Glowforge Basic

Hello everyone,

I had bought glowforge basic and would like to see videos of it performing. Are there any video links. Secondly, the maximum thickness it can cut through of various materials. The speed of the basic model.
Has anybody tried with paper or made some paper products.

Thank You


I’d suggest looking at the Weekly Highlight posts like the one I’ve linked.

You can use the search in the forum also and find answers to all your questions.


Found this link and everyone has commented that’s it slow. Is final model will be faster.


Is there something specific you want to see a video of? All of us have posted some videos of our PRUs doing something, but to be honest on a video it’s pretty much a laser cutter running around doing laser cutter stuff, unless you have something specific. I’d be happy to video something if you want.

That is such a long list of what it can cut/depth, again is there a specific material you want to know? And from personal experience so far, even between manufacturers you can’t compare (1/4" maple ply from 2 different woodworking shops cut radically differently…


I’d say spend some time browsing the forum. There are a bunch of really great threads showcasing many different projects. I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for.


As users we really don’t know at this point what the final specs will be.

Slow and fast are kind of relative measurements and there are many variables involved. I wouldn’t put too much weight behind older posts commenting on speeds since software appears to be continuously updating and tweaking settings.

We do know that the GF team is working hard to get a great product for us.


The Made on Glowforge category of the forums is mostly photos, but there are some videos on it. If you search for makesomething he has a couple videos. To make your search quicker, just look at the first post in the Made on Glowforge category: if there is a video it will be in the first post.

There is really no answer to the maximum thickness question. Pre-release users have found one piece of plywood to cut very differently than the next piece. Note that this is in reference to non-Proofgrade plywood. For hardwoods the density of the grain for the same species of wood has a big effect on the settings required to cut it. With all of that said, for material that can be cut, you should be able to cut it up to 0.25 inches (6.35 mm) thick. There are some examples of thicker material being cut, but kerf and more specifically its shape on the edge of the material becomes much more pronounced.

Both speed and power are variable. You may be able to cut something quickly, but the quality of the cut may be better at a slower speed. When it comes to engraving you may want to do a deep engrave, which all things being equal will be slower and then go over it a second time quickly to try and remove the burn marks. Acrylic, for example, cuts better when cut twice. The glowforge software will tell you how long a project will take. Some things have taken over an hour and some minutes. It all depends on what you want to accomplish.

cynd11 posted a Mother’s Day card this last week. There are a couple of other paper projects posted, but not many. The glowforge software is still being perfected for low power, or the power levels required for paper cutting.


Here is a Basic PRU unit doing it’s startup/homing sequence (thanks @dwardio):


That’s probably one of the longer calibration times. Notice that the head is all the way to the right on the gantry. The head is never over there for a calibration unless you stop the unit in mid motion or physically move it by hand. Normally the head and gantry will stow at the back left. (at least for the PRU I have). If it is in the stow position when powering up the calibration process is about 90 seconds.


I hope you looked at some of the other videos to see how fast it really works on cutting.

Engraving will always be slower than cutting and the speed also depends on lines per inch resolution,

Slow is a relative term. Perhaps perhaps if you were to give a description of what kinds of work you are expecting to do with the Glowforge, then you can get an idea of what time it will take. It will also enable folks to compare speeds with other similar priced and similarly equipped lasers.

I hadn’t really expected the Glowforge to be able to print as fast as regular laser paper printer.


Slow is relative. Engraves appear to be slow because of the back and forth straight line operation. Below is a video of vector cutting at a speed that is only 60% of the fastest engrave speed. Because it is short vector cuts, with quick changes in direction, the head speed appears to be moving much faster. Actual operations speed will depend on how thick the material you want to get through. 40 watts is 40 watts on most CO2 lasers.


Hi there!

As others have suggested, look around the forum a while. There are tons of photos and video links. I subscribe to @marmak3261’s YouTube channel so I know there’s good stuff there. I should also say this site’s search function is pretty good. Do a quick search for various materials you’re interested in and you’ll find quite a bit. I know there’s been a decent number of people working with various types/thicknesses of paper.

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This was the first homing after removing and reseating the had to show how that works. Much longer than the normal startup routine.


Here is a demo of cutting a design versus engraving the same design.


You can also see the Basic in action on our Youtube channel.


Thank you everyone for all the responses. It answered lot of my doubts and also learned a lot. I am mostly interested in paper and cardboard cutting with some basic knowledge for cutting acrylic and MDF of thickness not more than 4mm.


Great. Thank you.


That’s a really cool design. I notice you did the engrave in the vertical direction. Keep it mind that it would have taken significantly less time if done in a horizontal direction.

Thanks for the video!


Good point to make. Would have been a good demo too.

Is this because of the time spent by the ‘overshoot’ at the end of each traverse ?
Does this mean therefore that generally it would be better to raster engrave in the direction of the longest dimension ?
I assume that it only does the engrave in one direction, ie parallel to the front edge of the GF.

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