Snapmark work stopped

In September, we created an experimental beta feature called “Snapmark”:

We’ve reviewed a tremendous amount of helpful feedback. The three biggest things we heard were this.

  1. Snapmark is hard to use and only works under certain situations.
  2. Alignment is critically important, and should work all the time.
  3. Snapmarks are not a substitute for the pro passthrough software we’re developing.

Based on your feedback, we’re going to stop the Snapmark experiment where it is (we won’t disable it for people who have it, but we also won’t roll it out any further). It would take significant work to continue development or roll it out further, so we will not proceed with that for now. We may revisit it later as an advanced or premium feature. In the mean time, it’s served a crucial purpose: helped us collect data on hundreds of machines that we can use to deliver more accurate alignment all the time.

That data has allowed us to create a tool that anyone can use, for any print - Lid Camera Calibration. The data you helped us gather through the Snapmark experiment made this possible.

So, we’re going to focus our efforts on two projects: continuing to improve alignment for all prints, and creating Pro Passthrough software that doesn’t require marks on the material. Both of these will build on the software and data we collected by testing Snapmark, so thanks to everyone who used the feature!


That’s too bad about not extended the Snapmarks to more users. It really does come in handy. But getting the lid camera calibration process will certainly help with design placement on materials.

The old alignment work arounds with jibs and such do work well, but not in all cases. For the sake of the Pro folks, that is good that you are concentrating on rolling out that update. I finally had my first experience with the passthrough and it is a bit difficult to design for at the moment. Finally figured it out, I think.


@dan The Lid Camera Calibration is a great new feature (and will hopefully fix my alignment issues) but I don’t think its a replacement for snap marks. One of our major use cases for Snapmarks is being able to print them with graphics on cardstock then load it into the Glowforge and cut out said print. This has been incredible useful for custom business cards and display cards for our business. Now I understand that Snapmarks aren’t going away for me but I want to voice my support to making them a permanent feature. It elevated the Glowforge to a whole new level and does something that the Lid Camera Calibration does not.


If I have time ever…I’ll have to throw in an old test piece and try to manually line up an old cut or something(zoom x2000 is nuts) and see how close it is.
I know the after print camera view sits practically exactly where it said it was going to cut instead of shifting the after image 1/4" off to one side like it was doing.

Thank God! I use Snapmark all the time and I couldn’t do what I do without it! While I agree that lid calibration is a great feature, it’s just impossible to lay out something exactly without something like Snapmark. Consider a sheet of stickers… one of my biggest use-cases for Snapmark:

The problem with trying to do this visually is that I have to get many things lined up right. You have to assume that the printer prints the image straight (almost never), and if it does, you have to assume that the page itself is square - not necessarily. Then you have to place the sticker sheet in the Glowforge and get it square, and then you have to line up the cuts with the image. With SM this is a piece of cake, so long as you design things correctly.

I don’t care how well aligned the cameras are, there is literally zero chance of perfect alignment if there isn’t some way for the machine to measure and align the image properly.


Yes Dan…
Please continue snap-marks. Being able to repeat a project without burning another piece of cardboard to create another placement jig EVERY TIME is kinda important. A time saver too.


Snapmark is a great feature and I am sad to hear it’s a goner.

Thanks for not turning it off for those of us lucky enough to have it.


I’m disappointed to hear that you are not continuing on with snap marks. I had it on my first unit and loved it but when I had to send it in, I lost it and miss it. It was a good feature. I ask that you reconsider snap marks and roll it out for everyone. If people can’t use it, they can ask for help, but please don’t penalize those of us that either had it and lost it or are wanting it.


I understand and appreciate the love for Snapmark. We build the Snapmark experiment as a technology test of features owners have been waiting for for a long time, like precision preview and pro passthrough. We knew it wasn’t for everyone, but we decided we would be able to develop those features more quickly if we tested Snapmarks with some customers to gather more data. Now that we’ve done that, it’s clear that there’s still work remaining.

We decided to that, instead of doing that work, we’d keep our focus on our original commitments. We may revisit Snapmarks in the future as an advanced or premium feature.


One of the biggest wins with Snapmark is that you didn’t have to worry much about rotation. You could just plop your printed design in and let the Glowforge rotate your design to match the orientation of the piece.

The new calibration feature makes it really easy to position things on an item in terms of location but rotating anything precisely in the Glowforge UI is not easy. So without Snapmarks things are likely to be a little bit askew. :frowning:

Still, Calibration and Passthrough are definitely higher priority items than Snapmarks and will help a lot more people get the most out of Glowforge. I just hope you do come back to Snapmark later!

In the meantime maybe you can have some of your web UI people work on making precise rotation easier. (Maybe some keyboard controls for it?)


A bit of panic–then whew, Snap Marks NOT going away. I admit I’ve not used them much until this past week–and don’t think there’s any way I could combine printing text and then cutting out a special business card design and get 100% yield with any other process than Snap Marks!

And also excited to try out the camera calibration, as indeed it should be a great benefit. Thanks again Dan & Team for the on-going improvements in this great machine!


Well that’s neat! I’m gonna have to try that out. It’s nice you’re keeping snap marks on for the folks that already have it. I wish I still had it, but it went away when I had to return my machine. Bad hinge and all that.

I’d like to have the feature back, but I’d rather have a working machine. This new feature sounds pretty great too.


You know, all your promo videos show pretty much perfect placement… You might not want to make “perfect repeatable placement” an EXTRA COST item… Just saying.


You apparently missed the Lid Camera Calibration announcement… I got to beta test the calibration and focus features, and with the two of them, I’ve been getting that “pretty much perfect placement” the videos show. :slight_smile:


Nope. Still leaves me to have to figure out how to square things off, and, I still need to do any rotation of images in the SVG because that’s not at all accurate in the GFUI. So I get to make sure things are square (against an unknown / uncertain frame of reference) or anything I engrave may be diagonal or shifted off the perpendicular/parallel that I’m aiming for…


Yeah, I hear you on the rotation stuff. I’m hoping something is still forthcoming for that, but meanwhile I’ve been having a ball placing things visually and having them end up EXACTLY where I put them. :slight_smile:


Oh that’s a shame. I love snapmarks not just because of their accuracy, but it’s fire and forget and I don’t have to do any alignment in the software. Glad it will continue to work though…


I’m loving that about the ‘set focus’ feature. My caliper hasn’t been touched in a while.


I’m a little upset that I wont get snapmarks. I’ve got a lot of designs I’m using jigs for right now and I really dont want to mess up a 120 dollar cutting board every time my lid camera displays something other than what I expected.
I’ll live, but it sucks that it can’t be rolled out to everyone as a beta feature with a note saying that the work has stopped on it. I was really banking on using this exact feature in a lot of my work.


Totally agree. This was something I was really forward to, as it lets you be exact in your graphics application of choice and not have to worry about placement in the UI.

Snapmarks isn’t as high a priority to GF as lid calibration because that will help more people, I get it. But there is a definite need and viable use case for it. An extra charge would be a slap in the eye and give many users a nickel-and-dime impression of this company frankly, but many will pay for it.