Printed in wrong area & cannot update thickness of wood

Hello all,

I had another painful day with my GF. I worked on a design within the platform so I didn’t waste hours working on a design that didn’t upload. When I finally got it down, the printer printed the text on the wrong area of the board, ruining the board I purchased.

I thought my wood thickness was .50 but in some areas it might have been higher so needed to change it to .70. I cancelled the print, took out the crumb tray and tried to adjust the thickness but could not change anything because it was greyed out.

I put the crumb tray back in and was able to update thickness to .70 but could not submit it. I was flagged for trying to put something in bigger than .50.

I cannot print my design.

Can someone help me figure out why my printer started printing in a random place?
How can I print on a .75 piece of basswood with the crumb tray out? I cannot put in the thickness of the wood when the crumb tray is out or when it is in.

On another note - I feel so sick from using the machine inside. I tried to put it outside but it is too loud in the garage. I purchased a PRO and am still regretting it. I’m not sure how it can be used for a business because of the noise issue. I have to go through so much drama just to use it inside. I’m limited to using it outside and inside at this point. Sorry to complain so much guys. I’m blaming it on the fumes.

If you use the Set Focus button, it will measure the thickness so you don’t need to do the math and type it in.

I’m not sure what to make of “in some areas it might have been higher”. If you have a height variation of a quarter of an inch, you’re going to have a bad time no matter what.

And make sure you don’t put anything too high in there, it runs the risk of the print head hitting it. That will ruin your print in the best case, or possibly damage the machine or start a fire. I’m reading between the lines, but it sounds like you have been guessing at things and not being particularly careful. Getting good results is quite sensitive to being precise and aware of how the machine works.


The first issue that you need to address is excess fumes. If. You are smelling anything beyond a whiff when you open the lid after a print, then it’s not a healthy situation for you. If you see visible whisps of smoke coming out…stop using the machine until you get it vented correctly. Period. :wink:

Only after you get that squared away do you worry about engraving on an uneven surface.

That’s going to be doable by placing the piece of thick wood on top of something to prop it up, so that the top surface falls into the correct range. For something 3/4 of an inch thick, you remove the tray and prop it up on something that is from 3/4 to 1 inch thick. You can place a small shim (few sheets of post it notes) under the low side to make the engraving surface as level as possible. Use a small level to check it while you are setting it up if you want.

But get the venting issue fixed first. :slightly_smiling_face:

And if it’s a noise issue…noise cancelling headphones.


Ditto what everyone else said.

Maybe share a picture of your venting setup so we can help you troubleshoot? The machine isn’t much louder than a vacuum, but it can be annoying. A lot of people have purchased an in-line fan to use between the GF and the outside vent. It not only helps with venting, but folk have been able to turn off the GF fan, making it much quieter. I haven’t done this last part myself and it’s not necessarily an officially sanctioned practice, but if you search you can find info on fans that are strong enough for this purpose.


Yes. It’s printing in the wrong place because you aren’t giving the machine the information it needs so it can print in the right place. It needs exact measurements and not estimates. (And the difference between .5 and .7 is a huge when it comes to getting a good result and even if you had been able to run your file, it’s unlikely it would have worked.)

But like the others have said, you need to get it set up correctly before going any further and when that happens, you really need to go through all the training material and learn to walk before you run if you don’t want to get so frustrated and waste a lot of material. I know Jules gave you a lot of resources last time, do you have a chance to go through some of the training stuff? And I still don’t mind running that other image you were having trouble with if you like, but I haven’t received it. (If you don’t need me to do it anymore, that’s great, but I just wanted to make sure it didn’t go to the wrong email or something.)


I’m so sorry to hear about the trouble you’ve been having. Thank you for reaching out so we can help.

In regards to the trouble with the fumes

When your Glowforge is properly set up, you may have some harmless odor during printing which will rapidly dissipate. You may also smell something when you open the Glowforge lid after a print is complete. This is not harmful.

However, if you detect a strong, sharp smell that also causes eyes, nose, or throat irritation, or if there is visible smoke escaping while the lid is closed, shut off your Glowforge unit immediately. Smoke and fumes could be entering the room in excessive concentrations.

We’ve created a troubleshooting guide with illustrations. You can see it here:

To help troubleshoot your exhaust, could you send me a few photos of your exhaust system? Specifically, please include pictures of the following:

  1. The exhaust fan from the inside of the unit. To capture this photo:

  2. Turn your Glowforge off

  3. Open the lid

  4. Using both hands, gently pull the printer arm towards you as shown below:

  5. Move your phone or camera inside the Glowforge on the left-hand side, past the metal rail, pointed away from you towards the exhaust hose, to capture a photo like the one below:

  6. A photo of where your exhaust hose attaches to the Glowforge, where your exhaust hose exits the room, and the path your exhaust hose takes from your Glowforge to the exterior vent or Compact Filter

  7. The exhaust connection on the back of your Glowforge, with the exhaust hose removed:

  8. Any area where you see smoke escaping from your Glowforge while printing

In regards to the trouble with material thickness

You can print on objects up to 2" thick by removing the crumb tray. However, your Glowforge can’t focus too far down, so you may need to put something laser-compatible underneath your material to lift it up. Raise it until the top surface of your material is between 1.5" and 2" (50 mm) high, measured from the metal plate on the bottom.

Our community has developed some great Tips and Tricks, and this illustrated guide might be just what you need.

Thank you for posting the pictures of your exhaust system. Once I review those, I’ll follow up with more troubleshooting steps.

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email