Wood + Art Alignment Issue

I’ve been reading about this topic, so I thought I would try to apply some of the tips I thought I learned. I don’t think I learned correctly. :thinking:

I had a scrap circle of 1/8 hardwood plywood. I thought I would try to throw on a monogram design since I am going to have about 8 of these scraps from my current project. I had just finished cutting the main board, so I left all of the settings the same (which was just “medium cherry plywood”).

I took out my main piece, put in my circle directly onto the crumb tray, opened a new project from file, then used the “set focus” tool and clicked on the center of the circle. Afer GF did it’s thing, I drug the artwork to the top of the wood and hit print. Obviously, it did not print correctly.

Did I do the sequence wrong? Did I miss a step? Something else?

I would guess that the Set Focus fell off the edge of your piece - but that generally only happens with tiny pieces.

Any chance the head could have hit something?


Did you use “set focus” the first time you printed, or did you just set the default for “medium cherry plywood” and let it do it’s thing? If you used the default focus for the 1st one, and “Set focus” for the second one, AND there is a difference in thickness between your material and the proofgrade medium cherry plywood, it could cause misalignment between the two cuts. Try using set focus on both of them.

EDIT: And make sure the focus dot is hitting your material, as deirdrebeth suggests.


OK, thanks. I did NOT use “set focus” on the first piece. The scrap came from the first piece, so that’s why I just left all the settings the same. It was the same material from the same board. (not proofgrade)

I think not using set focus was your downfall. Also try placing your project directly under the camera.


Thanks, David. Do you mean not hitting it the first time? I did use “set focus” for the circle, but the circle was my second project and I did not set focus for the first project. And I did try to put it as close to under the lid camera as possible.

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Pretty sure he means EVERY time… Or at least each time you open the lid… (I always use “Set Focus” before hitting the “Print” button)

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Sure, I understand (now) that it should be done every time. But, the question is: is not focusing on the first project, and then focusing on the second project, something that might cause the second project to go out of alignment like the image indicates?

I frequently hit set focus several times till it quits jumping about as then it will be at the most repeatable. If it is one or more “too many” it is not much loss.

Oh no, I’m sorry you’ve hit a snag!

There are some amazing suggestions from our other forum users on here. Could you try another test print using Set Focus and let us know how the print turns out?

To look into the misaligned print further to investigate what went wrong, could you let me know the approximate date and time it was performed?

Thanks, Jeremy. As a matter of fact, I just completed a second test about 10 minutes ago. I didn’t change a thing, and this time it worked perfectly.

Just to recap:

  1. I ran a large project that took up a full board. This was 1/4" birch plywood, using “thick Cherry Plywood” settings. I did NOT use “set focus” for this project.
  2. After the large project completed, one of the scrap pieces was a 5" circle. I removed all of the pieces of the large project from the glowforge, put in the scrap circle, loaded up new artwork, and did not change the settings.
  3. For the “second project”, which is just an engrave on the circle, I DID use “set focus”, then placed the artwork, and then hit print.

Again… same exact procedure as the first time, which resulted in a mis-aligned engraving. However, the second time was spot on.

As for the time and date of the first one with an error… I could only guess that it was sometime Sunday evening (Alaska Time), probably around 8 or 9pm.

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Thank you everyone for your advice.

Often, when we see an offset this large, it occurs because the head was physically moved or accidentally bumped, which affects the current calibration. I extracted the logs from your Glowforge to investigate the print you reported trouble with, and it looks like the printer head did not start from the “home” position. The head may have been inadvertently moved or bumped while preparing a print.

Please try the following steps in the future if you think you have run into this issue.

  1. Turn your Glowforge off, and wait about five seconds
  2. Turn your Glowforge back on
  3. Wait until all motion has stopped for 30 seconds
  4. Try your print again

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.