Significant offset between preview and actual cut

My glowforge consistently has at least a 1/4" to 1/2" offset between the design in the GFUI and what actually cuts. I’m having to adjust where I place items in the GFUI to compensate, which is difficult when I’m trying to use scrap pieces.

To minimize variables the attached photos show before and after using Proofgrade materials, placed in the middle of the bed, and a smaller sized material to avoid the item not being flat. I’ve also double-checked that my bed is properly level and set.

Would appreciate help. Thanks!

Pretty much everyone’s alignment is off a little - up to 1/4" is currently considered acceptable - but keep in mind that post-processing image is not accurate. (comment no longer true, so obfuscated)

Check out this thread: A way to improve object placement

and if your alignment is still off by more than 1/4", report back here and support will have advice! :slight_smile:


I am constantly fighting the same thing, and wasting material. If mine was off the same everytime, it would be one thing, but it is a crapshoot every time. I just try to stay off the edges now, and no longer work with pre-cut items. I love my GF, but it is no where near what it could be. I do hope they eventually get the alignment issue resolved, that 1/4 to 1/2 inch random offset is just not useful for too many things…

If it’s random, then the staff is definitely gonna wanna look into it - so be sure.

Mine was originally off by 12 clicks right and 8 down - then 5 and 5, and now it’s only 2 right (all at 500% zoom) - so it’s actively getting better, and it’s consistent for months!

I’d re-check my alignment everytime they talked about releasing an upgrade :slight_smile:

For some folks it’s off further the further away they are from under the camera - so what you think is random, may also be explained by placement in your bed.

Run the test linked above and be sure - and if you’re correct that it’s random, start a post under Problems and Support on your own (posting here is exactly the same as sending support an email so you can’t add to someone else’s ticket, you’ve got to have one of your own :slight_smile: )

I don’t believe it’s random, the shift seems consistently to the left.

It’s frustrating. I saw a lot of people report the same problem but I wasn’t sure how much variance was considered “acceptable”.

The software on your Glowforge is responsible for ensuring that the print lands on the material in the same place as the preview. When you’re done with a print, let a new image load. If the print appears on screen far from where it was supposed to go, you may have an alignment problem.

Most alignment problems come from the material being closer or farther from the camera than expected. While the software is still improving, you can take these steps for the most accurate alignment results:

  • Use Proofgrade™ materials.
  • If you don’t use Proofgrade materials, use a precision set of calipers to measure your material, and enter the thickness in the “uncertified materials” dialog.
  • Use material that is not warped or tilted.
  • Place your design near the center of the bed.
  • Clean the area underneath your crumb tray, particularly the four indentations on the floor.
  • Reboot the machine. Alignment can drift over time, particularly if you bump the head of your Glowforge while removing material.

We’d like to have you try a few troubleshooting steps for us:

  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. We included an extra piece of Proofgrade Draftboard with your materials shipment for troubleshooting. Place the Proofgrade Draftboard on the far right side of the bed 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.

Should you finish all of these steps, and find that you have an alignment error of more than 1/4", please contact us so we can investigate.

I’ve never known this to be true. It actually runs counter to the troubleshooting steps from Glowforge, since they ask for a post-print screenshot of the placement of the print in relation to the artwork overlay.

That may have been updated since last I had to pay attention. Previous conversations between folks w/ issues and staff included comments about the pre-print image and the post-print image being different, but yeah it does look like that’s no longer the case :slight_smile:

I did all these steps (except using my own design instead of the ruler) when I posted the pictures in the original post. So you can see the offset above is about a 1/4". I’m not sure how much more of a 1/4" is interesting.

Can you tell me when those screen shots were taken? I’d like to check the logs for those prints.

And when you have a chance, please run the Gift of Good Measure test that Stephen suggested.

Include a screen shot, and the time/date and we’ll determine next steps.

The screenshots were taken on December 3rd at 10:50 AM PST.

I will run the Gift of Good Measure test today or tomorrow.

Here you go. 12/7/2018 at 9:30 AM PST.

Thanks for getting back to us with those results. Unfortunately, it looks like your unit is experiencing an issue that we can’t resolve remotely. I want you to have a reliable unit, so I’m recommending we replace this one. I’ll be in touch via email to sort out the details. I’m so sorry about the bad news.