Trouble aligning designs on a 2-sided flat cut/engraving

I have an ornament that’s about 3 inches around. On both sides, the pink part is the part that’s getting engraved, and the outer lip/type is not. The catch is that on the other side is a different design.

What I am having trouble with is aligning the design on the second side.

My approach:

  • I’ve cut out/engraved one side
  • without removing the overall wooden board, I simply flipped the ornaments over and positioned them exactly in the same spot where they were cut out
  • manually position the second set of designs (set up in the exact position on the artboard)

But, the design doesn’t get positioned perfectly. I’ve already ruined 1 set of ornaments because the design is off, and I’d love to know any tips/tricks for aligning designs.

Much appreciated in advance!!


So the glowforge interface recognizes different colors as separate operations. In your design software superimpose the designs one on top of the other in different colors, that will allow you to enable one of the sides while ignoring the other. When one side is completed flip it over and enable the other side. The registration will be perfect.

Just ensure the material you cut it from is positioned on the crumb tray so it cannot move.


I’m creating this in Illustrator. And I’m pinning down my wood, while just flipping the cut out piece over and placing it in the same exact spot.

So you’re saying make both designs two different colors, position them exactly as I want them cut, and then just ignore the one I don’t want?? That really is ****ing brilliant!!! :astonished:


You can do irregular shapes the same way. I’ve made many odd-shaped double-sided pieces, you just add the extra cut to the first pass.

Here’s an example that illustrates what I mean:

Here’s another. The X in the middle is where the bitmaps for each side are engraved. The ‘flame’ is only on one side but cut on both so when I flip it, it’s perfectly aligned. (I work mostly in outline mode…)


I’ve done 10,000 tokens engraved both sides with that method. I can’t take credit for it, another community member @marmak3261 shared that workflow with me years ago when I had no idea what I was doing.
The community here is really the best accessory for your laser!


@Jules did a great write up of this technique. Works for one. Works for a full bed of objects.


Thank you for this!

I just had a chance to try this - worked like a charm!! :sunglasses: :sunglasses: :sunglasses:

Also gave me a chance to see just how inaccurate the camera is when you try to position something manually. Didn’t expect it to be that far off honestly…

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Have you run the calibration utility? And used Set Focus before placing the design?

Together those should get you very close to spot on.


No I haven’t actually…had no idea you can (or how) to do that.

It’s in the support pages.

Note the machine is only rated for ~1/4" accuracy, although some get better. The other methods shared above are far more accurate.


Great! Looks good. :sunglasses:

The ‘set focus’ tool is in the three dot drop down menu. Load the material and your design, then set the brackets that show up when you hit set focus on your material. That sets the camera view to the correct scale- then place your design where you want it.


Thank you (and everyone else) for your help. I just cut & shipped my order! :sunglasses:


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