Bigger then the glow forge

So I’m new here still waiting for my glowforge to come in the mail! I was wondering if there is a tutorial/video on how to mae a project bigger then the bed of the glowforge plus. I know there is a mod where you open the door but is there a way to cut the project in half? How would you do it in silloutte studio business edition? Or if I have to do the open door hack is there a video on how to do it. Don’t come for me this is my first question I’m extremely nervous

In very simple terms, you strategically split the design and hide or integrate your joins. Artful application of this concept isn’t automated.

A common join style looks a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, the interlocking shapes providing strength.


This type of join is called a “butt joint”, because the pieces butt up against each other.

I wrote up a semi advanced discussion of ways to make interesting butt joints. Something to keep in mind once you get a bit of practice maybe?

As for being nervous, please don’t be, we were all new just like you once. We love new people here, you bring fresh creativity! I’m excited to see what you make. :slight_smile:


That post with the techniques has always been one of my favorites. Such a beautiful way to join woods.

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Same! Dive in and experiment, it’s great fun.

Start simple, try splitting a smallish square in half with a butt joint to hold it together. You’ll discover kerf!

First do the first three projects. I had several ides in mind to try when I got my Glowforge. In several, that is not how a laser works, In some that is not how a Glowforge works, in some, that is not how the universe works. (it seems that bending a sheet of wood into a saddle shaped curve is in that last set)

I think figuring out what you need is going to help determine what steps you need to take to make the file. I’ve made some very large items with my Basic by just splitting the file up into different sections and then creating a layer for the bottom that glues in different parts so that both layers are matching but the edges are offset.

Like the 6.5 foot sign I made. Or this 21 inch circle… the circle could’ve been separated differently, but it was late and I needed something quick, so I wasn’t thinking it through. Both have held up well.

I have not done it in silhouette business though, only in Inkscape. I don’t use the silhouette business edition much so I’m no help there, but I’m sure there is some tool in there too do it.

I’d also recommend getting very familiar with your machine before trying any hacks. There is info in the forum on it, as well as some useful user files pertaining to it, but it’s a do at your own risk because it’s dangerous.


Could you technically split the design in half and then use wood filler and sand it to get rid of the line?

I tried the wood filler, unfortunately for my project, it didn’t work.

If I paid more attention to kerf at the time, I would’ve had less gap and the filler might have made a difference.

I also think if it was painted, it would’ve been easier to hide, but my friend wanted it unstained and unpainted.

She also didn’t mind the lines, since I told her up front that I’d be puzzling it together. I still have the wood filler I bought for the project. Don’t think I’ll ever use it again.

I use the magnet door hack often even though I have a pro. When I first got the pro I thought the size of the passthrough slot was really limiting considering I mainly engrave things that are too thick. The first time I did the magnet door hack I realized that glowforge was smart to have the thin slot :slight_smile: When you do the hack there will be a lot of smoke and fumes that now easily escape the glowforge compared to using the passthrough slots. I have a wall mounted air filter that help a lot with that. I do recommend doing something like that along with all the needed class 4 safety when you use the magnet hack.

This is what I use and I happened to get it with a prime deal for much less. Just throwing that out there to keep in mind:

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That filter does 170 CFM which is pretty low especially as it is grabbing all the air and not just what passes through the Glowforge. The Glowforge fan I believe is ~200 CFM and the 190 CFM Vivo fan will not keep up with a smokey cut.

The Blu-dry I bought is twice as expensive and not as pretty but moves 500 CFM.