Has anyone cut a pass-through slot in their GF Plus or Basic? I’m tempted and capable, but I can’t confirm there are no electronics or wiring behind the aluminum interior plate where the slot would be. The yellow in the photo indicates where I think the lid cable is placed. There’s gotta be some other wires behind there for power and data communication between the left and right sides of the machine, correct?
Reason: I regularly engrave on 3/4" car audio subwoofer window panels – with the magnet-hacked front door open on my GF Plus. I’ve made it work, but I’m often reaching my size limit to be able to engrave in the center of long panels. For example, with a 32" panel, I can just barely fit a 6-inch design if I split the art and print in two overlapping/interlocking stages. As the panel gets longer, the center overlap diminishes, reducing the effective size of a centered engrave. Precision alignment of the 2 halfs is a time consuming PITA. It sure would be so much easier if I didn’t have that pesky rear wall to limit my material size! …allowing me to print centered designs less than 12 inches without splitting them.
And, yes… I’m well past the warranty’s expiration.
Thanks, deirdrebeth. Those would be great if I were digging into the electronics aspect. But they don’t show the physical locations of the wire runs. No matter… I discovered that the power and data wires are actually run externally, in a metal channel beneath the floor of the machine. So, there are no wires behind the aluminum rear wall where a pass-thru slot would be cut out.
No wiring but there is some important structure for keeping the case rigid back there.
Also, just to consider before you start chopping: they may deny any repairs or tube replacements if you need an out of warranty repair in the future. (Busting new holes in the case compromises the the laser’s safety classification )
This is an important point to keep in mind. It’s why I ended up deciding not to cut mine. The tube will eventually need to be replaced or you might need work on it post warranty and there is no guarantee glowforge will repair it if you mod it in this way.
After getting a sense of how the company operates (over 6 years) I would bet that they won’t repair a severely modified GF, in or out of warranty. When any repair is done the repair shop generally charges to bring the unit up to production standards in addition to fixing what ever is actually wrong. I won’t say “always”, but seems to be the repair default. And GF as a company is completely adverse to risk. Which is why I believe there is almost zero chance replacement tubes will ever be sold by themselves.
The good news is there is plenty of room and no electronics blocking to cut a passthru slot
the bad news, is to do it, you have to almost completely dissemble your glowforge to get
to the metal back parts - even if you do all this, your software will not allow you to "use’ a
passthru option, you will have to split the files up into sections and manually align each part