Perfect Alignment Every Time - The Fiducial Alignment Ruler (design in post)

Ah thanks dan! You guys did all the heavy lifting, this is just the dynamic child of all your hard and well received efforts. Your featureset is now outpacing lasers 10x the cost of the glowforge.

Any chance you’ll ever make one with a bigger bed? If you released a glowforge “industrial” model with faster motors, metal/ceramic tube, and a larger work area (xy&z), I would bite in a second. You’d also have all the old guard on their knees


I think you meant “now,” not “not.” :wink:


Sure did. Thanks! Gotta love autocorrect.


I second that! Great machine, too small of a cutting space. 100 watt would be nice too. I would pay a good bit more for a 36x54. If the software is already there what would material costs be for longer drive belts and a stiffer gantry… just joking. New design of production machines and staff training plus R&D. You could probably roll it out next month. Right??


Thank you, thank you, thank you! Bookmarking this for future reference!

Now sending prayers to the snapmark option gods in Seattle, because I am dying over here in Tennessee trying to align 50 keychains onto a piece of proofgrade…over and over until I hit 1000 keychains for this one job alone…and sometimes the alignment that I have guessed at works and sometimes it is off-to the tune of cutting off the bottom or top edge of my round keychains.

Have mercy.

Can I pretty please have snapmark, @dan??? Please, please, please?? :grinning::grimacing::grinning:


fantastic. thanks takitus.

now…having said that…I made my own (hats off and based on, your version!)…

using an 8"x10" piece of Lexan (from Lowes), I did not want to waste any more space than I had to. couldn’t leave that big blank area unused. lol. hmmm…probably needed the ruler before cutting the Lexan. sigh

added the measurements down the side.
the magnet circles are based on the ⅜" diameter ones I already had from making a magnetic chess set.
added 15º and 30º pieces…mighty thin on that 15º, oh well.

feel free to pass along

did not know what the Snapmark was…didn’t use. hmmm

fiducial ruler.pdf (121.1 KB)


Nice additions! However, snapmarks are the whole point of this. It’s a universal jig for pinpoint accuracy, but it requires the snapmarks there to work with the gfui


Any and all suggestions welcome. But we’ll be working on this product for a long time to come - we have literally years worth of plans for ways to make the software better!


Nicely done but as @takitus pointed out, without the :glowforge: there is nothing for the GFUI to lock on to.


I do understand your keen desire for snapmarks, and I’m not suggesting that it isn’t real.
But, might I make a recommendtion regarding your project…
Cut a sacrificial cardboard jig every time you reload your design in the GFUI.
Or if it’s a new slice of Proofgrade each time, put some honeycomb hold-down pins in as margin markers so you don’t miss the edges.
Good luck with your project.
I agree: I hope that everybody gets snapmarks, in addition to all the initially-promised super amazing precision optical alignment.


Thanks @cmreeder…I love how helpful everyone on the forum is. :heart: I’m already using a jig to position the material…the problem is that each time I open the machine and put a new piece of proofgrade in the same place and the bed image refreshes, the uploaded file has moved and I’m again eyeballing how far down to move it again. (for me, horizontal alignment is spot-on. It’s just vertical that is wacky.) I’ve nearly perfected it now by centering horizontally and then bumping down a finite number of bumps using the down arrow on the keyboard, and then just bravely hitting the start button even though the image is showing me that my file is hanging off the top edge of the material… it was just those first few cuts that had me crazy :rofl:
Love my GF so much but REALLY lookin’ forward to some improved alignnent. Or snapmarks. Or, preferably, both. :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:

yeah…that came to my attention. otherwise just use a normal woodworker’s square.

Your laser head alignment shouldn’t change at all in reference to the bed between jobs unless you are bumping the gantry. The only thing that does move a bit is the lid camera, which would make it look like things are changing, but they really aren’t. If you left the design in the same place it would engrave the same exact place on the bed every time unless physically disturbed.


Really? :thinking::+1:t2: Huh…I’ll try it with a scrap and see! Definitely not bumping the gantry. Thanks! :crossed_fingers:

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added the SnapMarks…maybe that’ll help. maybe. lol

fiducial ruler v2.pdf (122.3 KB)


I took takitus’s and went - huh - why haven’t I don’t this for myself already too? Reworked it to clean it up for my own purposes and figured I’d upload here as well - I have 6" and 12" forward and reversed (so on acrylic I can view through it reversed and have the marks closest to the paper if I use it for drafting on paper or on top if Im measuring something that is on level with the marks so as not to have any distortion when viewing). I also went down to 1/32 on inches, have a perfect 10mm x 10mm offset from origin for the snapmark center. These are made for 8mm x3mm amazon magnets.

Thanks @takitus - great inspiration! (updated to dropbox link because I went through 5+ versions of this since posting. I basically tossed everything and restarted. :wink: Score the ruler lines, score the fiducials, and cut the outline and you will be happy - 8mmx3mm round magnets from amazon will fit tightly in this - included the .ai if you want to change the magnet sizes… the magnets all stack between the ruler and the wedges for holddown - so they make one nice, small package when not in use. Just get the alignment of polarity on magnets right and you’ll be able to stack all of them.


I was going to say the very same thing. :slightly_frowning_face:


Awesome job on this alignment aid. I can only wait for Snapmarks at this point. It will allow me to use the Glowforge for all the things I originally had envisioned using it for. :+1:

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Thanks! hopefully its something theyll roll out to everyone soon! I think its too helpful not to!


As a follow up, I did roughly the same thing for a project of 30 customized plaques.

I also marked the bottom of the pg template with tape (where it lined up with the crumb tray) and the just reloaded the entry on the GFUi, and dropped the pieces in place in the jig. Just keep away from the keyboard once you have the first one set… :wink: