Resolution of Problems

I recently made a post (here) about my camera being blurry and not recognizing proofgrade QR codes. I’m currently interacting with Glowforge support via email and we’ve reached the point where GF is suggesting I send in my unit for servicing. With a hefty shipping fee and zero idea what they will find or what repair they will propose (more cost) I’m reluctant to blindly hand over more money.

A search of “blurry camera” returns a lot of results, so it seems like I’m not alone with the issue I’m having; that many users are having either a blurry camera, misalignment issues, QR codes not scanning, or some combination of those issues. It also seems like the resolution is either circumventing the problem with various workarounds or just living with it. If there is any actual resolution it’s handled via email behind the scenes after GF closes the thread so the community doesn’t see the outcome. I have to assume if it was a very negative (or very positive) outcome people would open a new thread and be a lot more vocal about it.

My questions:
Has anyone sent in their unit for servicing as a result of these issues?
What did GF say was the problem?
What did they fix/replace?
What did it cost?
Are you happy with the resolution?

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This is the latest official response.

If you want to hear from other folks about their experiences I can shift the topic to Everything Else for you.

Since each case is different, if you can still work with it, you can probably get by with waiting for a while. It seems fairly universal that the people who have had repairs done didn’t want to spend the money.


ALL units are very blurry at the corners where the QR labels are. Every single one. But most are able to decipher the label. Usually problems are related to too much light or glare. Yours may not be that. Either way it’s only a minor inconvenience to hand select the material. Of course the more well off folks may be willing to incur the shipping cost and delay.


I agree it’s a minor inconvenience to manually select the material. It was just one of a few things that were all happening at the same time in my case. It led to GF support suggesting I send in my unit for repair. I don’t consider myself well-off by any means which is why I’m hemming and hawing so much over this and trying to gather as much information as I can before I commit to anything.

For my case it also wasn’t able to cut through proof grade material (even after manually selecting it). This is what finally prompted me to reach out. Until then I was trying to deal with the multiple little things stacking up, but when it loses its core functionality it’s a big problem.

Maybe this would be better in the everything else category? I figured this was still considered problems and support even though I wasn’t really looking for GF’s attention as much as other user’s experiences. The the read you linked to is helpful though.

One thing I wouldn’t mind GF chiming in on though would be if they report what’s actually wrong with a unit and provide an itemized invoice when it’s sent in for repair. I had read in an older thread that they don’t do this; that any invoice they provide would have a single line item indicating repair. Hopefully it’s different now.

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They do not provide an itemized invoice.

Yeah, i can move it for you if you want to hear from other customers about it…no problem.

And they don’t generally provide an itemized invoice because they aren’t the ones doing the repair…that’s what that item I linked to is explaining. (They have the repairs contracted out to get them done sooner.)

Did they walk you through a thorough cleaning and checking of the machine? All lenses, the exhaust system, etc.? It might be time to replace and realign the tube - that usually runs $500 or so including the shipping round trip in the US, but they can’t tell until they see the tube. That’s the only thing that we know what it costs.

It’s a tough decision to make without knowing though, for sure. I’d probably do it, but if you have to watch your budget, you might want to try to get by with it for a while. (You can sometimes slow down the cut speed by just about ten points, and it might make it start cutting through just fine. It’s a bit of a hassle to have to use a manual setting, but I still do…everything around here swells with the humidity.)

yup, they walked me through all that. I’d be surprised to find the tube needing replacing; I’m a very light user. I haven’t convinced myself 100% yet, but I think I’ll be sending it in. I’ll try to get as much information as I can and document it here.

Yeah, for sure. Let folks know how it goes if you do send it in. I think some folks are concerned about it.

The cameras used to focus when you turned them, but I think they glue them in place these days. When mine got blurry I just turned it to get it back in focus. Then again I don’t use the camera for exact placement, as I don’t trust it, so it’s more of an ancillary feature for me. Not sure if doing this messes with the accuracy.

I know it was discouraged to turn it in the past. I can see how threading it either way could make slight changes to the field of view, and the initial calibration data is based off that initial lens location. With the camera lens calibration, I wonder if that could be compensated for.

