Designing a table for the glowforge that is cuttable by the glowforge

I’m learning Fusion 360 right now, and as an exercise, I decided to design a table for my GF, that could theoretically be cut on the basic GF. Meaning that no individual piece can be bigger than 12x20. It may not be practical, but it’s a fun exercise.

I’m trying to decide what height to make the table, which got me thinking about the ideal height for a laser cutter. Would we want the laser bed to be at a typical table height, or higher? I think most of the time, you are not sitting in front of the laser-cutter, but standing. So you would probably want the bed to be a littler higher than a standard table top. Perhaps have the bed at about kitchen counter height. Any thoughts on that?

I’d like to make the table have storage slots underneath for storing various 12x20 pieces of material, and perhaps a small “outfeed” area on the side of the glowforge to take out pieces that were just cut. Any other ideas for a table designed specifically for the GF?


This should be a very interesting discussion. I’m currently designing a layout table for my shop and I’m dealing with a lot of the same questions.

For the Glowforge table height, I think the most important factor is getting material in and out of the machine. If you are lifting the lid to place/remove material from the top, that might suggest setting the height a little lower. I’m thinking closer to dining table height than kitchen counter height. Of course, that depends on whether you have the extra 7 inches of the filter under the Glowforge. I’m interested in hearing what others have to say including people who currently use lasers.

For my Glowforge table, I’ll also need to consider venting. I’m probably going to cut a hole in the exterior wall to vent out to the back yard. If, instead, I vent out a window, I can’t make the table height any taller than the bottom of the window.

I will likely have the table on wheels so I can normally keep it pushed up against a wall but have the option to swing it out to accommodate the pass through slot.

Space next to the machine for staging material about to go in/just taken out is wise. Storage for raw materials below is good too. I was thinking of using that space to store lesser used tools/equipment.

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Counter tops need to be at a standard height so they compromised on a height sort of good for most people. Most of the variation in height between people is in the legs, not the trunk, so table height is all about chair height. The glowforge is all about customization, so I say if you’re going to build it for yourself make it your ideal working height. I’m of the opinion it’s not possible to have too much surface area for working or storage; it’s a question of how much space is available and how to use it.

Standing to load and unload is probably normal for most people. But how much will you be staring through the lid to be ready if there is extra fire? May depend on how much you’re cutting acrylic and marking metals versus intricate paperwork.

When designing your workspace there are a couple of things to think about.
If you are designing for a GlowForge Pro that can pass material through, you might want to have mobile in-feed and out-feed tables that can be rolled out of the way when not required. This is an approach used with table saws and CNC routers in small wood shops. For my small shop (16 X 20 foot) I have placed all of my larger tools on mobile bases and set the work bench heights so that they can be used as in-feed/out-feed tables for any of the tools. For my shop I have set my counter height at 36 inches and adjust the table heights for tool support carts so that the work surface is level with the counter tops. I have also obtained a number of roller stands from that I can use to support longer material as I feed it through the CNC router, cabinet saw, surface planner, band saw, router table, or 19/38 inch wide drum sander.
While potentially the GlowForge pro I have on order would theoretically integrate into to mobile tool setup I am concerned about how it will operate in fine dust environment that often exists in a furniture shop. As a fall back approach I may that the same approach that I have for furniture finishing and set up a dedicated separate dust free area for the GlowForge.

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This is really good for ideas!


That’s a really good idea!

I’m with JOKeefe, build a table on wheels and at the same, or very similar, height to other tables in your “shop”. I too am learning Fusion 360 and have bought a small CNC router to test my designs, it is now screwed to a cabinet on wheels, solid enough to move around my workshop and with space below to store materials and the tools I need to use with the router.

This isn’t necessarily cut table by Glowforge but for anyone interested in designing with Sketchup and learning, Mathias Wandel has a good tutorial on making a table in Sketch Up.
And here is another table that I think would work. I posted this video in the shop location thread but wanted to refer:


The link from “tutorial” goes to the target Canada story.
(At least as of my writing of this post… )

I’m basing my first design on the MFT workbench that you posted in the above video (I think you posted in another thread as well). I like it’s modular approach, and that we could easily make the table bigger by adding more panels. I’m trying to design it so it could be cut by a GF. If I like my final design, I may have it cut by a CNC machine if I can find one here in Ottawa before the GF is delivered.

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Thanks. Forgot to copy. Fixed.

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That will be great to see.