Allowable height in GF is not up to 2"

I have a cutting board which I have to engrave and it is less than 2" sitting on the metal plate on the bottom.

With the power OFF, I put the board in, center it and manually move the gantry and laser head right to left and BAM…I contact the fan shroud behind the laser head…

I now have more of a reason to cut the bottom out of this laser and allow for taller pieces.

I now have to go see a friend of mine who will have to complete it. He has Trotec with 6" vertical lift on his bed.

If you guys ever get to redesign this machine for a PRO PLUS make the pass thru slot taller and increase the depth under the laser. At least as users we can add height underneath but we can’t take it away as easy.

So your cutting board is 4 inches tall give or take?

In case you are not aware, engraving items thicker than 0.5” require removing the crumb tray. There are many tutorials on the forum explaining how to do this. Here’s one. I believe that one was created before the Set Focus function was available. Nowadays you would just put your cutting board in and use Set Focus to get the height measured.


The Glowforge can engrave items 2" tall. Perhaps your cutting board is taller than advertised, but lucky you for having a friend with a Trotec.

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Folks I have been using this GF for almost 2 years. I think I know what I am doing here. I have also determined that the laser does not engrave and cut the same in the 11 x 19 area. There are sweet spots. I have wasted so much material because the left side of the laser bed does not get cut the same as the middle and right side.

So When I say “sitting on the metal plate on the bottom” you think I still have the crumb tray in… Really?

Also using a set of digital calipers measuring the actual distance is 1.99" means it is under two inches. I measure everything that goes into the laser to ensure distances. are correct because materials vary so much in the commercial world.

1,99 is very close and it would not take very much warp to mess with
your measurement. I would check the distance to the bottom of your shroud. You did right to try with the machine unplugged, Ultimately I would have that as the answer. It would not be hard to check each case as you did and pass those that do not make it to your friend.

Seems like you have all the answers.


Come on y’all. Let’s not get snippy. @GetItLaserEngraved is correct. My unit will not pass cleanly over any material higher than 1.95" without the air assist scoop hitting the material.


It can be a bit tough based on the metric vs imperial measurements (and I’m sure it was designed in metric). While the specs say 2”, they also say 50mm, which is just a touch less (1.969”) — throw in manufacturing tolerances in both the unit itself along with calipers that could be (likely are off) + or - a hair, and it’s always best to check with the machine off (like the author did).

Especially when most material isn’t even a consistent height across a project panel (caliper different edges of a piece of plywood and you’ll probably see varying results).

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I will add my tutorial from back in the PRU days still has some validity. While set focus means your math can be fairly sloppy, you still need the work piece top surface between 0-.5” (12.5mm) from where the bed surface would have been. Set focus won’t focus infinitely and like any lens has a focal distance it works within. Now that being said I have a pretty good gestalt at this point when I pile up stuff to raise the stock into work-height at this point. And if you do it frequently making some stepped riser blocks out of draft board would have notches every .25” or so that would hold up the sides of your stock. And of course if this is a frequent identical production part, make a jig. But still use autofocus since humidity and temperature raise/lower your jig. Inside your house hopefully the temperature is pretty constant so thermal expansion hopefully isn’t coming into play (as opposed to o=when I am CNC machining I always probe before milling since being off even by small fractions of a mm in height will crash an end-mill - and unlike titan my milling machine doesn’t have car-like HP to just chew through it; I can’t imagine owning a milling machine that can slot 1” deep x .75” in inconel). Also crazy watching him fill a chip bucket with waste chips that cost more than my entire CNC mill!


Do it - there is even a walk-through on the forum. You won’t be able to send it in for any repairs after you do, but if it’s something you use frequently that would seem worth it :slight_smile:

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Hmmmm. Maybe sand the board down slightly? (1.1 mm) As opposed to cutting up an expensive machine to decorate a cutting board? Or use a shallower air shroud? Easy enough to find or create one I would think. (Could even grind a bit off of the bottom of the shroud easily.)

(Just an idea.) :thinking:


Thanks for the answer @jbmanning5 , that’s right.

Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll make sure the team gets them.

The rest of the discussion here is outside our team’s scope. I’ve moved it to the Beyond the Manual so the discussion can continue there.

I’d bug support about this specifically, because it sounds like your machine may be out of alignment.

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