I’m sure someone could test :slight_smile: just mark the location like you would a timing chain around the crankshaft and camshaft gears. :slight_smile:


Yeah, I had to manually fix focus on my PRU. Although if they are truly gluing it in place, and the glue has unstuck, which it must have if the lens has turned out of focus, then it’s not effective glue, and you can refocus… raspberry pi also glues their lens in place on the camera 2.0, and it wasn’t hard to crack the glue to adjust focus. I needed macro focus and it was easy (firmly but gently cracked the glue). Not saying do this on the GF, but they should either get better glue that prevents the camera from moving out of focus during shipping, or less good glue allowing us to fix as necessary (I mean spending $1000 to fix a badly done dollop of crazy glue seems absurd)


I had read about that and checked for it - mine seemed glued tight. I’m sure everyone’s interpretation of “easily moves” is different, but I thought I gave it a decent amount of torque and it didn’t move, so I didn’t mess with it any further than that.

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The GF rep and I are currently going down the train of thought that something may be misaligned with the GF body. The lid on my unit appears to be slightly (about 1/16") higher than the sides when fully closed. I searched for this and found some people placed weights on their lid to bring things back in alignment. I placed a 15 lb dumb bell in the center of my lid and the camera was able to recognize the QR code. Things still looked blurry in the app screen and the print was about 1/4" to the left from where it appeared in the app, so that’s disappointing.

Every time I close my lid, one side or the other is not quite in alignment with the panel on that side. I have to press down to get it level, but I honestly have only bothered to do that a handful of times in nearly two years of ownership.

I have had it not recognize PG QR codes a few times as well. It’s never worried me, I just select manually. Most times, it works fine.

In my experience the most common reason for the QR codes not being read correctly is glare. (Those labels are too shiny!)


That’s how mine is now. The GF rep doesn’t think it’s an issue though. He also advised against placing weight on the lid.

When thinking that the lid was not aligned I placed a towel over the lid before placing a weight. It may have been covering the lid that allowed the GF to read the QR code moreso than the weight on the lid.

After a lot of back and forth we think that it was just a fluke that I wasn’t able to cut all the way through a proofgrade material. They replaced the piece that was ruined in the process.

As for the camera, it’s still blurry. The GF rep had me run a calibration routine, but it produced ambiguous results that he said meant that though it completed successfully it wasn’t able to improve anything. He predicts that running it again will have a similar result and concluded that they’d need to see it in person (sent in for repair) to see what’s actually wrong with it.

The way things stand now I can complete engravings exactly how I want as long as I wind up cutting them out in the end. The offset is kind of reliable, and I may be able to create a jig to better predict and position where an engraving will end up. It seems like snapmarks would really make this positioning issue moot, but I don’t have snapmarks yet.

Is there anything I can do to get snapmarks?

What is everyone else doing to position engravings when not cutting them out in the end?

Dan announced several months ago they discontinued Snapmarks deployment. If your machine has it, they will remain, but no new machines will get them. Snapmarks were on the path to the passthrough feature and that is where they are focusing their resources.

The key to jigging is that for each file where the artboard is 12"x20" the glowforge cuts/engraves in the same exact place. Load a file into the glowforge, do one cut. Open the lid, change your material or whatever, go back to Home, turn the glowforge on and off, load that file again and that cut will be in the same exact place. So. if you have a 4x4 slate coaster, you can make a file with your engrave placed how you want it inside a 4x4 square. You cut that square out of a piece of cardboard, do NOT move the cardboard, drop in your slate coaster and then you do the engrave. It will be exactly where you positioned it in your file. You wind up burning through a lot of cardboard this way, but that is what Amazon is for.

I missed that announcement and have been patiently waiting for snapmarks to come to a glowforge near me. This is disappointing.

I don’t fully understand this. The are you referring to the print area of the glowforge? Or do you mean you make the dimensions of the svg file 12x20 in inkscape (or similar program)? Or am I completely misunderstanding this?

By artboard, I mean, in Inkscape, go to File->Document Properties and make the width 20 inches and the height 12 inches.

Objects need to be placed with a minimum Y-coordinate of about 1.15" to be cuttable in the glowforge.