Only Aligned in the center right under camera

Struggling hard. My machine was working great when I first got it (last week). One print worked great, I turned the machine off and later that evening tried to print another project and it was printing where it wasn’t supposed to. I searched the forums and found out how to calibrate the camera. Great! I did that. It started printing perfectly again. Some days later (yesterday) I went to print again and it’s not printing where it should again. I recalibrated the machine, tried to print, still off. I recalibrated again with a blanket on top of the machine just incase anything was reflecting in. (My craft room doesn’t have any windows so theres no way for it to be the sun reflecting or something like that.) I downloaded the precision preview test thing to try after calibrating it the 2nd time yesterday (3rd time all together since having the glowforge.) Now if I try to score it with the precision preview I get a notification saying my material didn’t measure because it may be too short or too tall. So if I try to print the precision template anyway, it’s only aligned in the center of the proofgrade medium Draftboard (close to where the camera is set) anywhere off center is out of alignment. Any help on figuring this out would be amazing.
Pictures for reference.

(The on in the center was dead on in this picture but the one to the left of the center was slightly off)

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Welcome to the forum.
The lid camera has a fisheye lens and as you have discovered, the visual alignment is best directly under the camera. Also, the Glowforge specifications state that the camera alignment is accurate to within 1/4" so it isn’t promised to be perfect.

Using the set focus tool directly on the area of the board that you will place your design greatly improves your visual alignment. Further improvements can be made by using the measurement/placement tool.

Final note - don’t move the printhead when the machine is turned on or your alignment will be way off until you turn the machine off and back on.


Sorry, I forgot to mention that above. I did use the set focus tool, but that’s when I got the error that the material didn’t measure because it may be too short or too tall.

Make sure the windows on the bottom of your print head are clean.

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Mine is exactly like this:-) When i need to print something that is spot on, i place it under the camera. If you print something and DON’T move it and need to recut it, or add, even if it ‘looks’ off, it will still cut in exactly the same place. And, there’s lots of discussions on using jigs that might work for you as well.

Thank you for suggesting that! I cleaned all the lenses and windows on the printer head. Still not registering :sob:

Thank you! Yes I’ve heard of using those. I’m just hopeful support can help me resolve this issue so it’s printing properly how it should. For the amount of $ I spent, in the first week especially, I shouldn’t have to be trying to find ways around an issue my printer is having, rather than it being actually fixed.

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Ok, also make sure the white cable to the printer head is seated properly.

another bit of trivia. is the lighting the same in the room?

for example. mine sits in the center of the room under the ceiling fan light. so I turn that off when I’m running through setup because I had seen where other folks had issues with too much light coming in.


Again, the alignment for the camera is advertised as accurate to 1/4". The camera is a fisheye and you will always get the best visual alignment directly under the camera. Your experience appears to be well within the 1/4" limit. When you say that it is “not printing where it is supposed to” how far off is it? As for calibrating the lid camera, it really isn’t necessary to do it over and over again. Most of us have done it one time, even if we move our machines.

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Hello there,

I’m so sorry to see that your having alignment troubles with your printer. I’ll be happy to help you get this problem sorted out so that you can get back to printing without any troubles.

To start I’ve extracted the logs from your Glowforge and noticed that you successfully used the cameral calibrator tool from the dashboard app on 4 different occasions. Although it is not necessary to do so multiple times, it certainly doesn’t hurt anything by doing so.

As you’ve discovered, the lid camera has a fisheye type lens. So you’re on the right track as the visual alignment is best perceived directly under the camera. It is also important to note that alignment specifications are accurate to within 1/4" of the reference point. So the combination of the the fisheye lens and distance form the center, can be considered within spec up to 1/4" as the camera perspective moves away from the center of the focal point. Hope that makes sense.

Moving along, it is also best to use the Set Focus target/Tool directly on the area of the material where you will choose to place your print design. The Set Focus target allows you to select an area to take a precision measurement of the material’s height using the red dot in the printer head. Use Set Focus and place the focus area on the material, so it’s not near an edge. Then watch to make sure the red dot hits the material. This will help the laser focus properly and improve your print results. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

If you have any prints where you noticed the alignment was off, please provide photos of the print referencing the date and time (please include your time zone) so that we can take a closer look.

Thank you, I look forward to getting you back to printing without any troubles soon.

Warm regards,

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Hello @cortneycteed

It’s been a while since we’ve heard back from you so I wanted to check in and see if the information my colleague Gabe sent along was helpful and able to get you back on track? Please let us know!

Hey! Someone contacted me via email, after troubleshooting for the set focus error. I’m getting a replacement laser head. Thanks for all the help!


Hi @cortneycteed. Thanks for letting us know and I’m happy we were able to work to get the replacement laser head ordered for you. I’ll go ahead and close this thread now. Thank you!

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