High resolution distance measuring tool

Sometimes you have the perfect design, but your material at hand is thinner or thicker than what the design was created for.

You can see what needs to be measured - the slots in the design.
You know the adjustment needed - design to material, e.g. 1.25mm to 1.75mm, etc.

But you’re stuck scaling the whole design up a little, cutting, re-scaling, cutting, rinse, repeat, throw more money in materials than you ever imagined it would take.


  1. A high resolution measuring tool. It’s going to be targeted for distances of the thickness of the materials being cut, e.g. 0.5mm to ~8mm.

  2. Bonus if one end of the measuring tool snapped to one of the lines, so scaling the design doesn’t require repositioning the measuring tool each time.

  3. Double bonus if the measuring tool snapped to two lines

  4. Rockstar status if the measuring tool is a scaling tool. - typing in the desired distance caused the whole design to scale the appropriate (uniform) amount.


I don’t want to discourage you from coming up with great add-ons but it sounds to me that you need to learn Fusion 360 or some other similar program. From rank beginner, it will be slow but like anything, it will pay more and more dividends with time.


Don’t consider the GFUI as anything buy final layout. Get everything ready in your image editor and then import it into the GFUI and do the final position on the material. This will be your most foolproof way to get everything set up. This may change in the future but for now will save you a lot of headache.

1 Like

It’s a matter of what the basic workflow is. If you want the Glowforge to be a “dumb” cutter, that requires me to do all my print/cut tweaking in another tool, so be it. For me, it’s more a matter of “why would you not?” This day in age, the primary differentiator between apps is the UI/UX, whether that’s photo/video editing, office-ware, security tools, whatever. So why not enable your customers to spend more time in your app?

Anyway, I’ve used Fusion 360 mainly for 3D printing. Playing around with it and Inkscape for 2D re-mixing purposes.

1 Like

Thanks Ben. My recent experiences with it have definitely steered me in that direction.

The GFUI is not designed to be a design tool or image editor. With the exception of the Trace functionality, I don’t think that there will ever be the features added to the GFUI to enable design in the GFUI itself.

Those with experience on other lasers, does the interface allow you to drag design position, scaling, rotation and adding additional elements? Just curious.

Some do but any additional elements tend to be primitives. Some allow sizing by ordinal units or % scaling. Ditto rotation by numeric degrees.

None of them make decent design software. I will use them to modify a design “a bit” where it’s a quick & dirty mod, but I do the real work in my design software and resend to the machine’s CAM software.



There’s a reason they’re called CAD and CAM and not CADM :slightly_smiling_face:

Just like you can use your spreadsheet package as a word processor you’re better off using a dedicated purpose designed word processor for your Great American Novel :grinning:

1 Like

Thanks so much for the suggestions! I’ve shared them with the rest of the team.