Cutting 0,5" thick material like sample of 3d engraving on a glowforge

Hello everyone, I’m a glowforge backer from Belgium and I’ve tried to look this up on the forum, but can’t find any mention of it. Maybe due to my limited forum navigation skills, or maybe the question isn’t asked yet.

I have 1 burning question about the 0,507 inch thick 3d engraved sample that Dan showed off in the december Q&A with Dan on youtube (after 34:50 minutes). I didn’t catch what this material was exactly and I’m really curious to know the contour shape was also cut by the glowforge. Can it cut through 0,5" solid material like wood?

On the Glowforge youtube channel there is another video called 3d engraving on a glowforge but there the material is only 1/4" thick as stated in the information under the video: “We used a Glowforge to 3D engrave a medallion on 1/4” (6mm) Proofgrade walnut hardwood." I wonder why that one is only half as thick?


It is hard to hear, but I think he says that the 0.507"-thick medallion is Hardrock Maple.
When he holds up the board with test cuts a few seconds later, it appears to be the same 1/2" thickness, and you can see the empty space where a medallion was (contour-) cut out.

I would imagine that they repeated this medallion test on as many materials and sizes as they could. (That’s what I would have done, anyway.)


See the conversation here: THE 3D Engrave

Basically you can engrave deeper than you can do a thin cut, so you can cut a hole 1/2" deep but not with the normal thin kerf and as steep sides.


Thanks for that link @palmercr! that piece of the conversation about the cut aroun the 3d engraving is really interesting and sheds light on the answer to my question about cutting the 0,5" thick maple hardwood. @hirudin explains it very well (with great informative illustrations) and even thinks a 3/4" cut should be possible. All sounds promising… Would be interesting to know how long it took to make the cut around this sample and how that was done exactly. I think is see a line halfway on the side…


All the information here is correct: it was indeed hardrock maple, and the Glowforge did cut it. We added a wide, engraved outline to the perimeter of the engraving we were doing anyway, so it’s hard to estimate the additional time - I’d say it added about 20% to the print. We’re looking at some ways to speed it up.