Off-centered, inconsistent cuts and engraves

I’ve hit a snag while making some personalized cupcake toppers tonight, and it’s driving me batty. After an hour and a half long engrave/cut, half of my cupcake toppers are off-center. In my attached photo you can see that the topper on the left is centered well, and the other two are noticeably wonky. I noticed this happen the other night as well, but it wasn’t as bad, and I chalked it up to a possibly warped piece of wood. For tonight’s cut I made sure to use a very straight piece of maple ply, and I cleaned the lenses before cutting. As you can see, it made no difference. I should also mention that each of these toppers are a copy of each other, so in the software they are all identical.

Not sure what is causing this, and it’s so frustrating that I have to redo so many, as I was hoping to have these shipped out tomorrow morning. Any ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated! I make a lot of these, so I’m anxious about having to waste more material and time.

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What I see is the possibility of two things:

  1. When the copies were made and moved to their positions, the object assigned to be cut and the one assigned to be engraved weren’t moved exactly the same amount. This can be corrected by using the positioning tool and entering a specific offset.
  2. There is a problem with the movement of the machine that is causing the offset. This can usually be remedied with a cleaning, though may indicate a breakdown of one of the mechanical parts in the movement system.
    If you can eliminate #1, then clean and inspect to eliminate #2.

Thank you for the reply. I can definitely eliminate #1, as I have used the precision tool, and I know they were all moved precisely. I’ll do a more thorough cleaning in the morning. I’m hoping it’s not a breakdown of one of the parts, since I’ve only had my Glowforge for 5 months. Fingers crossed!

Thank you!

Something I have done is accidentally grabbed one part of the sections I am trying to move and bumped the mouse a little, moving that part only, and not realizing it. You may have already checked this, but it would be worth a try. This is the most probable cause in my mind of the behavior you have shown, especially as you have one that is perfect and two that are offset, and they are offset different amounts in different directions.

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The only other issue is if you run the engrave and then run the cut after re-centering the image. Run as one -engrave-score-cut there should be no wandering. If any give a messed up cut I would delete that one and (very carefully) recopy from a good one. They are very easy to mess up. you can also look at the precision placement center to center in the “X” direction and see if they are different and at least fix that.

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I wish it was that simple, but unfortunately I’ve triple checked and they are all identical. :confused:

Maybe its time for a Calibration


Thank you for the reply. Yes, I run them as one, so it’s not a matter of engraving and then cutting after re-centering. I’ve zoomed in on my project to show an example of what I’m seeing. Of these three designs, the one on the left came out wonky, and the other two were fine, but in the software they are all the same.

Oh, interesting! I didn’t know this was a thing. Thank you very much for this. I will try this in the morning.

Thank you very much for sharing this link! I tried it this morning and it seems to have resolved my issue. My latest cut is all centered.

Have a great day!


Thanks for the help @Deleted! I am happy to hear that running calibration has you printing smoothly again @kyoungbloody. I’m going to close this thread - if the problem reoccurs, go ahead and post a new topic. Thanks for letting us know about this!