Cut and Paste on a GlowForge?



Okay so this is a question for anyone with a pre-release unit. Can you take pocket projector, one of the really small ones and set it up so it projects an image inside the GlowForge (through the glass is probably best) and once you have done that can the GlowForge camera see it as an image so it can cut it out?
I have an old credit card sized projector its was never good for large areas, but for the distance and size of the bed area I think it would be plenty bright and hopefully the camera will see the image and all you have to do is hit print… cut and paste on a GlowForge …well almost…:slight_smile:
Can someone try it if they have access to a pre release unit…
Hey maybe the next generation has a camera and a projector…


Help me, I’m trying to wrap my head around this use case. If you can project it, you have it as a file, if you have it as a file, you can just print it. Right?


If your projector is plugged into the HDMI port then whats on your screen gets projected. You would not have to go through the process of downloading the file and worry about file type compatibility since its just printing what is “seen”


No idea if the brightness of the projector would do it, but it’s a cool idea.


But you can take a screenshot of whats on your screen and send it to the glowforge?
You would still have to worry about what is to be cut and what is to be engraved. Also this setup would certainly introduce noise to whatever you wanted to print.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m pretty certain that the worrying over file-types is going to be less than that of mounting a projector above the glowforge and ensuring the projection has enough contrast for the glowforge to pick it up consistently.


Can you clarify something for me. Many projectors that I’m familiar with are based off of pixels (MANY tiny squares of color). I would be concerned that the image on the bed wouldn’t be “smooth” enough for a good image to be lasered anyway. At least from your computer you can send vectors and that would be a MUCH better result.

Does your phone projector suffer from any sort of pixellation?


As are movements in a CNC machine. Stepper motors by definition are “steps.” steps=pixels basically. The question is how high is the resolution (i.e. how small is a pixel). If your pixel size is smaller than the step the mechanicals are capable of you are fine, if not, your image will be pixelated.

For instance my Uniz Slash SLA printer uses a fixed monochrome LCD panel (instead of a moving laser) to produce the images (2560x1600) which yields a 75u XY resolution (which is actually half the size of a Form2 which is 150u XY). Now in the case of the GF you have 2 limits, the laser dot size and the mechanical movement (I assume the mechanicals are the limitation but @Dan can explain if not).


Projectors like darkness. It is very bright in the bed of the glowforge.


The highest resolution I’ve seen on the little random projectors is about 800x400. Which is probably just fine if the object you’re making is a few inches on a side.

One of the things I didn’t really understand when I started reading these forums is how many really cool things you can make with a laser that aren’t very big at all.



speaking of “next generation” I think what you’re describing comes close to a prototype “replicator” - give it an image and some materials, and get a 3d thing as a result. very cool :+1:


Interesting concept but realistically the hassle of setting up a projector, holding it still, getting it at an angle that the glow forge can see the image, and with enough dpi/contrast to be usable… I can’t imagine file compatibility issues slowing things down so much all that is better.

By all means lets get someone to try it out, it could make for a neat video for creative uses.


I’d think with all the fiddling youd have to do to get the image correct it would be easier just to convert the image and send it to the glowforge. Maybe I could see a case being made for opening it on a tablet and placing the tablet in the glowforge to be scanned. I’m sure we’ll come up with all sorts of creative ways to make it do what we want.


Hi tbelhumer,
Not sure I would use the tablet, like someone else mentioned I would be worried about the pixels etc, the small projector I have has enough light, and really when its focused on something as close as the bed of the GF it tends to blend I cant see pixels but the GF camera might. It would be cool if someone with a glow forge tried it out.