I’m trying to do something I do regularly with “the big laser”, which is to trace the outline of the work and then go just a bit past that when I want to slice the object in half or otherwise to a border without wasting material, perhaps because the material is actually already a bit too small and I can’t afford to waste any. I have tried placing a rectangle or a line and then drawing it right to the edges, but the software “helpfully” rejects it even though I have plenty of space on all sides on the crumb plate, and within the laser head’s known travel limits. I know about manual mode but that seems to have no “ignore X/Y limits” so I think this is something different.
The specific problem I’m trying to solve, if it helps, is to create an insert plate for a window for the exhaust duct. I’ve 3D printed the duct, now I need to put a plate around it to block the exhaust from blowing back. My stock is just wide enough to fit the window so I don’t want to cut anything off the X axis, just the Y axis, since I don’t need it more than 8 inches tall. Make sense? I searched the “Tips and Tricks” section thoroughly and couldn’t find anything.
Sure. When I create a rectangle that will serve as the cut (or, for that matter, a line) and drag its edges to the boundaries of the work (the interior red lines, which I have determined by aligning with some markers on the work are where the laser actually fires) then the laser simply won’t process that layer - it’s like some safety feature is kicking on even though there’s plenty of room on the crumb tray.
Another indicator: When you drag the image to the edges, if it’s the only object you have enabled, the UI also says “No artwork” even though there’s clearly artwork. When you drag it back onto the object, even though it’s not the edge of the object, suddenly there is “artwork” again.
Ah, there is. You have encountered the workspace limits which are shown on your screen as lighter gray transparent bars. Space available is always smaller than the crumb tray. This available area can also change size depending on artwork and settings - for example: can shrink dramatically with engraves at higher speeds.
If the GFUI says “no artwork” then a portion of your artwork is out of bounds and you need to move it back in bounds.
Ah. You’ve run into the “edge of the world”. If you look at the interface, there’s a “grayed out” area at the edges of the camera view. That indicates places that the laser can’t physically access. Now SOMETIMES if you use a slower speed and less power, you can make the accessible area larger, because the Glowforge takes into account braking/acceleration time when it calculates that area.
A slower-moving head needs less space to stop, so it lets you get a bit closer to the edge.
As far as “no artwork”, if your artwork extends past the available cutting space, that message pops up - one would assume to keep people from wasting time and material only to find that their artwork had a bit that was out of the laser’s range.
I have done this frequently as long as you do not want to cut in the “forbidden zone” with other than a horizontal line. I set all the cuts to as far as they can go, and then use a jeweler’s saw on the bits left. Or if you have a pro you can cut it rotated 90 degrees.
That’s perfect, thank you! I see by some other docs in that linked to article that the glowforge can’t “address” every portion of one of its stock pieces. This is one of those “getting used to it” things that I don’t have to deal with on my OMTech (I really need to get that back online!) but the GF bounding box layer will be an excellent guide for this. Thanks!
I know your question has been answered, but some suppliers offer sheets that are better suited to the Glowforge. Columbia Forest ply from The Home Depot is an example, but even those waste vertical space as they are 12"x19". The max cutting area on my original Pro is 19.472 W x 10.972 H, so they are a touch too narrow but an inch too tall.
Other than acrylic for “ear savers” during the start of the pandemic, I haven’t bought Glowforge Proofgrade materials in a long time. I just buy locally, and cut to the size I want. I have a “frame” I cut from a full-sized Proofgrade sheet, using the maximum-sized rectangle that will fit (per above), so if I use smaller pieces, I can drop it onto the tray and align my material with that.
More often than not, however, I am using scraps or much smaller pieces, and I’ll just grab something with parallel sides and ensure my material is close to “square” on the tray. Yesterday I was working with 4.5" tall veneer, so I grabbed a box for a product I had sitting nearby and just used that to straighten up the material relative to the front door. That put my work area directly under the lid camera.
Good plan. I have some pieces of wood in varying widths and thicknesses that I use to space projects square to the front door and under the camera. They also double as risers for times when the crumb tray is out.