Project ALWAYS shifts when starting to print!

Every time I am trying to set up a project I have issues. I will set up the project and select print to get going and when the print time appears the project shows shifted on the screen and I have to cancel and reposition the image or text I am trying to print. On the average it takes 3 attempts canceling and redoing the project on the interface before it aligns right. Due to lag on the site at times it is very difficult to move things around without the simplest movement blown out of proportion on screen. This could be resolved if this EXPENSIVE machine had a direct interface rather than a system that requires an internet connection to do anything. I should be able to access my machine without using an internet connection. The fact that we paid THOUSANDS of dollars for this machine and we have to use an online interface is ridiculous. This process SUCKS on many levels. Had this been an obvious feature we would have purchased a different machine. This interface alone is reason to NEVER recommend this machine to anyone.

Try using “set focus” on your work piece before you place the image.


To improve the alignment process:

  1. Run the Calibration program if you have not yet done so.
  1. When you are running a job, click with the Set Focus tool once in the center of your design, THEN shift the parts of the design to improve the alignment if you want to. The view at the spot where you click with the Set Focus tool is the most accurate, but it is AFTER you click with Set Focus, not before.

After you run the job, the view shifts back, so it looks like it didn’t print where you put it. But the placement on the material will be accurate. (How the machine compensates for fish-eye effect is confusing to a lot of people.)


The most accurate you can be is using the precision size and placement. No matter what it looks like on the screen the precision placement rules. The trick is to know where that is on the bed. Using the process @Jules laid out everything should line up after you have used set focus. But after that if you keep track of the PP you can go there no matter what.
Place Designs Precisely – Glowforge


I appreciate that it has been problematic to align the design with the material in the interface. I have never felt that the cloud system has been a source of delay in doing what I need. In most of the cases when alignment issues have been discussed, the issue has been resolved with the calibration routine and with the set focus. In some instances an individual machine has been problematic with its lid camera focus or other hardware issue.

I’m curious as to what process you went through in checking out the Glowforge before purchase since this the cloud processing has been a central feature from the beginning and features prominently in marketing. It also has been an often-discussed feature. It’s the kind of feature that new technology capitalizes on and makes a great feature. Sure there are drawbacks, but I haven’t found found it to be problematic for me.

Some folks have home networks that need tweaking to work well with the Glowforge.

I do hope you can get this figured out. It is a great machine and very easy to use. That it is so frustrating to you seems to indicate an issue with your particular machine. That really stinks.

Do carry out the calibration routine and understand material height, lid camera image and design placement. That may help narrow things down.

As to the lag in the design shifting and placement, sometimes these are browser issues than can be worked through and improved.


Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve hit a snag.

Your Glowforge uses a wide-angle camera to take a picture of the material in your Glowforge. In the app, you drag your design into place where you want it on the screen. When you’re done with a print, if the print is more than ¼” from where you placed your design, you may have an alignment problem.

The closer the material is to the camera, the bigger it appears on-screen. Most alignment problems come from the material being closer or farther from the camera than expected. The actual print should always land within ¼” of where you put it.

There are some excellent suggestions from our forum users here. I’ve extracted your logs and can see there hasn’t been a Camera Recalibration performed since you received your Glowforge. First, let’s perform a Camera Recalibration to see if it resolves the trouble. If the trouble is still persistent after performing a recalibration, I’d like to have you perform a specific test that will allow us to visualize the alignment trouble you’re experiencing.

At your earliest convenience, please perform the following:

  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.
  1. 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.
  2. Turn your Glowforge back on.
  3. Place Proofgrade material in the part of the of the bed that you are having the most trouble and print the Gift of Good Measure using the default settings.
  4. 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.
  1. Send us the screenshot along with the date and time of the print, and we’ll investigate.
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Thanks, everyone! We are attempting to go back into the machine today. We will report if any of this works - really hoping it does.

Thank you for updating us :slight_smile: I’ve extracted the log files from your Glowforge to review your most recent prints, and I was not able to see a recent Camera Recalibration attempt. That’s totally fine! Please take your time, and we’ll check back in to see if you’ve had a free moment.

Let us know how it goes.

It’s been sometime since we’ve had replies on this thread. Would you let us know if performing the Camera Recalibration helps resolve the trouble?

Hi there! I thought Nelson updated the thread here. So far, our products are coming out ok. We do engrave and cut leather and wood. We realized that if we are doing multiples of a coaster, for example, that we need to possibly engrave one at a time. When I had 8 leather coasters in the machine and hit focus and had everything lined up, two of the coaster on the very left side were completely off. All was good prior to printing, but we think it is probably best to just do one or two at a time and then we can avoid wasting product.
Would that be the best route to ensure a more perfect print?

If you want to do a design placement out at the far left or far right of the bed, click in the center of the coaster with the Set Focus tool, then shift the design into place. If there is another one next to it, click there and then shift that design.

Click once with Set Focus in each coaster location, and immediately after clicking there, you will get the best alignment. (Do not shift the designs once you have them in place, even if they look like they move with later clicks. The camera is adjusting the view where you click for the fisheye effect.)


Oh, ok. So, the focus needs to be on each item and not in the center of the entire print? That would make more sense. I plan to try again tonight or tomorrow. Janet


You got it! Good luck!

I’m glad to see that you received some additional advice from @jules. Thanks Jules!

Please let us know how your next print goes!


Thanks for the help, everyone. It appears we are now getting much better prints on both leather and wood. We have been able to set the focus properly and as long as we do not overload the print area, we can get clean and centered prints. We really appreciate the help - Nelson and Janet


Amazing! I’m so glad to hear that the community was able to provide such great steps moving forward, and you are already seeing the improvements in your prints. I’ll close this thread for now, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly at if you happen to run into any more trouble. We’re here to help :slight_smile: