Going from 3.175 mm material to 3 mm material, do I need to change my cutting files?

Hello my fellow Glowforge users!

I am wanting to try using some different material besides the Proofgrade material from Glowforge.
I am wondering if anyone has any knowledge as to weather that 0.175 mm will make a difference to the final fit up of a box with tabs (like the ones pictured below)?

Thoughts and opinions as to weather I will have to redesign my cut files to accommodate the slightly thinner material?


You’re basically adding a kerfs worth of extra depth…not a huge difference!

Presuming the tabs still fit in, they’ll be .175mm short of flush with the surface - which isn’t a whole lot, but you’ll definitely want to try one and see whether you like the look. The biggest issue with thickness changing is if you have four sided holes that your tab is supposed to fit in, and none of those show in the pictures you have.


If the previous boxes had snug fits, these will have loose fits. If the previous boxes had loose fits, these may be too loose. But how well it will work will ultimately depend on how well you clamp and glue (what glue you use) the boxes when you assemble them. I’ve cut boxes that pretty much held together on their own and only need a little Cyanoacrylate wicked in to the seams to lock them up tight. I’ve had others that needed corner clamps and gap filling glue to secure the pieces together. Once the glue is dry, there wasn’t much of difference. Side by side you could see the slightly larger gaps in the “bigger kerf” boxes. But standing alone they didn’t look wrong in any way.


.175mm is more than double kerf on my machine and more gappy than I’d be able to glue well.

Experiment with scaling the entire design down. If i did the math right should be 94.5%

(3/3.175= 0.94488188976378, right?)

Wow you’ve got a good one. Mine is about .007in which converts to a touch more than .175mm - half that is amazing. None of my designs would work on your machine :blush:

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Mine has always measured close enough to 0.1mm that it’s all I use in my designs unless I’m using a new material - primarily medium pg maple ply, draftboard, acrylic, and 5/32nd purebond maple ply. Now and then it might be a little snug or loose, but I mostly use clear “school glue” (Elmers) for wood so it’s rarely an issue.

Thickness can vary sheet-to-sheet, however, especially with acrylic - so if I’m making something that uses mortises and tabs, I have a little thickness test design I cut from the actual sheet in order to determine the correct width for the holes.

So that is most relevant to the OP - if you’re using holes as mortises, you definitely want to test the size to make sure it won’t be too loose.

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