Glowforge as a platform idea... the laser lathe

So I think we have seen hints that the Glowforge team has aspirations of making our gadgets into the platform for a set of maker tools that extend beyond basic laser cutting. Of course, there are still basic units to deliver etc, but once that is done there will be add-on products. Here’s one that I could imagine buying.

I’m imagining that you would take out the crumb tray and put in a stepper motor mount that connects into the Glowforge (and probably has a QR code on it so that the system can align itself and get into lathe mode). Then you feed it a model and it spins and burns material until you have what you want. It would only work on relatively small stuff like dowels, but you could make all sorts of spinny fun things like handles and such that are not possible with other maker tools as far as I know.


Looking for something like this for my handcrafted pens.

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OK… after poking around with this a little more, it seems there are folks who are taking this to an extreme that is a type of subtractive 3D printing… take look here:
It looks like fun to me!


Even without a gizmo, octagonal shapes should be not that hard to make jigs for. Also, with the right ways of thinking about it, no need to stick with circular cross sections. (Also true of real lathes – I once saw a demo of an old lathe roughing out a rifle stock.)