Just realized - why is the passthru limited to what the machine can cut?

… as opposed to the thickest material you can engrave on?

I am designing a product that will be built from standard 2x dimensional lumber, and I thought how cool it would be to laser-carve some detail onto several parts. We can work on parts up to that thickness if we remove the crumb tray, but can’t use the pass-thru for work like this.

Am I the first to consider this (and do I get a prize)?

… the solution is pretty simple - as well as the pass-thru covers, have the opening adjustable from the inside. You’d need a longer “wipe” to fill the gap, but I’m already seeing deterioration/deformation of the material they used, and plan to replace mine with strips of brush-like material - similar to what you see in bristled door sweeps…

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The major issue I’ve had when doing engraves on very thick overlength pieces (if you have to ask how to do that, you’re not safe to do it :slight_smile: ), is that the exhaust isn’t very efficient with a big hole in the front. Very smokey :smile:


Hence the “sweep” approach over the slot. I’ve used this material to create a conforming surround for the bit on my CNC router, which works quite well. I don’t see it being an issue on the 'forge, especially as I have a second fan attached to my duct to help with extraction.

Sounds like I’m not the first to consider taking a cutting tool to the plastic… darn…

Nope. Some of the most likely first mods post-warranty are going to enable more than a 1/4" pass thru. And maybe more than 2" total height :wink:


And if paying attention to the LSO brief, it would require some safety cutoffs and safety glasses//shields//barriers for all in the room when in operation.
A huge gap in front makes it always a class IV operation…

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Is that any different to having a small gap? It is still class IV unless the shields are in place that close it completely.

I was considering bristles too, but I was concerned that it would lead to too much ingress of air when the unit is running, and might interfere with the airflow across the lasing point.

There’s one way to find out! Report back about how it goes, would ya? :slight_smile:


This was a disappointment to me as well. I was thinking of all the long things I could engrave, until finding out that the slot was only 1/4" high. This will be a good topic to follow.

This design decision is ancient so I’m not sure I remember the reason for it.

The 1/4" is what made the decision to get the basic instead of the pro. Other much more expensive lasers have proper passthroughs that would allow better use of the laser. For further iterations a drop down door that would allow pass through from bottom of case without crumb tray and up to focus height would be ideal.

Dan, how hard would it be to design some replacement pieces to give us a larger pass through slot?

“New version of the product” type difficult.


A half inch slot front and back would likely be a popular upgrade!

If we pretend that airflow and safety testing is not impacted then changing the front door pass thru is certainly possible with a replacement. But the rear pass thru is part of the larger case. A completely new mold and not a replacement part.

I’m not sure why you’d think Glowforge wouldn’t do airflow or safety testing for an upgrade - I am pretty sure that they’d have to, given that the upgraded GlowForge would be a supported OEM product. If we didn’t need support, a third party could do it!

I saw seams around the edges of the back, and I didn’t realize that it was a single plastic piece for the sides and bottom. If so, I agree that the rear passthrough would likely be impractical to upgrade. Still, upgrading the front slot to 1/2" would be worthwhile - it’d effectively double the width of the area that you can laser, and of course allow for lasering the ends of longer pieces, which could be useful in some cases.

You might be reading something I didn’t say. I responded to the question “how hard”. The design part would be incredibly easy for the front door. But that may impact the airflow or other safety features (shields, testing, etc). So wasn’t trying to imply that the company wouldn’t do those evaluations if they chose to do a new design. Just that it might become far more complicated than one would think. And given how it’s currently put together it seems to me like they would just build a completely new case or GF V2.0.

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Got it. I agree - seeing that the rear isn’t a separate part, changing the rear slot would involve a new case, which GF isn’t going to do any time soon.

I still have my fingers crossed that there might be a new front ‘door’. Admittedly you can leave the door open and cut any height (wear your glasses!) but a wider slot seems safer.

No problem . Takes very little skill to visualize a working front panel with a deeper slot. Think it better for me to pretend it’s not possible and that no one here has done that.

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Sure, I have a dremel. :slight_smile: Still, for a pretty, consumer-friendly device like the GF, I bet people would buy a nice, clean new front door with a wider slot! :slight_smile:

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Not that I’d advocate this, but surely someone has experimented with spoofing the front door sensors? If it’s possible, you could run it with the entire front panel flipped down, would open a lot of possibilities.

Again don’t do this. Your eyes and lungs are important.

Also I’d say posting pictures of it is not a great idea, if you do try it.

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