It's getting hot in here!

So a couple years ago, I was worried that my GF would get dangerously cold in the garage as we were heading into winter and the garage was poorly insulated. I ended up using the GF to make custom angle brackets to hold scrap wood together for a frame, then wrapped the frame in thermally reflective mylar, and “smartifyed” it with SmartThings (temp sensor + on/off switch). I wrote the whole thing up a while ago if you want to know more (story continues below):

Since then, we’ve upgraded from a home office + garage to 2,300 sq-ft of industrial space with a whole bunch of new pieces of equipment. One of the things we use heavily is a small print farm consisting of six dual-extrusion MakerGear printers. The problem is that the printers are open-air and we end up (1) wasting a ton of heat/electricity with the build plates and (2) lose consistency in the part quality. I took an IR photo of the build plate and you can see internal geometry & build plate radiating away:


Fortunately, with our handy GF, this is a solvable problem! I present to you, our GF-made smart temperature control box:

The principle of operation is essentially the same as the hot box I made in the garage, but this is a far better version. Credit where credit’s due – Shawn, one of the engineers on staff did all the work here. I just suggested the idea and showed him the photos from the garage version. If you stare at the picture, you might notice there’s lots of nuts and bolts – that’s mainly because we were limited on the size of acrylic sheets we had available, so it got Frankensteined together (I personally like the industrial look). The fan on top is connected to a smart switch off-screen, which is then controlled by a SmartThings app:

And of course, the proof is in the pudding. Here’s an IR photo taken after the the box was operational:


The heat is well-contained, which will help keep our electricity bills under control and allow us to get better print quality as we head into the winter. The full write-up is on the company’s blog here: Smart manufacturing of 3D printed prototypes | Multiscale Systems

Just one last note for the readers who made it this far. The GF was our first prototyping tool when started this company. Since then, we’ve expanded significantly and have everything we could ask for. Still, the GF has a special place in my heart and its elegance as a solution continues to shine. Cheers to you all!


Fantastic! Shout out to the MakerGear folks as well! I never had time to follow through on it, but putting together a box for the M2 dual was the reason I initially got the Glowforge.

(Then they came out with the M3, and it wasn’t needed.)

Love your farm. :slightly_smiling_face:


Congratulations to you and your company for the success and recognition you have earned. Hard work, risk and intellect are not always rewarded even when deserved. I appreciate you for sharing this story of how the Glowforge was part of the spark that led to this end. Keep up the good work and fighting off the MA cold.


It’s funny – everyone I’ve talked to who has a MakerGear loves theirs in a way I don’t often hear from other owners of 3D printers. I’m not quite sure why that is, but I loved my first one enough that I bought 5 more. So I guess that says something…? On the other hand, everything that comes off the printer goes into the Instron to get crushed. Here’s a fun little tid bit:


That was fun! :smile:

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Thanks @dklgood! I can’t speak to the motivations of others, but from my perspective, my dad’s advice echos in my ears on a fairly regularly basis – “Do what you love, and success will follow.” I strongly believe the “do what you love” is at the core of the GF community since we’re all using this tool as a way to make new ideas come to life. Whether or not success follows is… well… probably has more to do with luck than anything else. :slight_smile:


The hot box is fabulous!

This one wins! That kind of bounce back with no appreciable crushing has got to be useful!!

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That meta material is very dangerous, so we must deal with it.

Fun fact – the pre-prototypes (before 3D printing) are also made on the GF. Here’s some strips that were laser’d and hand woven to get a quasi-3D version of what was later 3D printed:

Then, when you crush the GF-made woven sheets, you get measurements (blue & brown) that outperform current market products (yellow):


Then, of course, when you bring your kid to work, they pick up a leaf from the parking lot and insist we put that in the GF:

to make something festive for the holidays:


I’d say there’s a young designer there. :smile:

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now that is funny. I just engraved a leaf for the first time yesterday. what a coincidence :slight_smile:


We had the leaf on the counter for a few days, but it eventually shriveled up and lost it’s “flatness.” Next one we do will go between two pieces of wax paper and get pressed in a book to dry flat. I guess I should’ve seen that problem coming, but hey, live and learn!

I am working on a project with the leaves.

they will be engraved then embedded in resin.

Ooooh. Embedding the leaves in resin is a good idea. I’ll add that to the list of weekend projects!

Just helping… LOL :slight_smile:

Holy smokes, that’s amazing!

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I think it looks great with the smaller pieces of acrylic! I’ve cut up a lot of fabric to make quilts. :grinning:

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I like the way you think!

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