Is there a way to make the glowforge to do larger prints?

The maximum size of a print I can do on my glowforge basic is 11x 19.5. The bed of the glowforge allows a sheet up to 12" however and proof grade material comes in the size of 12".

Is there a way to trick the glowforge to give us that precious extra inch?

Yep. With certain limitations, and a hell of a lot of very careful placement work:

Explained here:

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NOW that I have a pro, the answer is YES… with a bit of work, and luck.
you can use any machine to do this!

when you make your .svg files, CUT THE IMAGE IN HALF
print the first half of the wood pushed down as far as you can, then push wood to the back of the unit and repeat with the second half as long as your wood isnt long enough to block the gantry You can sneak in like 4 additional inches into a design!

Thanks, Macgeek,
I understand what you are saying but how do you guarantee that things will line up exactly on the design?

Unfortunately… the simpler and more attainable solution is to just work inside the limits. Design to the working area, and learn how to use jigs to precisely place materials. A perfect example of this just came up with @macgeek and his cutting board project:

You can see another example of this alignment method in my map on slate project. While the slate fits in the workable area, I needed to center the engrave precisely and only had one shot at it:

You can use this method to engrave an item that is larger than the work area:

Any attempts to perfectly align your work across multiple steps will be met with a lot of misses, the laser is very precise, your accuracy will almost never match that. I find it a whole lot less aggravating to just stick to passthrough cuts and one-step engraves.

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you can put two +;s on the edges of your work so you have an align area

Thank you!

Yeah this is called a fiducial mark.

Now if you can only place it to within 1/1000" accuracy… :frowning:

Heck, even the thinnest line that the GF can make is about ten times that thick.

You simply can’t do it reliably, I really think that working with the machine you have instead of trying to fight this particular issue will make for a better experience.

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You can always test things out with cardboard and see how it works and then determine if it’s worth trying or not.

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i’ve come pretty close in all but 2 attempts, it takes a bit of patience, but it can be done.

Right. Pretty close in all but 2, and never exact.

It all comes down to your tolerances. If you’re cutting, you can get really close. If you’re engraving…you’ll almost certainly see a line (either a gap or an overlap) where you align two sections.

If your design is made with that in mind it can be really successful. Engrave areas in two wholly separate sections that don’t touch, etc. Cut lines that are simple and can handle a very slight misalignment.

But if you want perfect perfect, you just can’t do it reliably by hand. And I mean come on, you have a laser, of course you want perfect perfect.

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I agree, a Jig IS the right way to do it, but if its a one off. . . . . .

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Lol especially if its a one off. :slight_smile:
Jigs are accurate, easy, and fast.

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If you break up your design at places where all the lines are vertical (there can be some overlap if the intended height is less than 21) then you use the edge of the crumb tray to precisely align the material. You cut the first bit and slide the material down keeping it aligned.

Then by only using the down arrow (or up) you can keep the design perfectly aligned in the “X” direction and if you have only vertical lines then alignment is not so critical and even a millimeter off will not be noticed.

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