Ability to map a "no go" zone for the laser head?

I know the glowforge has a 1.5" height limit on what it can engrave, but clearly there is room above that and below the gantry that an object could sit in. Would it be possible to have a feature where I tell the glowforge “hey don’t go here” so that I can engrave something on the 1.5" tall part of an object but not have the machine hit the taller part?

Alternately a simple simulation or toolpath projection would allow me to set it up myself similar to how I would avoid clamps in a CAM program.

The head looks to be about 1.5 X 3.5 in size. And looks to sit about .75" off the bed. If you tried to program in “NO FLY” zones for the head, you would limit the unit too much. For example if you programmed in a single point as a “no fly” zone, you would have to tell the head to not be allowed to travel in 21 square inches of space, just for that single point.

yes, but that no fly zone doesn’t expand exponentially, it will only ever be 21 square inches + however big your area is. out of 240 available inches, that’s not bad. And it gets even less if you put your no fly zone against the edges of one of your travels, and better again if its in a corner.

This is a moot point, I am pretty sure the gantry sits lower or at the same level as the head anyway.

To clarify @spike’s comment a little bit:

There is the print head, but also the giant arm that it rides on. You gain a VERY little bit of extra height if the print head does not pass your no fly zone, but most of the extra space will have the entire laser tube passing over it. So you would in fact be cutting out everything above or below your line from being accessible.

At about 1:22 in the original promotional video you see the large aluminum bar with the black print head. You may double the clearance available by keeping the black print head away from an area. But there is still a limit imposed by the aluminum bar itself.

1 Like

Yes there is the gantry and the head and the laser tube to worry about, but If I have something like a pre-assembled trophy, Being able to stick it in the laser to engrave a name on it would be very useful. Ideally you could have steps of heights (will/wont clear gantry) but that might be too big of an ask. No reason that the laser needs to be limited to just flat stock.

As you point out in the promotional video there is clearly some space between the head and the cutting level, and even more between the cutting level and the lid. It would be great to be able to use that dead space to allow even more stuff in the machine with a software limited build area to make sure the head doesn’t hit it. Collision detection is common in all my cam software to tell me if a tool holder or tool is going to hit a fixture and this is very similar.

You can engrave/cut “non flat” stock. As long as it is under 1.5" (with the bed removed) and still within the focus range of about .5"
So there ya go…

Well, there is no real need for a second level for “gantry cannot clear” since that defines a block across the full extent. So you just design your cut plan to have nothing below that line, and there ya go. No fancy tools needed.

So it remains an issue of just seeking for a definition of areas to forbid access to the cut head itself. I mostly am pointing out that it only buys you a very marginal boost in possible depth for materials to place inside.

1 Like

as long as it doesn’t have some sort of rapid movement that is unexpected then yes no real need for a wont clear gantry level, but the piece of mind would be nice because its not as if we are going to see a tool path before hitting print.

Even if you only gain 1/4" that’s still a 16% gain. It’s a small laser, the more tools to help you be creative with that space the better.

but clearly based on the replies, no one else is thinking the way I am.

I like the idea. Just looking at the down sides to get a sense of whether or not it plays out in reality to be as useful as it sounds in nebulous thought-space.

You don’t need to see any tool path for the gantry level clearance. If there is absolutely no cut beyond a certain point in the Y direction, then the machine will not make a frivolous move into that area.

… UNLESS, there was a no-fly zone for the print head which makes the optimum path to avoid that location be a violation of the other restriction… So actually that returns to the need to have both (or to add an extra no-go for the print head when you know such an issue will arise. But that relies on extra user awareness, which is not sound design)