Hey Tony

@Tony Hi Tony! Thanks for introducing yourself to the Glowforge community. While we’ve got you on the line, maybe you can give us your take on some questions many of us have been asking:

  1. What was the rationale behind the limited height of the pass-through slot? Was is just a safety issue, as Dan suggested, or were there other technical obstacles that required that limitation?

  2. Are there any internal components that would be compromised if, after the warranty expires of course, we were to take a dremel to the case and enlarge the slot?

  3. How effective is the air filter in removing non-particulate exhaust, e.g., dangerous gasses?

You mentioned earlier that your primary interest in Glowforge is the user experience on the software side, so you may not have direct involvement with the previous questions. Here are some that you may know more about:

  1. There has been talk of using grayscale images to control the depth of engraving. Will that feature be in the initial release of the Glowforge?

  2. If grayscale depth control is implemented, how well do you think it would work to produce a sloped (beveled) edge on a sheet of acrylic?


Hey there! Great questions. To keep this topic on-topic (and make sure other folks can find answers when they are looking for them), would you be willing to copy-paste this into a new topic (or even multiple topics)? I’d do it, but then you wouldn’t get notified of replies/etc.



Ummm… It is a new topic!

Anxious to hear your views on these questions…

I think @Tony means to have the list of questions broken into one topic per question, so the banter in response doesn’t have to waver between each respective question and answer.

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oops, my goof. I saw this in my email and it looked like a reply to my original QOTD.

Okay, I’ll give you my best answers, though some of this stuff is still TBD or hard to comment on. You’re right that the first questions are less my bailiwick, but they are certainly conversations that I was at least a part of.

  1. Re: the slot: Those conversations happened a while back (as you can imagine) and were mostly centered around safety and the thickness of material that a Glowforge can cut.

  2. Well, I suspect the correct answer is “we would never recommend taking a dremel to your Glowforge due to the danger of breaking our hearts”. Once you’re out of warranty (or if you want to roll the dice) we can’t stop you from taking a dremel to anything you own, of course.

  3. This is where we mention our friendly neighborhood lawyer, who would tell me to say “it depends”. We’ll have more to say on the filter in the coming months, so stay tuned. There are going to be materials that you should avoid (with or without the filter).

Onto the the grayscale stuff!

We haven’t announced timing on this feature-- it’s definitely something we’re exploring. How well this works (as you might’ve guessed), depends a bit on the material and, if you wanted a smooth bevel cut, it might be more work than just a gradient (you can google “laser cutter bevel acrylic” and find some good discussion on it). There are some interesting things we could do with de-focusing the laser. I have a dream someday of a Glowforge with a pivoting head for bevel cuts but there are a host of challenges with THAT-- I can safely say that the Glowforge won’t have that out of the gates.


Thanks @Tony for your thoughtful responses! To follow up:

  1. Yes, safety is a big concern. Limiting the pass-through to 1/4" to correspond to maximum cut depth overlooks one important aspect. Many of us want to engrave on thicker materials, not cut them. It seems that aspect may have been overlooked in this design decision.

  2. The last thing I would want to do is break your hearts! But if it were to become common knowledge that modding the case could successfully allow thicker materials to be passed through, I suspect you guys would be rewarded with myriad additional sales. That would buy you guys lots of heart band-aids. We just need specifics on what important components pass through the walls in the areas we want to cut!

  3. I’ll sit tight and await the good news.

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