Anyone taking the Glowforge on the road?


#1

I was wondering if anyone else will be taking the Glowforge on the road? “On the Road” could be weekend trips, shows, events or even all the time. I travel full-time in a large 5th wheel travel trailer and will be taking the Glowforge with me all the time. I plan on producing items for show and for sale as well as building replacement parts.

I’m currently sitting in Tucson Arizona USA for the winter. If your near by, give me a shout!

Cheers!


Traveling with a Glowforge
Refreshingly new living situation, potential challenges
Solar-powered Glowforge on Converted Bus (Possible First?)
#2

I half thought about being able to do name engraving , on the spot , at small shows. But with the tube being glass, and needing Internet, I don’t think it’s going to move much past one room to another.

I don’t know what the cost of replacement parts are yet, but it’s more then what I want to spend .

Have fun taking it around! Don’t forget to have a wifi hot spot.


#3

I would for a Missouri meetup if I get it first. Here’s a link to a case discussion


#4

I think @rbercher has a unique case of “on the road” compared to most. He sounds like it will be permanently installed inside his 5th wheeler, and that he will just move his entire fablab around. So risk of damage is essentially removed.

I have contemplated getting a similar setup myself. I haven’t because I am certain it would raise a few dozen eyebrows when I try to justify the expense :slight_smile: But seriously… it would be awesome to have a full physics demo show in a trailer.

I wonder if you have seen this workbench. I got my grand idea for a makerspace in a trailer after seeing this build. (reasonably certain I could modify his design to be able to be built in a Pro… not sure though, haven’t looked at it since Glowforge started up). Not sure how hard it would be to adapt the rail system to hold up the glowforge at the right height for the passthrough.


#5

It’s no help for the glass tube, but you can carry a wifi hotspot around in the form of a smartphone (almost) anywhere you go.


#6

Oh yes jacobturner, a unique “on the road” experience is exactly what I should have called it! So the wifey and I have been on the road for 5 years and in that time have hit around 35 US States, 19 countries (without the RV) and taken 3 transatlantic (USA to Europe) and 1 transpacific (USA to Australia) cruises. Internet on the road is a normal thing for us, we have it just about anywhere we go. Our data cap is currently at 60 GB per month.

Being my first experience with a laser cutter/printer, I was hoping for a little feedback on things that I may not be aware of such as its fragile components and wifi access required. I had seen the posts about carry cases for the GF and based on that, I came to the conclusion that it would probably be safer riding in a large RV with a controlled ride suspension than a travel case being moved from building to vehicle to dolly to table and back. Time will tell if it will be a good decision. I do have a custom workbench that I had built a few years ago, that is actually big enough to fit and support the GF and as an added bonus has an opening window directly behind the bench.

How about doing a little design work while sitting here near Jackson Hole Wyoming overlooking the Grande Teton Mountains? Oddly enough we actually had some decent internet using our outside cell booster while parked here. We camped here in the national forest for 13 days until we ran out of water. We do have a generator that runs on propane or gasoline for all of the high voltage needs that we may have.

Thanks for the input and feedback!


#7

Yes I will be taking mine to the local School’s in my area, as every year in my company we do a program called eWeek in which we go to each school to promote STEM.


#8


#9

If we took the Glowforge “on the road” with us, we would need to leave one of the kids behind :wink:


#10

Not with a glowforge, but back when my wife and I were full-timing, we did meet a couple who were doing just that. Wayne and Lori of rvlaser.com had a dryer vent plumbed to the outside of their Class-A for their laser cutter/engraver. The most difficult part was dealing with taxes when they went to other states.


#12

What type of business do you do?


#13

I am so envious that you live the way. One day I will do the same.


#14

Your telling me dmcintosh! I still have to pinch myself from time to time just to make sure its not a dream. The wifey and I really feel lucky to have pulled this off so early, I was 43 when we started. I hope you get your chance, you will love it!


#15

Tim, I initially plan on fabricating custom items for the RVing community, such as small pieces of furniture, shelving, signs, holders, storage solutions etc…


#16

I also plan to travel with my glowforge. I am in the process right now of getting ready to live the “Van Life”. Mobile hotspots are what I (am now) going to rely on to do the work required to use a GF. I have a few designs I plan on selling at music festivals I go to. Traveling with one of these is going to take so TLC but Im sure ill be able to build some kind of protective casing for the device.

RBercher, have you thought of how youre going to travel with your yet?


#17

Hello Mason_Jar! :wink:

I haven’t come up with the exact plan of attack on where we will store the GF while traveling, currently we place anything that is “travel sensitive” on the memory foam king size bed. So there is a chance we will move it from the work area we have and secure it on the bed so its riding on a few inches of memory foam. Most of the time we will be working from the RV, so moving it anywhere else will probably be very limited. We may also simply strap it down on the work area we have in place. Perhaps put some rubber or foam under the GF base?

I would enjoy seeing what you end up making on the GF and I will do the same. Stay in touch!


Refreshingly new living situation, potential challenges
#18

Thank for your reply! Strapping to a bed seems like a good place to start. Let me know what you end up doing and ill be sure to post back here as well. Take care!


#19

I definitely plan on travelling with my Glowforge. Its the main reason I’m getting it…to cut products on site.
Keep the packaging it was shipped in. Make a box with a custom cut (on the Glowforge) foam insert to secure the laser tube. Laser tubes are shipped all the time worldwide…think of lightbulbs…they are not going to shatter easily when you take care of them. I highly doubt the Glowforge one is going to be any more delicate. Correct me if im wrong @dan.


#20

Instead of attempting to use a portable WIFI hotspot these days I am finding I am doing better when I use the WIFI hotspot in my 2015 Chevrolet Colorado as I travel around the East Coast. It has even worked up in the Blue Ridge where there was not cell phone signal.

I wish I had had this type capability back in 2000-2005 when I was taking embedded computers and computer racks around the country for trade shows and company evaluations.


#21

Given your loads of experience, do you have any concerns or tips regarding grounding? How about portable power, such as a generator?