Acrylic Folding

I saw this on YouTube a while ago and thought it was great a-typical use of a laser. I’m not sure that GF has the Z travel to pull it off. But its a great example of thinking outside the box and getting creative. I’m definitely gonna mess around with out of focus heating. Cooking bacon has been mentioned :smile: or maybe just little 90deg tabs for gluing or assembly?


Been a long time since I first saw that video. Forgot all about it :smile:

Doing this on the GF would be pretty hard. But I could see someone (a very skilled and experienced tinkerer, not just any random schmoe) removing the bottom section of the forge to get the clearance to do this.

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Holy mind melt. Incredible. Puts me in mind of the “outside the box” inspiration found in wooden hinges (aka living hinges) Brilliant laser cut wood hinge

@jacobturner that would be cool. I think you could pull off little tabs? I just dont know if you glow forge can be out of focus enough. but that depends on the lenz.

@PDWarne thats actually the post that reminded me of this. those are super cool!

Wow, that is super cool.

The Glowforge’s ability to adjust the focus on the laser would mean we could do this without having to move the object up and down (as many lasers adjust the distance to the object to handle focusing the laser), but we would need clearance to allow any heated components to bend downward. With the shallow bed depth on the Glowforge we could not do this with any parts that need to bend very far, but it should be possible. And I know under typical operation materials rest on the bed of the Glowforge. We would need to elevate parts to allow for this.

That said, it’s pretty easy to heat and bend parts outside the laser after hey have been cut. But using the laser to do that heating is pretty novel and cool to see in action.

Main awesomeness of using the laser (outside of just watching it), is reliable heating and localized heating. Most of the time when I try to bend I either get distracted and overheat, or I heat too large of an area and do not have a solid figure to mold around, so doing it by hand comes out pretty bad (which is totally on me… you should never try doing acrylic bends without something rigid to model onto)

This was definitely one of the use cases we had in mind for the software-controlled autofocus. I think there’s actually quite a few things you can do with 1.5" of Z, but obviously it’s one of the limitations we had to take to get the price down.