Second pass is misaligned AND the cut missed the right edge

I did 2 passes in this first picture, but as you can see, the second pass is not aligned correctly. I was able to flip over the wood and print it again, and that time it worked fine. So not sure what happened.

And here, you can see on my computer screen that there appears to be PLENTY of room on the right of the board, but when it actually started cutting… the laser misses the wood.

Any advice as to what’s wrong would be much appreciated.

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Here is a closeup of the first image…

Have you run the Calibration routine yet? (If not, the link is here.)

After calibrating, you’ll want to use the Set Focus tool, particularly at the edges of the bed, to adjust the camera view to account for the fisheye distortion in the lid camera. (Also described at that link above.)

Not sure what caused the misalignment on the second pass…if you left the material untouched in the bed and didn’t shift the design on the screen it should have landed in exactly the same place when you hit Print the second time. If the material got nudged or bumped when you were checking it, then it would land in a different place though, so we like to use Honeycomb Pins to pin the material down before starting a print. (Makes sure it stays put.)

I actually have the honeycomb pins. A friend has a glowforge that I’ve used before.

You can add to the settings the number of passes to do in one print. Mine was on the second pass in the same print and it got misaligned. Didn’t bump anything and had the pins holding down the material. So no clue what happened there.

I will run the calibration thing next and see if that fixes the position of my prints on the screen being different than where it is being cut. Thanks!

Check the rails for debris and check the belt tension as well. It should never have a change in alignment between passes, so it either hit something or skipped steps.


I second @chris1 ‘s diagnosis. You can find belt tension tightening guides on the forum. Mine was doing something similar which resolved after a belt tightening and cleaning.

Ok, so I’m running the calibration test now. Two things that seem really odd.

First, as you can see from this image, the pattern is not centered on the board. It’s shifted to the right. Normal? I did make absolutely sure that the crumb tray was seated properly.

Second, when the printer head was going from right to left, the patterns were fine. When it was going from left to right however… the Glowforge logo would get screwed up.

Oh, and is this normal for the print head? Does anyone else’s do this?

And here are the results after camera recalibration… I assume this is within the proper range since it’s way up in the left corner?

What is going on??? I feel like this printer has something wrong with it.

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Certainly wait until confirmed by someone much more experienced than me, but those do not look correct. Check your belt tension while you wait. I’m pretty sure you should have nice pretty GF logos.

I’m just an owner like you.

I’m sorry you ran into trouble when printing a project with two-passes. Thank you for providing detailed information, photos and videos. In addition to the suggestions provided by other community members about checking your belt tension, will you please also take and share a photo of the right-side pulley located on the underside of your laser arm?

Please try to take it from the same angle as this example photo:

Let us know what you find after checking belt tension!

FWIW… I can jiggle the lid slightly, but the print head body doesn’t move at all.

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The pulley is as far right as it can go.

Let me know if you need anything else. I feel like maybe since the printer head isn’t seated properly, that is what is causing the alignment issues. I think one of the magnets is raised too high somewhere. I could potential try to tape the printer head down so it doesn’t jiggle and try it again…

Also, when I first opened the box, the lens wasn’t screwed into the printer head either.

Probably unrelated, but maybe my glowforge wasn’t fully baked when put in the box. :joy:

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Thank you for sending over these photos! I’m sorry to hear that the Printer Head Window was not installed when you received your unit. It does appear that you installed it correctly, and it is most likely not causing any of the trouble you’re seeing.

After reviewing the images and information you provided of the Camera Recalibration, I’d like to take a look at a photo of your Glowforges Carriage Plate. When you have a moment, could you please follow the instructions here for removing the Carriage plate, and send over a photo similar to the one below?

Once we can review this image, we’ll send over the next best steps.

Here you go @MarcM.

Didn’t hear from anyone yesterday so I went ahead and did my own experiment.

I added three pieces of black tape to the bottom left corner of the Carriage Plate. This helped to stabilize the printer head. I also took a piece of black tape and taped the printer head to the carriage plate for good measure. Here are the results…

As you can see, it’s a lot more accurate compared to the previous photo. However, I put some asterisks by ones I thought were still weren’t spectacular. The lines don’t seem to be as straight as before. I wonder if by taping it down, it made things TOO secure somehow? Tape really isn’t an acceptable solution.

Regardless, I think this indicates that I probably need a printer head that doesn’t wobble on the carriage plate?

Thanks for your help.

Thank you so much for sending over this image, and the results of attempting to reinforce the position of the Printer Head on your Carriage Plate. I apologize for the delay in response!

Based on the image you provided, I do see some indication that the Printer head is wobbling on the Carriage Plate. The wheels on your Carriage Plate (as well as the magnets) do appear to be correct, and you laser arm belt looks to be tightened properly. If you review the belt connected to the Carriage Plate, do you see any indication of “teeth” missing on the belt?

Also, I’d like to review an image of your Printer Head. When you have a moment, could you send over an image similar to the one below?:

Once we can review this image, I’ll work on sending the next steps as soon as possible.

See the video I posted previously for how much it wobbles (for some reason, there is no preview and when you click play the video doesn’t show, so you need to download it and play it locally).

I inspected the belt, I didn’t see any teeth missing.

Here is the photo you asked for.

Just curious… what is the average time I should expect between replies? And is this the proper support channel? I’m new to the Glowforge.

@ckohtz - I’m sorry about the delay in our response. You’re correct that this is the proper support channel. When you run into trouble, you also have the option to email us at

Thank you for the heads-up regarding the video you shared. I was able to download it and saw what you described. The bottom of your printer head looks normal. As a next step, would you please send a photo of your carriage plate from the front with it installed on your unit’s laser arm?

Please take the photo from an angle where all 4 of the magnets on the carriage plate can be seen. Also, please feel the magnets and let me know if any of them feel like they’re sticking up above the surface of the plate.

I will take a picture. Some of them do feel higher than others though, I’m pretty sure that is what the issue is. But I don’t know which one is the one sticking up. Like I said earlier, I put 3 pieces of black tape on the bottom right magnet of the carriage plate and it’s “stable” (still a little movement but not nearly as much). So maybe the top right or bottom left is sticking up?

I’ll inspect it closer when I get home and send more photos.