Laminating the Glowforge with a laser safety foil?



Dear Community!

Thanks for sharing all the amazing ideas, tips ans tricks for our upcoming machine.

I’ve been reading a lot about the CO2-laser safety glasses needed when operating the Glowforge, or any other lasercutter, but I had an idea. Has anybody thought of or maybe even found a foil that we can laminate the transparent part of the main door with. So instead of everyone near the machine needing to wear glasses, can we cover the machine with a see through laser blocking foil?

I found some material for YAG lasers:

I did find some complete CO2-laser blocking acrylic windows:

Would be funny that if I want to make this to size and shape on a lasercutter I wouldn’t be able to do it, because of the fact that it’s blocking the laser :wink:
Has a lot of acrylic windows…and so on.

Is there anyone with experience for these foils or can we think of a solution together. I know it’s a pricey one, but it could maybe help us out in the future.

Probably @dan and/or his team has spent ages researching this and found it was not an option to put this in the Glowforge because of the immense increase of the product price, but could he share us some tips?

Keep up the great work everyone, love reading your thoughts everyday.

Greetings from The Netherlands!



I believe that the lid is made from the same material as the CO2 laser glasses, polycarbonate. So you only really need laser glasses with the pro, because of the pass-through slot.

Edit: I’m wrong, its glass.


Thinking outside the box…it might require some paid testing, but it might be cheaper in the long run for as many machines as you are trying to do…Maybe something like auto-window tint film? Might not provide complete protection if you stick your face down next to it, but it blocks a certain amount of light, and you’ll be outside of the focal distance.

You’d need to check to see what range of light waves it blocks. (I have no idea.)

(Already got some safety glasses, but it would be nice to not have to keep changing them out.)


Glasses are not required for the basic as the window is laser safe. The pro has a slot that is why glasses are needed


Oh, good! :relaxed:


You don’t need that. The glass in the lid prevents any backscatter of laser light from being dangerous. Otherwise they couldn’t get Class 1 certification.

The Pro is a Class 4 (requires glasses) because of the slot which can conceivably allow refracted/reflected laser light to escape in a cohesive enough beam to hurt you.

When you buy glasses make sure they’re certified for the correct wavelength of light - CO2 lasers are 10600nm.

But although you won’t get lasered through the GF window, you do want to be careful staring at the cut. Depending on what you’re cutting you can get some very bright visible light that are not especially good for you to stare at for long periods of time even though there’s a real temptation to sit and watch it do its magic :slight_smile:


If it weren’t, glowforge running several lasers at those really densely populated maker shows, or whatever they’re called, suddenly seems much more sinister…


Hi All!

Sorry I misunderstood the need for these type of materials.

Happy that everything is clear now and that with my coming PRO I need the glasses when working with the slot.

Do I understand correctly that I only need the glasses when this slot is open and that when it is closed it is secure and close enough to use without the glasses?

Have a nice day!



Yes & no :slightly_smiling_face: The Pro is a Class 4 laser device and you’re supposed to wear glasses whenever it’s running.

Realistically you are correct though - with the slot closed the laser escape pathway is closed off so you’re dealing with a device that were the slot door not on the machine would be Class 1 and not require glasses. But legally it’s still Class 4 even if it’s not operationally Class 4.

No one will arrest you for not wearing glasses when the slot is closed. Personally I won’t be wearing them unless I’m using the pass through. :slightly_smiling_face:




Anyone have a link or advice/experience with a certain pair of glasses to purchase? Thanks!


I used this as a basis for mine.


I have these:

and these if you want to save a few bucks:

Remember to look for side protection in the design because reflections, if they happen, won’t necessarily be coming from in front of your face.


I got the ones for 29.99 and they do cover my glasses but just barely.

They may be more and look like I’m in science class but I might return them and go with the $52.38 ones for better coverage.


Ok great. Thanks!


The expensive ones are sized/shaped like standard safety overglasses and fit over all of my glasses although my glasses aren’t huge.

The cheaper black frame version is a snugger more form-fitting overglass and your regular glasses should be on the smaller size to allow them to fit best.


Getting the family ready…

(ok… not really my cat - although I have 3…)