Engraving a 2" item

I have a glass 8x8 pan I am trying to engrave on that is about 1.98" thick. My crumb tray is 1.37’ so am trying to enter .63 or .62 or .61 as my manual thickness, but the program won’t allow anything over .5. I’ve tried placing some painters tape on the glass and using set focus. Sometimes it works, the next time it tells me it couldn’t measure. How can I engrave on this item? I know 2" is the max so I should be ok, but why are my measurements not allowed?

The focus length of the Glowforge is 1/2" so it recognizes heights of .001 - .5" With the tray out, you would be better off to use the set focus tool.

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I’ve tried set focus with some painters tape on the item, but it’s not accepting that neither.

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You aren’t trying to focus on the bottom of a 2" pan are you? If not, lay a piece of paper on top of the pan and see if the auto focus will register. You are probably in the .01" range since your item is almost 2".

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Once it focuses for me, if I open the lid to make an adjustment of any kind, do I lose my focus? Do I have to set focus again?

When you use the set focus tool, you need to make sure that the red beam hits the painter tape you have placed. If the beam misses, try again until it hits the tape and reflects the beam back.

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OK. Regarding opening the lid after it focuses. If I open the lid, will I lose the focus and have to ‘set focus’ again?

The machine will still try to auto focus after the lid is opened and before it prints because the machine does not know whether or not you changed material. Best not to open the lid once you are focused.


Thanks. It seems to be focusing now. I’ve added a second piece of tape to make the focusing area larger. Hopefully I can trust the focus now! Thank you.

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As you’re discovering, the actual height that the machine can accomodate is less than 2".

My tray is also about 1.37", and with a focus range of .5", that means the max height “technically” is 1.87" - but you can fool the focus process a little.

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I’m not crazy for / trusting this ‘set focus’. Because every time I refocus, I have to adjust the image size & placement. I would much rather enter my focus manually. So, if the program will only allow .001 - .5 as you say… if I enter .5 would the program understand .5 to be a 2" item?

So how can I fool the focus process to accommodate a 2" item then (that Glowforge says is the maximum - but not really obviously)? Because the set focus changes every time I try it - how can I trust that the image I am trying to engrave is actually in the right place and the correct size??

You have to set to the max it will accept, then test - on a piece of sacrificial material. Even tape, with reduced power, will often suffice.


Inputting .5" for something close to 2" would probably be a good place to start.

Yup yup, like @eflyguy said, test it. There are various ways to test and the tape on it with a low setting is a great way. What is the application of what you are trying to print? Is it the only one of that specific 8x8 pan and has an irreplaceable value and so you want to nail it on the first print?

Being able to nail the correct size and setting of a material and design on the first try is a skill you learn and get better at (yet realize you still won’t always get it right). Testing is an interactive way to understand. We can all recommend tips. What background level are you at with printing without the crumb tray? Is this the first print without one? Only asking so we can make sure and offer the best recourses to get to the next level.

The set focus will work properly if you use it (making sure to hit the surface where you want it) and then place the design where you want it.
If you choose a focus height of .5 and the dish is 1.87 then the focus will be off since 0 would be the surface of the tray (1.37).

I’ve engraved many items without the crumb tray. The deepest so far would be a pie plate at 1.86. So, with my crumb tray being 1.37, it makes sense that it worked for me since my focus would have been .49. This item is 1.99". I thought it would work since it is under the 2 inches, but obviously not.

So far, I have tried auto focus and a setting of .5 (just because) - and it engraved nothing. I may just have to pitch this idea…disappointing though. Too bad they couldn’t have made these machines just a bit deeper to allow thicker materials. :frowning:

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Don’t pitch it! I engrave on curets that for sure are pushing the limit. It’s doable but I have to usually do a few refocuses to get it. I have been able to get ones just over 2” to engrave to the quality level I had to lower for its height. Just had to make sure the assist never passed over the item. I have found a lot of item like what you are talking about just have basic quality control leaving the factory. If you have more then one try then try the other trays. I have an “I will get to you later” box for stuff that might not be to the exact as advertised size.

So, what do you enter for a 2" (or just under) item?

Just to be clear, you are not engraving a pie plate that is 1.86" deep, you are engraving the bottom without a lip.

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