Cutting .45 in plywood

I have been testing cutting plywood that is 0.45 in thick, and with two passes it doesn’t go all the way through. I saw from some other posts that someone was able to cut 0.50 in thick.

I’m not sure what type of wood this is, but i know its plywood and I checked the thickness with my digital calipers.

Here is a video of the wood, and it’s thickness.

I started from Proofgrade Thick Maple Plywood, but there isn’t a description about how thick GFUI determines what thickness “Thick Maple Plywood” is to know if it will cut with 1, 2, 3 passes.

I want to cut in minimal passes but not catch on fire. I noticed that with 2 passes it doesn’t cut deep enough with the PG settings for Thick Maple Plywood (which was a starting point, but ma not be the type of wood this is).

What advice do you guys have that I should try?

Thick plywood is 1/4". You’re about double that at almost half an inch thick.

Multiple passes will be required if you have a Pro model machine. Not sure you’ll get all the way through it with any other model. And your kerf is going to be very charred, very wide, very slanted, and with a high potential for ignition, so be sure to watch it closely if you try to cut it in multiple passes.

(It’s going to take more than two passes. I wouldn’t try to slow it down too much more, it’s probably safer to do multiple passes than slow it down too much on an unknown plywood.)

Going to be interesting to see if you can pull it off. This is going to get shifted to Beyond the Manual when support pops in, so be sure to let us know what happens with it. And seriously, watch it closely and be ready to open the lid to kill the print if the flame gets too high.


I have Plus model

Might be an interesting experiment. Just keep an eye on it. :wink:

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This looks like regular 4 ply 1/2" sheathing or construction ply. It is going to be a less expensive grade and therefore more apt to have knots and voids that have been filled. The glue will also affect how easily it can be cut. Even 1/4" ply of this grade can give you fits.

I’ve done 1/2" fine cabinet grade 5 ply birch plywood with ok results with my basic using 2 passes. Didn’t get the edge I wanted. Built a CNC router to do it correctly.

When I first ordered the Glowforge in the fall of 2015, I was so excited that I’d be able to cut 1/2" ply, assuming I’d be able to flip it over with all the precise positioning. My expectations now are that 1/4" is what I can rely on for consistent and workable results. YMMV.


I have the pro version and I’m able to cut through some 0.48" plywood with one pass speed around 110-120, so really pushing what the machine can do in one pass.


Also, If it’s an exterior ply, the glue is different than the indoors ply so it gets harder to go through on an exterior ply!


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