GF Bed Bounding Box

This one is for users new to the wonderful world of Glowforge.

As we know, the GF cannot cut to the full extent of a sheet of Proofgrade (12 x 20 inches). According to the latest info on the Tech Specs page, the maximum cutting area is “ approximately 11″ (279 mm) deep and 19.5″ (495 mm) wide. as of April 2021.”

Visualizing exactly where this “bounding box” is on a piece of material can be challenging, even with the GF’s camera system, so I created a file that contains a rectangle 278 mm X 494mm. Here’s the file:

GF Bounding (548 Bytes)

  1. Create a new design in the app and add this file to it. Do not move the file once loaded.

  2. Place a full sheet of Draftboard (or any other PG) on the bed of your GF. Make sure you still have the masking attached!

  3. Set the file to Score , with manual settings of speed 500 and power 10.

  4. Print.

These settings will mark the masking paper without cutting into your material, illustrating exactly where the cutting bounds are on your GF’s bed.

Hope this helps!

NB: Yes, there are any number of ways to accomplish the visualization. This one worked for me when I was just getting started.


I do something similar, but I include the bounding box on my design template so that when I am designing I know exactly what will fit on the bed and can arrange multiple components to make the most use of a single sheet of material. Once I import the design, I simply ignore the box after positioning.


I do the same thing as [yoyodyne2112] when I save the fie to cut, I just hide the layer where it is located and that way is doesn’t show up on the output.


These are great ideas. Especially for new folks!


This is a great idea for people like me, who try to use up every bit of scrap. I would use the score line to visualize other designs that could fit [edit: fit into the ‘waste’ space] without being too close a fit.

I’d take the waste, break off any ‘floppy’ bits, place it into the center of the bed. I could then lightly score some registration marks and place my main design in the GFUI, by eyeball.


I noticed that when I am lining up a project I can see a very lightly grayed out box on the left and right sides of the GF bed image at the dashboard. If you place your project outside of this “ghosted boundary” image your project goes from a colored line image to a grayed out image indicating that you are out of bounds for the image and it will not be used when you press the magic button. I Learned that one the hard way.


Correct. It’s also important to note that the grayed out boxes vary in size depending on the proximity of engrave operations to the right and left borders.


Also remember that the actual useful area depends of the speed of your operations as the :glowforge: software calculates the necesary area to decelerate, stop, and reverse the direction of the laser head. The higher your print speed, the smaller the usefull print area.


I do the same thing in my AutoCAD template.


I’m definitely a scrap user too. That wood is too pretty to just waste. However, my scrap pile is getting a bit out of hand. :crazy_face: