)

  3. The new pulley

Removing the old pulley

  1. Turn off and unplug your Glowforge.

  2. Carefully remove the crumb tray.

  3. Insert the short side of the 3mm hex L-key into the metal screw with the long handle pointing toward the front of the unit.​


  4. The screws are held in place with adhesive, so it will take a bit of pressure to overcome it at the beginning. Just apply steady pressure.

  5. Keep loosening until the screw comes out entirely

Installing the Replacement Pulley

  1. Add the screw and washer to the new pulley. The washer must be placed between the pulley and the laser arm. The grooved ridge of the pulley will be on the same side as the washer.

  2. Now that you have the pulley assembled, you’ll need to insert the new pulley screw, into the same screw hole

  3. The screw hole is on a metal plate that slides inside the laser arm. The mirror / smart-phone can be very helpful here.

  4. Once the screw is mostly tightened, you can slip the belt back on, and the tension will be very loose.

Adjusting the tension

  1. Push on the pulley, with the belt on, fairly hard, then tighten the screw.

  2. We have found it most effective to push the laser arm all the way to the back of the unit, while using your thumb to apply pressure when tightening the screw

  3. Once you’ve tightened, check the belt tension. When pressing lightly on one side of the belt, the other side should not move. Like this:

  4. Loosening, adjusting, re-testing is pretty quick. It may take a couple of tries to get the tension right.

If it continues to fail to stay secured, I can send out a replacement, but let’s try the steps above first, and go on from there. Thank you!

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I see that now. It isn’t a problem of it becoming loose. It’s a problem of my not installing the belt properly after cleaning the machine last weekend. I had trouble removing the belt and suddenly the wheel was is my hand. I thought I had re-installed it correctly, but evidently not. However, it didn’t correct the problem. I’ve attached a phot of the corrected wheel as well as a photo of the newest test pattern. Still off. Next?