XY home position

From Dan’s answer to your question a couple of weeks ago, there doesn’t appear to be a physical or visual home/origin:

That being said, creating your own positioning jig should be really simple. Here are a few options…

  • Using a set of welding magnets (being very careful not to damage your grid)
  • Using a set of 1-2-3 Milling Blocks (depending on the height of your material – don’t let the head impact these)
  • Using your Glowforge to cut a jig out of cardboard, acrylic, plywood, whatever

Hope this helps… :grinning:

Btw, the GF staff other than Dan doesn’t routinely answer questions on the forums, but the community at large has an amazing body of knowledge that you may find handy. Expressing a desire to have GF staffer answer your question isn’t typically effective…


Im planning on cutting a piece of acrylic or delrin shoved into the corner with the x/y limits. Then ill put some magnets down on the edge in place to hold position, and cut holes in the corner piece for magnets and engrave rulers. vertical guides for taller objects and the ability to clamp down with it will also be nice. I use a similar setup in my chinese laser


We’ll have to see how solid the honeycomb position is.

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aye. might have to connect it to something else … I didnt think to check tray wobble at the maker faire

I never imagined there wouldn’t be a ruled square to line materials to. If there isn’t, that’s a pretty big oversight IMO.

I mean… As asked, how else would you do multiples? Sure, make a jig. But it just seems to me like a ruled square is a given.

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It seems like they chose to not have ruled beams on any of the edges. I mean to say that it was a conscious decision more than an oversight.

Here’s a thread about that from late last year that prolly has some more info (sorry, I only found it, I didn’t reread it)…

It seems like this has come up several times, and Dan has suggested just making some if you need some. A reasonable solution, IMO, though I do like the precision offered by a factory-made part.
Here’s an example of making them being suggested…


Thanks for that info. I definitely agree. Making my own could possibly take the “precision” out of something that’s specifically supposed to be laser-precise.


I may have to find it again, but I think dan said somewhere that the rulers are in the software instead of on the bed itself?

That’d be silly. Extremely imprecise. I can’t think of a value to that. Kinda has to be physical to work well. Guess I really will have to make one.

I have some pretty serious concerns about alignment and accuracy without any rulers. Relying entirely on the camera that’s already been shown to be imprecise is concerning. Dan did say elsewhere that while there are no rulers there are sidebar stops. I plan to machine a 1/4in aluminum index insert and figuring out how to lock it to the bed. That still requires some kind of manual alignment/positions/origin manipulation in the software. One more GF anxiety to deal with…


And should the cameras malfunction, what is the fix?

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I don’t think it’s fair or productive to speculate about repairs prior to the device even being produced. Probably safe to presume the thing will last for x years and that there will be a means of having the unit repaired should it break.

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Metal rules in 12-in and 24-in sizes are available that could be used if you’d rather put your energy toward more unique projects.



Are two examples, but Amazon has dozens, probably hundreds of others. Might be tricky to find ones that are fairly narrow so that don’t encroach on laser-able work space. The above two are over 1-in wide, I think.


Sure. But a ruler isn’t the answer. Need a (carpenter’s) square. Also available. But fixing it perfectly to the tray could prove difficult depending on the spacing within the case. Would really have to wait until I get the unit to make any decision on design specs for the square.


I’m not sure what’s inaccurate about making one. If the edges aren’t parallel and perpendicular respectively coming from an SVG, then we’ve got more problems than just the lack of rulers/stops.


Okay, I think I’m starting to track in on this conversation. Here’s my question, probably just missed it being discussed at some point, but is it even possible to plug in an origin point for a cut outside of the toted visual alignment method? I know on current lasers origin points are the key to where the laser fires and interprets its movement, but the idea I’ve walked away with is that is now handled completely by the camera system and is relative to each cut. If that is the case then would having a ruled guide for placing material on the bed to be cut be of any actual value? – total noob with CNC machines, so be nice :slight_smile:


To me the value would be lining up something once, forging it, then sliding in the next piece of material to the same exact spot, and one-touch forging the next, wash, rinse, repeat until I’ve produced as many as I want.

(And, yes… When I get my machine I will officially call myself a forger.)


Making jigs is a bit pointless if we don’t know exactly where to put them on the bed and…

[quote=“thomas.alessi.jr, post:12, topic:3386”]
That’d be silly. Extremely imprecise.[/quote] …correct.

The placing of the cut-diagram / art using a visual cue from the camera is a great novelty and certainly very useful for certain tasks and fun. But cameras have barrel and perspective distortion. It could of course be corrected up to a point (and I’d bet my bottom dollar a lot of development time went into refining this element). However a typical CO2 laser is apparently around 20 micron in diameter and like @thomas.alessi.jr implied, it would be imprecise if we need to ‘point and shoot’ every time we start a repetitive job.

I think it is important to have some orthogonal-XY (physical) absolute reference point.

Things will probably be much clearer once we get the unit but it would be nice understanding what we’re getting.


[quote=“dwardio, post:4, topic:3386”]

Btw, the GF staff other than Dan doesn’t routinely answer questions on the forums, but the community at large has an amazing body of knowledge that you may find handy.
[/quote]The problem with the ‘amazing body of knowledge’ argument is that while it may be well and true, none of the community here has a Glowforge (except 2(?) beta testers). I find it frustrating when a question like this gets lost in speculation and the original question does not get answered because we have created a nice camp fire with marshmallows.

[quote=“dwardio, post:4, topic:3386”]Expressing a desire to have GF staffer answer your question isn’t typically effective…
[/quote] Bit of a shame if the question is relevant I would think.

Despite some unclear answers and a dubious reason for the delay (hang in here with me…) I am personally very impressed with how the GF team have handled things and I am still exited about the product. But for a product that is supposed to ship within the next six weeks, there seem to be quite a bit of uncertainty as to the capabilities of the machine. I think a simple query like this deserves a response from the team - how can we do repeat jobs with consistent accuracy without using the ‘point-and-shoot’ methodology. Would we be able to all?


I count 11 beta testers, at least two of which are couples, putting the known public count at 9 beta Glowforges.