Optical Alignment - possible for multiples?

What’s a fiducial?

(Oh cool…it’s a new word for a Registration Mark. I love collecting words!)


@Duality it is what @Jules said. Glowforge does exactly what they say in the specs. Unfortunately language can sometimes be interpreted exactly the way we want, not how it is meant. Specs do change and this forum has made many suggestions that GF engineers have considered or planned. -Rich


Pretty much. I think its a term used a lot with vision systems. We use them for circuit boards to align surface mount components.

They can be a simple as a dot. Or much more complex depending on the imaging system and application.


Unfortunately we aren’t doing quite that, quite yet. The feature we describe on the home page is that you can position the image on top of the preview, and it will be engraved where you expect it to be. What you describe is an excellent feature for the hopper, but not one that we have planned for launch.

We will, however, recognize iOS devices (and others) and set engrave properties correctly.


Thanks for clarifying @dan.

What about the passthrough feature though? I mean that GF will know to pick up where it left off after pushing a long piece through for the second stage (etc) cut? Does that feature still exist?

1 Like

I’m also interested in the answer to this question.

Can’t even begin to find it again, but Dan recently did say (somewhere) that yes that was still the plan. That type of alignment will be available for the Pro models only.


This might be the one you’re thinking of:


Yes, your Pro will be able to do that.



I really hope you guys expand the image / shape recognition function in future. So much potential…

1 Like

From promo vid (1:38) - https://youtu.be/ysCaqh38JVQ?t=98:
“Cameras automatically identify what you put inside”. I think this, and Feature 8 is where my expectation came from. I did not realise we lost it along the way.

Would be great to see more options explored as described above. I’m sure if the hardware is solid there are many software enhancement options.

1 Like

I think the idea here is when you put in something like a Macbook, not anything in the entire world. Also, Proofgrade allows the Glowforge to automatically identify what is in there.


Just to likely over-clarify, I can place multiple objects (same/different, doesn’t matter) into the bed at once, but I can only send one cut/engrave image at a time.

The software has only one plane or layer as it were, and that layer is the entire size of the cut bed.

For example - if I have eight different objects to engrave (which in my case are slightly irregular in size - which is a fun obstacle to work with) that will all require different images, the software does not support dragging in multiple images - say one for each object - independent of each other. It would only support one “image” that comprises the entire cut bed that would need to be a composite of all of the individual engravings that I wish to do. Is this correct?

If it is, does the workflow allow me to move the physical items to be engraved to match a superimposed image file? I know that once I have the objects in the Glowforge, I can manipulate the image placement with the object being “fixed”, but this obviously falls apart given the nature of what I am engraving, so is the reverse possible? Can I load my big engrave image composed of eight smaller images and then adjust the physical objects?

You can send more than one cut/engrave image at a time. You suffer a bit of inefficiency from head travel between pieces, but if you plan the order of the cuts well, that isn’t a problem.

This is what they had done for the templates at Maker Faire (essentially), they put more than one image on the bed, and positioned each independently (they just happened to overlap them though)

Matching the position of your items to the preloaded engrave is possible, but harder. Best way is to place paper on the bed and do a very light engrave to see where to place objects.


Is what @takitus is referring to different?

That was during the conference, where they had to process a lot of people quickly. So basically any request of any deviation was being slapped down. I would feel safe saying they could have done it.


Perhaps by “at once” it means considering them as one image and, as you mentioned, more efficient movement of the laser head. As opposed to completing each item before moving onto the next one?

Completing each item one by one is the more efficient way to handle things. Because then you have less tool travel.

If the engrave step is all one image, then the head will move between the two objects on every pass. If you stack them all vertically, then no big loss. But if there is a horizontal spacing, then there is wasted tool travel time.

If they are two different steps, then it will fully engrave one, then move to the other (single tool travel time) and fully engrave that one.

1 Like

Actually I asked specifically if they were able to do it, and it seemed the answer eluded them.

1 Like

Interesting. But ultimately, there is no way they could conceivably be incapable of doing it. The software would have no way to know if you are working in multiple locations on one piece, or on multiple pieces.