Anyone taking the Glowforge on the road?


Places that I would take the Glowforge would be tradeshows and/or conventions. Those places are usually pretty good about reliable power. Although I thought about taking it to outside events too and would most likely use a generator but honestly haven’t thought that far in advance…lol but you can run alot of things on a generator including household appliances so I don’t think it would be a problem… ?


We’ve been waiting for you to get back so Tim could get his answer :grinning:


And you’re back! :slight_smile: Thanks for the reply.


Ya a gen will will have the power out out personally I don’t have a smell O scope wo I do t know how clean it is so I would run it through a ups


For clean power, make sure you get an Inverter-Generator, and not a traditional (old-fashioned) genset.

Honda, Yamaha, and Generac and others all make good, relatively quiet, little 2kw inverter-generators, for $700-$1000 MSRP. Much cheaper traditional generators can be found, but their efficiency and power may be questionable. I had a 4000w “husky” brand genny from home depot that cost around $500 and it put out remarkably clean power, but it was heavy, loud, and bulky; you wouldn’t want to have to run it very near your outdoor trade-booth.


I’m guessing you never take your current lasers on the road. Is that true?


No… they are too big and I don’t have a filter for them…


That’s what I thought.


I would love to take mine to conventions, but I got a pro, so the whole class IV thing… yeah =\


I was thinking of taking mine to some of the education conventions I present at and cut projects for those that attend my sessions on using a laser cutter in the classroom. I have one coming up in mid July (fingers crossed). Regardless of timing, could I just plug my Glowforge into an inverter in the cigarette lighter of my car? I know generators have been discussed, but I was hoping it wasn’t necessary if I plan on keeping it in the car. I thought I’d put it in the trunk of my hatchback and run the exhaust through a side window away from where people would be standing. I’d also only cut wood, so the exhaust wouldn’t be toxic. Anyone see any issues with this plan?


Cars arent really designed to handle that amount of throughput. They cant even handle most modern hair dryers. A generator with UPS battery buffered power stream between might be a better bet.


You’re likely going to have problems going through the cigarette lighter.

The cigarette lighter isn’t designed for that kind of power draw. Most vehicle charging systems are 12v - so you’ll need around 60 amps to deliver what the unit will draw at peak power. At the most, you’ll have a 20-amp fuse on your cigarette lighter and it’s probably shared.

You could have someone install a fused link directly to the battery and through an inverter to operate the Glowforge. It’s not an absurd amount of power but it will need a dedicated link with the appropriate fuse. As mentioned above, you could be drawing up to 60 amps under 100% load.

And it also depends on your vehicles alternator. It will need to be able to output enough amps to keep the battery charged.


Seems like a dedicated generator is the way to go. I mean screwing up the electrical system of your car is incredibly expensive (like more than the GF) while a generator for that amount of power is super cheap. If you have to be battery powered just get a separate car battery/charger and use the inverter to that with a fusable link.


For that power draw, you’d also need a deep-cycle battery like an Optima. By the time it’s all said and done with buying a battery, a good inverter, installation, etc. you might as well buy one of the smaller Honda generators that you’ll barely even realize is running. They have 1,000 watt generators for around $750 and the 2000-watt are $1k. Stick it on the side of the car where you’re venting the laser exhaust and you’ll barely even hear it.

You can definitely get cheaper generators that will put out the power but portability will be an issue, whereas the small Honda generators are very portable.


Well it looks like I won’t be travelling with the Glowforge, as I’m not able or willing to drop that kind of cash for a few conventions a year. Thanks everyone for your help in determining that. I’ll just have to mail them their projects after I cut them at home or at school like I planned.


No chance to get an extension cord & power from the facility?


I suppose that’s possible, but it wouldn’t be able to stay in the car. The building is too far from the parking lot in most cases. It would have to be carried up to the building and that makes me nervous. I don’t really want to move it more than I have to. It also would still have to be outside because I didn’t get a filter. If It could be brought into the room, it might be worth it, but since it can’t, I’m not so sure. Maybe I’ll get over the paranoia and give an extension cord a try.


It could be brought into the room if you could get a hose to a window…

A UPS big enough to run the GF for an hour or so would probably be less than a generator. But still pricey.


Other lightweight generators that will put out ~1,000 watts that are much cheaper exist. Amazon shows several from $137 to $400. They are 35-40 lbs. I just recommended the Honda because I have experience with them, know how quiet they are and how durable.


For the filter if a window can open, then you can vent out the window. As for carrying, since you have to pad it extensively to safely go in the car, the building isn’t an issue really (invest in a hand truck)