Glowforge Pro capabilities (passthrough aligning)?

I’ve had my Kickstarter Basic Glowforge for years; but I’m developing a project that is a bit too big for my bed. I’ve looked around and I can’t find an easy answer to my questions about the Pro version, so I’m hoping someone can educate me.

The new project is a friction fit box but all the panels are 14"x17"… just slightly too large for my BasicGF. I know that I have more capabilites with the passthrough on the Pro, but I don’t know how the passthrough works. Would I be able to easily line up the panel perfectly to continue my cut, or would it be “off” by the smallest fraction. As I’m sure you all realize, boxes require a lot of precision to fit together correctly. I’ve been able to line things up pretty well with my Basic, but I can easily be off by 1/32" or 1/64" or a fraction of a rotational degree… and that won’t work with a friction fit box design.

So should I invest in a Pro or will it be a PITA? (This has the potential for hundreds of iterations or I wouldn’t be bothering.) I’d like to stick within the GlowForge product line… but if I have to get a laser with a larger bed… I gotta do what I gotta do.

Sorry if this is discussed somewhere already, I DID look first.

Pass through works perfectly aligned for me 90% of the time. The times it doesn’t are when the pattern is too simple and there isn’t enough information for the lid camera to get a good “lock”. You don’t align your cuts manually (unless you want to do it the hard way) it figured it out on its own. The process is rather slow tho, if you’re going to be making lots of parts this way I wouldn’t recommend it.


You could accomplish the job with the Basic by flipping the material over but it would be tricky. There is room behind the gantry to put the excess material and by building hard against the right rail that would fix the rotation so if you accounted for the fact that it flipped you could see where the other cut ended, and adjust the other half precisely by using the arrow keys and then the precision placement. the x-value and rotation can be very accurate as it is the distance from the right rail so it is only the y-value that you need to worry about. If you run a test-score, and are very careful you can do a nice job. Working with a pro is a lot like that except you would not be flipping the material.


Thank you so much! This is exactly the information I was looking for.

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Thank you! I might use this for the prototyping… and then I’ll have to decide if I want to go with a new machine or not.

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