Printer cuts HIGHER than the design... WHY and How to Solve?

Hi I just Made a Cut… it went fine, then I wanted to cut again without taking out the pice, everything had shifted… resetting the focus did nothing

I just lost some really expensive materials and a day’s work because this is the second time this happened today, the first time, I set everything correctly, and it had cut about 2 CM higher… this is not millimeters we are talking about this is SERIOUS distortion!

anyone knows what the problem is?

Edit: I touched nothing, just restarted the printer, and now additionally the angle changed slighly about 2degrees or so

Are you using “set focus” before you place your artwork?


Are you using “set focus” before you place your artwork?

Is that possible? I thought you have to “set focus” Every Time you open the lid.

Edit: oh “Art work” as in the vector design…
I had my design in Glowforge, already I had done about 10 cuts the exact same way before…
Open Lid
Place Material to cut
Close Lid
Set Focus
Adjust Design

After you close the lid, wait until the machine stops scanning, then use “set focus” and make sure the red laser dot lands on your work piece where you want it. Then move your art work around where you want that and print. If you don’t do it this way the machine will focus after you have placed your art and the difference in the thickness of your material will cause the artwork to move.


Ok so if you’ve been doing it that way it should print exactly where you expect it to. The only other thing is to watch where the red laser dot lands. If it misses your work piece it will throw everything off as well.

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That’s definitely a focus issue.

Set Focus would be the first thing - but, in case you’re not aware, you can put a specific focus in the individual commands which will override anything else, guaranteeing it won’t “move”.


thanks for your reply… yeah the whole thing is very strange.
This screenshot was taken after I had made a cut, GF finished and showed me this ofset image.

after GF does a cut, it does not re-scan… so I don’t understand how it could have gotten it so wrong…
… unless it cut 2cm higher on the first run, and I dindn’t notice it as it is a new piece material.
I always set focus on the biegest possible area and make sure it is not reflective, so the “set” should not be off… also I recently cleaned eveything so it’s not like it’s dusty or anything… #
ahhh… strange!

This is normal. If you were to re-run it without touching or moving anything it would be exactly where it was the first time.

No, but it does any time you open the lid.

Well, if that’s the case you may not have any problem at all. Fingers crossed.

This wouldn’t affect the location but it would certainly affect the quality.

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NO this is NOT NORMAL .
it shows an OFF-SET meaning if I were to run it again. it would destroy everything by printing the same design 2cm higher. after I finish printing the design location jumped up without me doing anything.

NO, I did not say “Open Lid” I said “does a cut” no lid opening, just cut… so if you were to press GO, it should do the exact same cut again. (which is not my case)

I would have the problem of it cutting 2CM higher… this is very real problem :wink:

I just figured a speck of dust could offset the laser reading… but I don’t know anything about lasers.

If you cut before and want to cut the same place again then it will cut in the same place without moving anything,

If you bump or move the parts without rebooting there will be an error in where the machine thinks it is, If not it sounds like you need to do some recalibrating.

You are correct that the GFUI will show an off-set - BUT the laser head does not move. If you are re-cutting without moving anything than even if it shows an off-set in the GFUI it will cut in the same place it did the prior run. Promise and for reals.


I tried and it failed, see attached image…
I know all the theory…
…in practice, it is not so… hence the reason I posted.

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I only posted because this, because is not the first time that this happed…
It will mess up about 1 in 50 or so cuts… the first few times I though exactly like you said, but now I’m noticing a pattern. it always shifts the cut a couple CM up… with no warning, or any indication of anything going wrong. and it happens both in repeat cuts without opeing the lid and in brand new cuts first time or sometimes just an od print… say print 3 of the day will be cut wrong…

Maybe some calibration is required, you are right… I just dont understand why not ALL of my prints are off, just a few odd ones in between

I’m really scared to put expensive materials in… imagine engraving your macbook and this happens…

  • no bumping or moving, I float like a butterfly and am afraid of sneezing when doing these cuts.

Yeah, I used do that, but I do not have my caliper in my new studio, so unfortunately that’s not an option.

I don’t think that is the issue though, as my design jumped after the cut finished, and in between that time, GF did not re-center nor re-focus… if it was a focusing issue, it would have jumped after I set the focus manually.

It is. Ignore the image and re-run. It will follow the exact image it did earlier.


Hello @TheAlikA,

Thank you for reaching out to us. I took a look a the logs from your recent prints and it looks as though your lid camera alignment is a bit off, which could be the cause of the trouble you’re experiencing.

Since your prints are landing more than ¼” away from where they were positioned in the preview, I recommend recalibrating the camera in your Glowforge to try and fix the issue.

You’ll need a 12” x 20” piece of Proofgrade material with no markings or stickers. The feature was designed to be used with a flat piece of medium Proofgrade Draftboard, used upside-down (with the QR code side down). It may work with other materials that are the same size and use the same print settings as well, like Proofgrade plywood.

It prints a grid of markings, takes a picture, then measures its height in multiple locations. This data is used to make your camera more accurate for future prints.

To get started, click on this link: Launch the Camera Recalibrator.

After you’ve completed the recalibration, I’d like to have you run the test print below. Let me know once the print is complete and I’ll review the logs to let you know how things are looking on the backend.

Gift of Good Measure Test Print

  1. Turn off your Glowforge, then turn it back on
  2. Place Proofgrade material in the bed and load the Gift of Good Measure design.
  3. Print the Gift of Good measure using the default settings. Allow the print to finish.
  4. When the print finishes, leave the lid closed and wait until the fans stop and the picture of the bed updates.
  5. Let me know when the print is complete.

If you fine your prints have an alignment error of more than 1/4", please measure the accuracy of the camera and send us a screenshot of the results.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!


It is. Ignore the image and re-run. It will follow the exact image it did earlier.

Unfortunately, it will not.

I already posted what happens when I do what you suggest. and as you can see it cuts where the adjusted image is. not the same place where I previously cut.

Just wanted to put this out there, I know how to use the machine, I’m not a newbie who needs clarification on how it is “supposed to work”… I am looking for answers on what to do when it “does not work”. :slight_smile:

Thanks, Will try your recommendations!
I’ll report back next week when I’m back at the office.

Hey there @TheAlikA, that sounds great. We’ll look for your response then.

Well perhaps you could be a little more clear on what you are posting. How was anyone supposed to know your original pic showed a before and an after cut when they weren’t marked and the first cut was actually the top of the board? Sheesh!