Drachenfeuer: First Impressions and First Project

I left work early on Wednesday to prepare for Thanksgiving.
Right before I left, I received a notification from UPS that my Glowforge hath arrived.
Almost immediately after, I received this image via text from my wife:


A closer look revealed that it was the Glowforge’s second package (ie. the one with the crumb tray).
Not a good omen.
It’s a good think that you can’t prank a prankster. I didn’t fall for it… No sir!

I came home to not only find that smashed up boxed empty, I also found my Glowforge unboxed and placed on its custom-made table in my office / MAKERspace.
Talk about incredible service!

I spent the last ~4 days learning to tame Drachenfeuer to the best of my abilities.
It is most certainly trial and error, but I’m getting the hang of things.

The biggest issue so far is the noise. Simply put, the Glowforge is loud!
I read somewhere on the forum to wrap the exhaust tube with an towel and I have to admit that it helps quite a bit.
However, it still sounds like a loud vacuum cleaner while it’s running.
One of the walls of my office has a huge opening into our dining room so that the house feels really open.
Result: you can hear the Glowforge running (loudly) from virtually anywhere in the house.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, this is a serious piece of equipment.
To remedy the situation, I’m thinking that I’m going to have to purchase a giant pane of glass and caulk it in that opening to at least contain the noise to only the office. I think you’ll still get most of the open feeling, but certainly a lot less of the noise.
FYI: My desk itself is about 2.5 feet away from the Glowforge and I spend a lot of time there. My goal is to be laser cutting whenever I’m at my desk. Result: my Bose noise cancelling headphones are going to practically live on my head.

The Proofgrade material seems pretty awesome, but weeding the sticky tape is not my jam. I’ve been removing the masking BEFORE I start lasering to save time. I don’t mind the smokiness.
Simply put, Proofgrade makes getting up and running easy and quick. That in itself is amazing.
I don’t necessarily agree with all of the Proofgrade settings, so I’ve been tweaking them a little and keeping track of what works best.

In other news, I purchased a thickness planer on Friday (no it was not on sale even though it was Black Friday) so that I can thin out virtually any old wood boards I want and use it in the Glowforge. I figure that the $375 on the planer will pay for itself in just a few months of lasering free scrap wood. So, here is my first project:

These coasters are made from scrap 3/4" blue stain pine (also called Colorado Beetle Kill) tongue and groove boards I have laying around.
I ran them through the thickness planer until they were 1/2" thick because that’s what Glowforge advertises as the thickest material you can cut.

I think the engraving itself came out great. No complaints.
Cutting the perimeter/outline was tough. After all, these coasters are 1/2" thick!
I used full power, 115 for speed and 2x passes. It definitely cut through, but there was A LOT of charring.
I am considering just scoring the perimeter/outline for the next batch and using my scroll saw.
It would be more work and less accurate, but the clean outer edge would be so nice…

So, what on Earth is POW HAUS?
A few months ago, my wife and I purchased a beautiful rental property across the street from Beaver Creek, one of the best ski mountains in Colorado.
It is our dream come true.
We spent the last 3 months getting it ready for the ski season, which started just this weekend. Perfect timing!
If any of you are planning to visit the Beaver Creek area, please consider staying at POW HAUS.
You can learn more here: www.powhaus.com

Lastly, for anyone that is tracking progress: I ordered a Pro on Oct 19th 2015 and received my “golden email” on October 26th.


Jason (@Secret_Sauce)


That’s a hoot! (Your wife sounds like quite a prankster!) :smile:

Great job on the coasters, can’t wait to see some cool Fusion designs happen!


if you can close off where the glowforge is then it’s not so bad. I ran it in my office while my wife had a nap in the bedroom with only the living room of a 900sq ft apartment between her and it. And she is not a heavy sleeper at all… if it’s too windy that will keep her up when the window is open.

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One more thing…

I have been experiencing an issue that I hope is solved sometime soon.
I have a design and place it on my material using the Glowforge UI.
Then, I attempt to cut the outside loop and maybe engrave some stuff on the interior.
Let’s say I get my settings wrong and the outside loop didn’t cut all the way through.
So, I set everything else to “ignore” and try to cut a second pass at the outside loop.
This is where I’ve been experiencing issues.
The software says that it is “uploading” the new task forever.
Eventually, I have to reload the webpage, which resets everything. No big deal, right? Wrong.
Because the camera alignment is not great and I couldn’t save the new engraving location, I’ll never get the location 100% correct again.
That means that I can’t really cut the outside loop on a second pass.
Every time this happens, I end up unable to match the positioning.
I guess I’m lucky I have a scroll saw…


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There are also insulation tubes to go around air ducting that might work to insulate the sound emanating from the dryer tube.

Your wife sounds like my kinda person. The coasters came out great! Have fun with your new machine.

Take a look at this post by @tim1724:

Also, some have mentioned that the problem can occur if you send the new print too soon (see the rest of the thread above that post).


I extrapolate from that statement that she felt a need to attempt retribution. :rofl:

@takitus gives an idea how to Break out of that lock up.
I had been able to do it just by power cycling the machine, but got stuck last night, and sending another job via another tab or browser instance never occurred to me.

Regarding the noise, perhaps the room is acoustically sharp? Mine doesn’t seem that bad, but I’m glad I have my computer work station in the next room.
The glass idea should make a huge difference.


You could try just hanging a heavy curtain(s) over the opening to the other room. Will dampen the sound a bit, is less expensive than glass, and can be taken down/opened easily (especially if you use a simple tension rod to put them up).


That is hilarious (and also made my heart stop for a minute)! Great job on the coasters for your new property.