Engraving the INSIDE of a wooden box

Hi all - I’m new to Glowforge and love the product. I’m a woodworker by hobby and like to engrave on my work (the reason why I purchased Glowforge). Has anyone engraved on the INSIDE of a box lid? I understand the process of removing the crumb tray and setting up the measurements, but I’m not sure how the Glowforge will react to the sides of the box lid. Are the tips and tricks anyone can provide?

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The machine doesn’t care about the sides as long as they don’t interfere with the movement of the head, and the surface you are engraving on is in the correct range for focus, which is between ~1.37-0.87" below the base of the head itself.


So are there any settings you need to configure and how do you set those accurately. Making sure you have the sides below the printer head, the laser is now farther from the printable area than you would have on a flat product.

The only setting is focus height, which can be set automatically (“Set Focus”) but it will have to fall within that range. Everything else is mechanical.

Put another way, the sides of the lid can only be about 0.6" before they will interfere with the movement of the head.


If I’m concerned about the height of part of my work piece I turn the machine off and manually move the head over and around trying to catch the air assist fan on it because it is the lowest point under the gantry. If it passes that you should be in good shape for any collisions. I could see an engrave down inside a box possibly struggling to move the smoke out if part of the box is blocking the air assist fan which might give you some inconsistent results.


As long as the sides of the lid are less than 1/2" you should be ok. The printhead must be able to pass over the side and the lens must be within 1/2" of the surface to be engraved. If the sides are higher than 1/2" the surface will be too far away from the lens to engrave.

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This ^^^^ it would have to be a very thin box…

Much easier would be to cut and engrave a piece of wood to fit inside the box.

Always fits the GF, can be easily masked, and if it all goes wrong you can do another.


Or leather.

Or cool printed cardstock.

Or acrylic.

Or headliner fabric.

Or cork.

Or whatever you want to line your box with.


I see that the community has provided some good advice on the next best steps. I’ll keep this thread open a little longer, and see if any of those steps helped. Let us know how it goes!

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If the total height of the lid is more than a half inch the glowforge will hit it. If you lower it enough to get it under then where you wish to engrave will be to low to work. I bought a bunch of Aluminium trays to engrave and discovered that issue,

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