Are self made vibrations an issue?

I’m imagining an ideal placement for the glowforge is on a sturdy desk or bench, on a flat and level non skid floor, probably with the desk/bench mechanically anchored.

I imagine it would be safe that, as a laser, we could make a generalization and call it a ‘precision instrument’.

(I think by now many people see where I’m going with this :smile:)

There are moving parts in the glowforge, some weight will be shifted, during operation. A 40$ 5 year old walmart desk will have a few millimeters of sway in it. Some people cough may just have a cheap desk placed on carpeting that is in thier mancave/computer room… will the typical person with a cheap desk have to worry about vibrations and things like that caused by the GF that could potentially cause a bad cut? Or, could it be disclaimed in big bold lettering and be made clear in the setup guide exactly what type of setting it should and could not be in?

That may help some of us cough that perhaps haven’t thought about it before, and don’t want to think about ripping up wall to wall carpeting.

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@dan said he just got a desk from ikea that works great. Nothing fancy.

But is that desk on carpet or cement floor? Carpet may impede some skidding, but may add more wobble.

Good question. I flagged @dan, so maybe he will reply.

This thread talks both about external and internal vibration issues. Some type of anti skid hoofs on the feet of the Glowforge may be in order to isolate the machine. Also the necessity at times to ensure materials don’t shift from air flow and vibration.

Thanks, I missed that topic the first time i browsed through, but it doesn’t completely address my point. Like the concern was raised about dot matrix printer rocking example, and because the carriage will move back and forth, is it a concern worth writing in a dos and donts, or of such minimal concern that it wouldn’t matter, that somehow the carriage motion is self dampening within the GF chassis.

I am thinking that the mass of the Glowforge (>20KG) should go a long way towards damping out any vibrations that might be induced in its support structure by the motions of its relatively lightweight carriage and laser head. And if you also happen to be getting the filter unit, that adds another 10+ KG. If someone is eyeing a cheapo desk that is easily rocked as a potential support for the Glowforge, I would probably be more concerned about its ability to safely support such a heavy piece of equipment without collapsing than in the equipment’s ability to handle minor movement of its support system. Also, it is important to remember that the Glowforge is by no means similar in size to a normal printer - it is just shy of 40 inches (1 M) long (for perspective, if placed on end, it would be taller than your kitchen counter); many of the least robust desks out there are likely also too small for it to fit on them!

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One of the neat things we can do with the cloud-based motion control system is solve for acceleration, jerk, snap, crackle, etc. That will enable us to minimize vibration mathematically on the server. For now, we’re pretty cavalier about it, and cheap tables + slick floor seem to work fine with a bit of vibration but no apparent consequences in the print.


Depending on thickness of your material you could use rare earth magnets attaching your material magnetically to the print bed(made of iron), to stop the material moving at all, which would remove one variable.

I know it’s not ideal from a usability point of view but putting it on the floor would stop table wobble :stuck_out_tongue: