I think we might owe Dan an apology


@dan has received a lot of flak over calling the :glowforge: a 3d laser printer but with the new engraving algorithms and what @mpipes has done with them so quickly maybe we were wrong? When someone cuts a fan with the :glowforge: I’ll definitely be calling it a 3d laser printer.


no thanks, engraver works just fine for me personally. i wouldn’t call a CNC a printer, either, even though it’s theoretically capable of producing text and the like. i don’t care what other people call it but the printer terminology has already caused confusion trying to explain the product to friends who’ve seen 3d printers before.


If I was in charge of names they would all start with cnc because they are. But I’m not.


i mean i’m not sure that a cnc is really the right name for it either (not that my opinion remotely matters in this), i was just using it for comparison’s sake.

besides this is nothing compared the inanity of naming paint colors after food.


You are right that neither of our options mater but technically cnc is correct for any additive or subtraction machine ran by a computer.


Think of it this way… If you put a Glowforge next to an actual 3D printer, and somebody asks “What are those?” You’re not going to say “Oh! Those are 3D printers.” You’re going to say “Oh! That one’s a 3D printer, and that one’s a laser cutter.”


It could be worse. (Or better?)


yes i mostly mean it’s not a noteworthy feature of it in comparison to the variety of tools available. back in the day it made a lot of sense. now it’s more of “yes of course it’s computer-controlled.”




I always think of “Printing” as a process that deposits material, rather than removing material.

First Definition-
Middle English (denoting the impression made by a stamp or seal): from Old French preinte ‘pressed,’ feminine past participle of preindre, from Latin premere ‘to press.’

The third definition almost fits though.
mark (a surface, typically a textile or a garment) with a colored design or pattern.
"a delicate fabric printed with roses"
synonyms: imprint, impress, stamp, mark
"patterns were printed on the cloth"
transfer (a colored design or pattern) to a surface.
"patterns of birds, flowers, and trees were printed on the cotton"
make (a mark or indentation) on a surface or in a soft substance by pressing something onto it.
"he printed a mark on her soft skin"
mark or indent (the surface of a soft substance).
“we printed the butter with carved wooden butter molds”
-Google Dictionary


yeah, i’m careful not to complain about printing in terms of it being subtractive vs additive for that reason, i just don’t think it’s a great fit. besides, laser sculptor sounds infinitely cooler.


I think “bombarder” would be a cool name for it


energy enthusiast, for the way it happily tosses photons at stuff?


Pure marketing. Anything that would qualify the :glowforge: as a 3d printer would apply to huge numbers of other things that are clearly not 3D printers. Introducing The Pacific Ocean 3D Printer! It erodes flat surfaces into various Z depths! :smile:


the first sentence of this comment seems like a good idea… then:


If I was asked what they were I would call the 3D printer a 3D printer but for the glowforge I would say “well that ones a Glowforge” kind of in a class by itself…


My take on this “3D printer” always was paired with the original video of making the globe. It cut out slices and when you put it together it created a 3D object. The printer part was out of place though imo.
“Carving” with a laser is not new…I have one that was manufactured back in the mid 90s that can do that…


I don’t care what it is called because it’s awesome!!! I did name mine Dexter lol


What’s a Printer? It is nor head, nor feedrate,
Nor platen, nor typeface, nor any other part
Belonging to a machine. O, be some other name!

What’s in a name? that which we call a Glowforge 3D Laser Printer®
By any other name would cut as sweet;


Notice you didn’t say smell as sweet though… :rofl: