I have just encountered a problem with the glowforge shifting my pattern during cutting. The first image attached shows the issue. I cut the top left within the last week & the top right earlier today. Both these patterns were evenly spaced circles cut in a square grid. I wanted a slightly different spacing so I created another evenly spaced file and the bottom two were just printed from the same file. I watched the machine closely on the second cut and nothing seemed wrong, the holes just didn’t all line up and they didn’t line up in different spots. The second photo was created from the same grid as the top left one and was printed within the last week with no issues.
I checked and cleaned all the lenses before printing. I will try a deep clean of the entire machine tomorrow, but am worried this is a bigger issue and I have orders to get out this week.
Whatever happened has nothing to do with clean optics, and I encourage you not to do a “deep clean” if that means cleaning things the Glowforge support page doesn’t mention. There is probably some issue with how the file was interpreted by the Glowforge interface. I cannot tell from your photos what is going on. Can you share the two files -the one that printed correctly and the one that didn’t so someone can take a closer look?
I only clean per what the glowforge directions say to. I just mean I am going to do the full maintenance clean of all parts they suggest. These cut very small circles, so lots of small excess, but it easily falls into the tray. I don’t see any obvious reasons this issue should be occuring.
Here are the files. The first is the correctly printed top left one with the orange thread stitched into it. The second is the 2 incorrectly printed files. I added the outline in the glowforge app.
You’re not going to like the answer…or maybe you will.
There have been issues in the past when people tried to cut tightly spaced small holes over large areas…and I suspect it has to do with one of a couple of things…the machine head moves very quickly sometimes due to the algorithm used, and it can “rebound” slightly when moving from one hole to another farther away. Once it has rebounded due to that sudden stop…a whole section can be off.
To get around that…slow down the speed that you are using to cut the holes, and lower the power. It’s going to take some experimentation to get the correct settings. (Which is why you probably won’t like it.)
An alternative is to use different colored sections of the dots, and cut them sequentially. Smaller sections tend to not get quite so speedy. (Unfortunately, we do not have any control over the travel time between cuts.) That method takes longer, but it’s much more stable for tiny dots.
Or, the other alternative is…the belt under the laser arm might be a little loose.
Anyway, those are a couple of suggestions to check.
This is a new thing I was trying so I haven’t listed it yet, but I was afraid the machine had something wrong with it cause the other cuts were good. My other items are larger spaced cuts and engraving so I haven’t dealt with this before.
I was wondering why it spaced the hole cutting so randomly. It did move very quickly but I used the settings I normally do. I will try adjusting the settings and the different colors as well as checking the belt. I hope the adjustments are all it needs. I didn’t think it would be that cause the first one I did today was 12 circles per inch and not 11 and came out fine. I just checked and remembered I increased the 11 circle size by .01 inches per circle so a bigger needle would fit, so the spacing actually became less between the circles.
Thanks for the help!
Hope that’s all it is! (We did have a few folks hit the same problem early on. Always with tiny circles.)
Thanks for the help! I started off with each 1 inch square as a different color and it worked.
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