Glowforge on a sailboat?

Starlink will technically work anywhere (under the constellation), but FCC regulations prohibit mobile use. They are working on an antenna for RV and truck use, that will be authorized for mobile use.

Many RV owners have already proven its versatility.


I would lay off anything too combustible. You know, paper. Boats fire etc


Thanks for all the replies everyone!

Here’s a bit more detail:

We’ll be sailing a 44’ Catamaran (a Vision 444 if anyone is interested enough to look it up) and my wife and I are 35 years old, with a 5 year old daughter. As I get ready to hit the retirement button, we need to sell our home anyway (we don’t care to live here anymore now that work isn’t tying us to it), and it only made sense to us to go circumnavigate BEFORE we settle down to build the “forever home”. Plus we are young and have our health- and we can finish the journey before our daughter needs to enter high school. Plus our best friends ALSO bought a Vision 444, and they’ll be sailing alongside us! We call ourselves “Double Vision” :slight_smile:

The sailboat is, like every boat, limited for space, but there are a couple places I’ve thought to put it where it could be locked down and safe during transit without need to unlock or move it for use. There’s a nice shelf in the salon near a venting window that could work too.

As for WiFi/internet: it’s a major concern right alongside the air exposure, though I think I have the air exposure thing figured out as I had to develop a similar solution for my desktop PC enclosure. If Starlink isn’t ready to roll for ocean use by the time we get underway, I may have to sell the GF and pick up a Muse. That is, unless pitch/roll prevent using such a machine at all.

I’d love it if someone from GF could weigh in on the effects of pitch/roll movement during a print!


Are you really not worried about the moisture and salt air? I don’t see it lasting a month.


Gotta love a 4 bedroom boat with a dedicated workshop! Totes envious :slight_smile:


What? at 35? Congratulations on your financial independence!


Ya…I went online and looked, too. Couldn’t resist.

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It’s wonderful- though ours doesn’t have the 4 bedroom layout, it’s set up with 3. The workshop space is a definite plus!

I have an insane amount of hobbies, and I really want to take something along with me to feed my need to “MAKE something”. If it isn’t affected by the roll/pitch during prints, I’d like it to be the laser (cause the woodshop certainly won’t fit!)


Thanks! Honestly it’s a bit terrifying: selling all the things we’ve spent our life so far working for and venturing into the unknown. Selling an appreciating asset (house) and buying a certainly depreciating asset instead. But if we don’t take the leap now, we’ll never know if we could.

I won’t be pushing that button until we are ready to set sail, but it’s right around the corner!


That boat is bigger than my house.


A large cat like that is as good as you might manage in smooth water, but doing close work below deck while underway is its own issue. However the larger issue of sudden accelerations especially while underway with the machine turned off are the reason for all the orange bits when shipping.

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Yep. Likely completely different risk tolerances, and better investment strategies before retiring. If I won the lottery probably still couldn’t make that kind of leap. The good news is a house rarely depreciates.


Absolutely. I figure when it’s off either having the orange bits in, or making custom foam to imobilize, or maybe making a couple expandable wooden trays that imobilize it. I like the tray idea because I could make pockets in them and inlay magnets into certain parts, so I can use them to hold supplies and parts when they are out of the machine…

When the machine is ON though, I wonder if it could still print well while moving about. Some of our passages will be long (17+ days at sea) and on days without rough water I’d love to use that time to make a bunch of stuff.

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I seriously doubt they’ve done any testing on that. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: My guess is you might get a lot of “head bumped” errors.


Rough water may pose an issue, but I wouldn’t expect normal swells to affect the machine’s operation. Just my speculation, based on a tour of the west Pacific (although that was aboard an aircraft carrier). :upside_down_face:

That’s a fine looking boat! I admire the courage to embark on such an adventure, and you are right - those who never try - will never know.

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The open ocean can be a very bumpy ride. I wouldn’t consider it unless I was on a calm lake somewhere. You’ll have days where everything not bolted down (and even some things that were) will be upside down.


At the least :thinking:

Honestly, I don’t see it lasting based on humidity and salt. Not to mention constant motion. But if you try it please never leave your print unattended ever. Boats and fire are not a thing that I want to see together.

I love the idea of crafting on the sea but please stay safe.


We once moved our glow forge while it was printing and the movement did not affect the machine as there was no way for it to recognize that is was not level. We tested it to a 35 Degree plane.

With that said, the number of times that the glowforge has been on Fire is a concern.

Here is how it happens , your cutting thru using 100 % power on Precision and than one day for what ever reason you accidentally place it on 100 % full Power and it catches on Fire , now it will shut down as the temp increases but the Fire will continue untill you put it out .

If the Bands Catch on Fire , the Fire will last much longer but still be contained in the machine and you will need new bands , I would consider getting 3 bands from Ebay to have on hand for your Journey .

You will also need a good Venting system with a strong Fan.
Other than that , your good to go.

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OMG amazing! This is PERFECT!

What do you mean by bands- the rubber belt, or the timing strip?

I think your post gives me the confidence to take it aboard (assuming starlink catches up! If not I’ll have to snag a Muse due to its offline capabilities)

The salt air isn’t a super huge concern- I’ll have an airtight enclosure for it when it’s not in use, and I’ll already have a 10lb sack of desiccant to sit in that enclosure to soak up the moisture that gets trapped inside. That should mitigate nicely. It’s sort of the same arrangement I’ll have operating for my desktop tower to keep it safe from the air (inside an airtight enclosure and 100% liquid cooled with sacrificial radiators on the outside)

The exhaust is downright easy: there’s a window that opens right near where it will live. I’ll just make a removable window-shaped gasket and be good to go!

Power isn’t a concern either: the vessel can deliver 110 or 220 to any outlet, and has 3K of solar which is insane really. Power CONDITIONING is a concern, but J already have that mitigated with power conditioners I already own from the music studio.

Your post was So awesome! Question: why did you test this?