Glowforge won't cut a 20" line on my 20" plywood

What gives??? I had a design that HAD TO BE exactly 10x20. So I put the wood in, centered the design and engraved it OK.

THEN, I placed a 20" horizonal cut line in the machine and tried to cut a 1" slice off the bottom and a 1" slice off the top! NO GO!

This stupid machine would only cut out to 18.5". In my olde Universal machine this would have been a no-brainer. On the Glowforge, it turned into a nightmare! Really disgusting!

The stated cut area of the Glowforge is approximately 10.9" x 19.5".

The Glowforge Basic and Glowforge Plus bed can accommodate materials measuring 12” x 20.4. The maximum printable area is approximately 11″ (279 mm) deep and 19.5″ (495 mm) wide. It’s reduced somewhat when the laser operates at high speed, as it can take space for the laser to decelerate. There’s a tray for materials that are up to 0.5” thick, or the tray can be removed to accommodate materials up to 2” (50 mm) thick.

The Glowforge Pro adds a Passthrough slot to accommodate material that is up to 20.4” wide, up to 1/4" thick, and as long as you want.


the trick, cut the line 3/4 - flip wood cut line other 1/2 to make sure its lined up perfectly

The passthrough slot is not easy or efficient for a single 20" cutline. Although, as you stated, the bed will ACCOMODATE 12x20.4" materials, it will not CUT 12x20.4" materials.

In actuality, in real laser cutting machines, you can cut outside the boundaries of the materials, which in effect makes it very easy to cleanly cut materials without having to hassle your way through the passthrough slot! And even it you do use to passthrough slot, one can NOT cut a continuous 20" line.

Thank you or your comments.
Ed Newbold

I don’t like having to use tricks to do something all other machines do so easily. And it’s almost impossible to get the two cuts to match each other seamlessly. you should be able to overcut on this goofy machine.


Ed, I do it all the time, once you got the ‘feel’ it becomes second nature.
adapt to the tools you have!


Why in the world would they place such a ridiculous limitation on the Glowforge? I am absolutely sorry I purchased this machine (I got the Pro), instead of upgrading my old Universal M-300! It served my faithfully 15 years with no major issues like this!

Ed Newbold

I appreciate your advice, but have you ever tried cutting large 1/4" acrylic signs? Anytime you try to mate up cut lines, there is ALWAYS an imperfection left that the clients don’t like.


Honesty take some scrap, do some ‘learn’ cuts, YOU WILL THANK ME!


A little PS: do a light score before a cut to match it perfect, your clients will never see it.

All the tech specs for the :glowforge: are available at
Why in the world would you purchase a laser without doing even the most basic research into its capabilities?

The cutting area has actually gotten slightly larger since its original release - but if you take a moment to look at the bed you’ll see the laser cannot physically reach further left or right - and if they’d made the case any larger it would have had to be delivered on a pallet. Since the target market for this laser is someone who wants to cut stuff in their kitchen, that wasn’t a feasible solution. Hence the max size we have available.



This is clearly stated in the specifications - not sure why you’re so intensely surprised.


“Why in the world would you purchase a laser without doing even the most basic research into its capabilities?”

The “Tech Specs” are conveniently buried from the average person perusing and/or thinking about getting a Glowforge. Every other laser cutting machine in the world has the capability of cutting beyond/outside the material. That’s just one of the reasons there is a honeycomb surface under the material. But in this, you’re correct! I should have investigated the machine MUCH MORE THROROUGHLY before purchasing it. I, and a great many of my business associates will not make that mistake again!

“Since the target market for this laser is someone who wants to cut stuff in their kitchen…”

Please don’t talk down to me. I’ve been in the laser cutting/engraving business for over 15 years now and have never had issues like this with any other machines. And I’m pretty sure Glowforge is glad to hear of YOUR opinion of who their target market is.

Ed Newbold

This really confuses me because you’ve said it twice. Neither my Universal or Trotec cuts outside of its stated cut specs.


Me thinks someone is more happy to be unhappy

I had an old Girlfriend, who would say "there are people out there, who wouldn’t be happy, even if they where hung with a new rope’


OK. So the company rounded up a couple of tenths. Could always pretend that the specs are 11"x 18" and be pleasantly surprised after discovering the true cut area is larger.

Best part is how someone with “over 15 years experience” in this industry couldn’t find or be bothered to check the FAQ/TechSpecs link right on the main web site.

… but, as already stated, some people just need to be unhappy.

It’s like buying a 10" miter saw and then being ticked off it won’t take 12" blades. :rofl:


I am really unhappy, I had a 7’ wall, and they sold me a 6’ ruler.
Most professional rulers are 10’

“I want to speak to the manager”


Stand over here, Karen…


Key phrase was “cutting beyond/outside the material” so if you place 1" x 1" material inside the GF it will surely cut well outside of the materials bounds… :rofl: