Print not matching preview location


I’m finally starting to put some prints on the Glowforge and I found that there’s an error where it prints.


What actually happened:

All the settings were set ahead of time and proceeded along. The cut itself was fine and a piece I designed at tolerance is friction assembled. So it’s just the shift in one axis. As long as I remember it, I should be okay, but it’d be nice to not have to worry about it.


Alas, up to 1/4" is typical, and spec’d–it is most accurate for small area right under the camera, but I find mine nearly always shifts up as yours did, too. So I always align from the bottom, assuming the cut will be higher up than the preview, and shifts sideways pending position from the camera, too.

And be sure to use pins or magnets to hold your material down–keeping it flat against the tray vs. being warped, as well as shifting from the blower (usually not an issue until get lighter weight materials). But I did have a scrap of med ply move because of the blower during the etching… So don’t assume it won’t move!


That tracks with my experience. I must have missed that spec someplace.

I hadn’t thought about magnets, but that would help with card stock et all.

Thanks for the advice!

You’re welcome.
Also watch the order of operations–we can shift them up or down on the list–etching first, then the cuts, esp. when magnets would otherwise be in the way!

I’ve had good luck etching & cutting some of my own business cards on cardstock–get 8 cards from a sheet to ensure have sufficient room for magnets around edges.

The business cards are a really cool idea, I’ll give it a go.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you REALLY don’t want to try to lase the magnets.

And look for the pattern for the pins in the free patterns area. I use med ply scraps for mine, though I think they mentioned draft board. Great little things to have handy, esp. for materials too thick for magnets.

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BTDT. :wink: The magnets don’t mind so much, but then you have a blank spot in your print, which is really annoying.


Here are the honeycomb pins she was telling you about:

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Thanks for the tips everyone.

Up to 1/4" is within the range of accuracy that we expect right now. As we make improvements to the software, I expect you to see further improvements to your alignment.

If you ever suspect your alignment is out of the expected range, please review the basics:

Most alignment problems come from the material being closer or farther from the camera than expected. While the software is still improving, you can take these steps for the most accurate alignment results:

  • Use Proofgrade™ materials.

  • If you don’t use Proofgrade materials, use a precision set of calipers to measure your material, and enter the thickness in the “uncertified materials” dialog.

  • Use material that is not warped or tilted.

  • Place your design near the center of the bed.

  • Clean the area underneath your crumb tray, particularly the four indentations on the floor.

  • Reboot the machine. Alignment can drift over time, particularly if you bump the head of your Glowforge while removing material.

Should you finish all of these steps, and find that you have an alignment error of more than 1/4", we’d like to have you try a few troubleshooting steps for us:

  1. Turn off your Glowforge.

  2. Check for small pieces of debris or dust.

    • Check the lower door to make sure it closes all the way. It may require some force to open, but open it, wipe any dust off the edges, and close it all the way.

    • Remove the tray and clean any dust or debris from the surface underneath. Pay careful attention to remove all debris from the four dimples where the tray rests.

    • Check the lid to make sure it closes all the way. Small particles of material, such as dust or debris, can prevent it from closing completely.

  3. Check the surface your Glowforge is on to make sure it’s flat. Ensure it is not twisted slightly and that there is no debris propping up one side of the machine.

  4. Turn your Glowforge back on.

  5. We included an extra piece of Proofgrade Draftboard with your materials shipment for troubleshooting. Place the Proofgrade Draftboard in the center of the bed and print the Gift of Good Measure using the default settings.

  6. When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture updates. Without moving your artwork or your material, take a screenshot of the Workspace to show us the difference between the artwork placement and the actual print placement. Make sure to include the rulers in your screenshot and show as much of the bed as possible.

    • Mac: Press Shift-Command-4 and click and drag a box around your image. You’ll find the screenshot file saved on your desktop.

    • Windows: Click on the Start Menu and type “snipping tool”. Open the Snipping Tool > New then click and drag a box around your image. Click the Save icon and name and save your file.

  7. Send us the screenshot along with the date and time of the print, and we’ll investigate.

I’m going to close this thread - if you’d ever like us to check on your Gift of Good Measure test results, or if you have any other questions, go ahead and post a new topic.