Wooden Spoons and Alignment

I have been trying to print on the back of spoons and not sure what is going on. On the screen it looks perfectly aligned on the spoon but when I go to print it is going further to the right. Not sure what I am doing wrong.

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a) run the Lid Camera Calibration.

b) use Set Focus to get a more accurate camera view to artwork picture.

c) search the forum and read up - there’s been a ton of discussion on both alignment and spoons :slight_smile:

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Thank you - I did the calibration this weekend and I do the set focus too. Maybe I will recalibrate again. I have ruined 4 spoons so hoping I can get this figured out soon. Cheryl

You need to set up a jig. As stated, search here - it’s been covered many times.

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Make sure the set focus actually hit the spoon in case it was off a bit. When it takes the reading you should see a little red laser where it’s reading.

Not sure how precise you’re trying to get but I usually do spoons without a jig (I like living dangerously :stuck_out_tongue:) just aligning it by eye. But I do leave some room around the engraving so if it’s off a bit it won’t be an issue.

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When you use Set Focus - watch the head and make sure that the red laser dot lands on your spoon.

To stop ruining spoons, you can run a test “print” by putting some masking tape on your spoon and running your job on a low power like 5. That should mark the tape but not cut through. Once you get it in the right spot - take off the tape but DON’T MOVE THE SPOON or ART no matter what the camera view shows you.

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But she’ll need to rerun the set focus because it loses the focus point when you open the lid so taking the tape off is going to require a new set focus before doing the finish print.

Once you understand the concept a jig is cheap, easy to make and just always works. Here is a video about it.

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Thank you. What I have discovered is that I can lay out my art and hit refocus but then when I hit print - it “refocuses” again and then I have to move the art.

When you say refocus, do you mean you click on the gear icon and then select Set Focus? Because if you use Set Focus (and don’t open the lid), it shouldn’t refocus and change the image a second time. It may do it a second time, but nothing should change.

Just to reiterate, if you use jigs for found objects you’ll never have a placement issue.

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The apparent change in position in the UI is not actually changing where the art will engrave. That’s just the system trying to give you the best representation for initial alignment.

So if you manually set focus, then align the artwork, you don’t need to move it again if the machine refocuses.

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I will put my material in the glowforge and close the lid. I then go to my computer and add my artwork and then click on Set Focus and make sure it is on the item I am engraving. Then I click print and often it will adjust the image on my screen and the art is then not aligned. I then go back and have to align the artwork again. It is like it zooms in on the item I am engraving when I hit print.

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So - I just cleaned my camera/lens and recalibrated my machine. I put my wooden spoon in the glowforge and closed the lid. I added my artwork and positioned it on my spoon. I hit set focus and made sure the spoon was the focus. Everything looks lined up so I hit print. Before I go and hit the button on the glowforge - it still looks lined up. I go hit the button and it is printing to the right and off the spoon. It looks fine on my screen. Am I doing something in the wrong order? I would think what I see on the screen is what I would get when I print.

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Please read this discussion on how to engrave on spoons very carefully. You will need to create a jig and set the focus for engraving manually. There is no other way to get perfect alignment on a sharply curved surface. The auto-focus is going to miss with a spoon.

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Oh sorry that was forks. There is further information on spoons here:

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The other thing you can try is after you gave everything in place, calibrated, focused, etc., put the power level at 1 and then press print. And then watch where it is intending to engrave

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Having the image on the screen look off and then having the glowforge print where it is supposed to print is kinda normal. So when you “align the artwork again” you may be causing the misalignment. That you would align it again is 100% reasonable, but the glowforge isn’t always reasonable. On the other hand, many glowforge machines, even with the new calibration feature and using Set Focus, are still off between what they show and where they print.

I’d try trusting the glowforge and not re-align your image just to see what happens. If that doesn’t work, and you are dead set against using a jig, the offset should be pretty consistent so you can use Kentucky windage. Good luck and I hope you’re using cheap dollar store wooden spoons.

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Don’t move anything after you line it up after hitting the Set Focus. It may look wrong but it will come out lined up to the limits of your calibration (mine is less than a kerf off on the extremes of the bed). It may look wrong but it will come out right.

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I will make a jig today! Thank you for all the information. I have so much to learn.

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Remember that your jig doesn’t have to be a museum-quality outline of the spoons. A simple rectangle will work: length of the spoon and maximum width of the spoon. The only purpose of the jig is to make sure everything is in the right place.

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