Replacement Glowforge Alignment: Owen is skewed

I have spent some time examining the alignment of my warranty replacement Glowforge Owen. I appreciate the quick response and turnaround for the replacement of Zatoichi. I had no issues with setup. Nor have I had any issues with the performance of the Glowforge. The objects I make are faithful representations of my designs. Owen cuts and engraves consistently.

I could tell immediately though that my new machine’s camera alignment was quite different from Zatoichi, and even worse than the pre-production units I used at home and at BAMF. I know what is possible. This alignment certainly makes me change my work flow. Very hard to use scraps efficiently and I have to work around this to even begin using full sheets well.

First apologies to anyone if I appeared uncaring or unconcerned with your own alignment issues. I may have been less than empathetic as folks were coming to grips with camera alignment and design placement in the GFUi.

I did ensure all mirrors and windows were clean. Lid camera is clean and secure. I double checked the surface I had place it on and ensured it was level and flat. I checked the case to ensure that there was no obvious pressure point or twist from some type of obstruction. Lid is firm and garage door is secure. Crumb try is seated in the dimples with no obstructions. I am using Proofgrade draftboard that is very flat for the tests.

The following tests were done between 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM Sunday, August 26, CDT.

Zoom in on this one and look at the lower right at the corner of the material. There is some strange artifact that is appearing on the margin. A warping of the image around the crumb tray. That is very strange and I didn’t have anything like that on my previous Glowforge. The very clean steel in the garage door and lid side are reflecting. In the above picture I had taped over with blue painters tape to cut down on the reflections, wondering if that made a difference. It didn’t.

Here is another test I did on draftboard earlier this week.


Here is a good example of the skew.

What follows is an interesting experiment to see if the glare off the steel was messing up things. Note in this pic the resulting cut isn’t that far off from the design. These are one inch squares. I put the cardboard over the edge of the crumb tray to butt against the garage door. Within specs.

Here is a centered grid shot to see how the skew is propagated.

The alignment is definitely skewed from left to right. Top to bottom is a bit more accurate.

Not sure if this is within specs or not.

I’m open to suggestions to test other scenarios and designs to demonstrate or improve things.

Have I forgotten a troubleshooting step?

Thanks for your assistance.

Here is a pic of Zatoichi using scraps. Would love to be able to do this again.


Yes. You were insanely lucky before. Mine has always been 1/6” off horizontally and 1/4” vertically. I just assumed this was normal and had to work around it. I would like to think that there could be a software adjustment that we could make to tune it in.

On Tuesday, my wedding anniversary is tomorrow so no Glowforging, I will be testing the idea of shimming corners to shift the lid slightly to see if I can mechanically align the camera to bed. It’s worth a try.


I’m truly sorry, I know how frustrating this is. :cry:

Your current alignment is similar to my first unit, and that alignment offset seemed random to me even with accurate measurements and flat wood.

Out of curiousity, had you entered a material height for the grid picture? Is it different after you do? I found that with no material height entered, the actual lasered result matched the on-screen image quite closely, but with a material height the alignment was off like yours. This always confused me as it seemed like a software problem with the fisheye lens de-warp.

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Yes. .150" for cardboard.

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This is a great idea. I’ll be very interested in what you discover.

Gosh, there does seem to be a more than ordinary misalignment going on here. The strange skew in the lower right corner is something I haven’t seen. Haven’t actually looked for it but maybe now I will. Good luck!

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Thanks so much for providing all the information on the tests you performed. I’m so sorry you’re having trouble with your alignment on this new unit.

Unfortunately, this is an issue that we can’t resolve remotely. I want you to have a reliable unit, so I’m recommending we replace this one as well. I’ll be in touch via email to sort out the details. I’m so sorry about the bad news.