Wasted material and on a deadline...yay!

So done with this machine’s awesome attention to detail by being off from the screen. Tested and everything was good, then went to do the actual project and whooopie it’s consistently off my a slight bit even when i make slight adjustments up. The project i’m working on is a precise one, maybe the GF is not what I need after all. Wasted expensive wood and running on a deadline thinking this would be a walk in the park. I even adjusted the jig to accommodate alignment issues.

Love to help, but I’m not sure what your ask is here. Do you need help with something or are you looking to get a refund or a replacement? Or…?


If it moved between runs, it’s almost certain that

A. The material was moved
B. The head was bumped
C. The design was moved

The point of using a jig is to not have to accommodate for alignment, etc. The unit will repeatedly cut within .0007xxx of an inch.


Ouch. Of course it would happen in a time crunch. And with a jig too?? I can’t understand what the alignment issues are all about. My files execute exactly where I place them 99.99% of the time, and when they are off, it is within a mm or two, so I never use a jig.
I would like to understand where the variability is introduced. Is that behavior something you experience often?

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I experience the screen to laser being off quite a bit._

I only see displacement in the post-op camera image, hardly ever when first opening a file. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Presumably you are using a jig either by:

A. cutting an outline and placing an object in the hole
B. Running a quick score to determine where to place your material
C. Running a very low power engrave on masking to make sure the engrave is in the right places

For A and B, you don’t need to worry about what the bed looks like in the UI. Just place your material and don’t make any adjustments after you’ve ran your placement guidelines (created the jig).

For C, where you’re just engraving a very light test not going through the masking, it’s probably best to just nudge the design and then test again on the masking until you are satisfied with where the design is placed.

In the absence of details, it’s difficult to give a specific recommendation.

I recommend when alignment is critical to pretend like you can’t see any image from the bed. It’s important to actively ignore the image you see from the camera. It can confuse you when you’re using a jig and tempt you to move things around. It’d be nice if you could turn it off for stuff like this so that it forces you to work out how stuff will land on the object in the jig without it. Of course, it would also be nice if they’d let you say exact coordinates in the UI. Without that, you have no choice but to have a stack of already aligned prints that you determinedly never move in the UI.


Oh yeah. And avoid anything near the right edge just in case you lose some steps every time you print due to that issue.

You should test to see if your cuts are repeatable. Either put some tape on the bed, or tape down some cardboard, and score a couple of circles or targets. repeat this a few times. If it does not repeatably put the laser down in the same spot, then the problem is the laser. If it does put the laser in the same spot, then there is an issue with your jig.

This is a question to the group - how do you square your material to the bed? Even when I align the material carefully to the crumb tray the gf enrages / cuts “crooked” - also what is the maximum working area as I can’t get to 11x14 which is an issue

I notice some people but 2" masking tape all the way around the edge of the crumb tray and then cut the maximum sized rectangle and remove the tape inside that. That gives an accurate edge to the work area that you can line up against.


According to the latest spec change the cut area is 279mm deep and 495mm wide. That is slightly less than 11" by 19.5". Engraving is smaller still depending on speed.

Also, you may need to do it again when you move the bed, for cleaning or accidentally. I was pulling it against the front right of the divots which was closer enough for my purposes, but this turned out to be a mistake since after getting the pro shields the front door pushes it back. Perhaps always making sure it is against the back of the divots.

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There are some great tips in this thread - thanks, all!

I’m sorry you’re having trouble, @jonny_firebrand, and I’d like to know a little more so we can investigate further.

Could you please do the following for me?

  • Turn off your Glowforge
  • 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
  • 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
  • Turn your Glowforge back on
  • We included an extra piece of Proofgrade Draftboard with your materials shipment for troubleshooting. Place Proofgrade Draftboard in the center of the bed and print the Gift of Good Measure using the default settings
  • When the print finishes, 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 search for the 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
  • Send us the screenshot along with the date and time of the print, and we’ll investigate more. Thanks!

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email support@glowforge.com.