Max Thickness Needs Clarification

Hi, very new to the Glowforge so I have a question. The posted literature says it will accept material up to 2 inches thick (with the bed removed). The bed, from what I have read is 1.4 inches thick. The maximum material thickness when using the bed is 0.5 inches. Combined with the bed thickness this would mean a max material thicnkess of 1.9 inches.
Can someone clarify which dimension is correct or have I missed something?

The honeycomb tray is not 1.4", at least mine is less than that. Also the honeycomb tray has “feet” which make it taller than its actual height. You can fit something 2" in the Glowforge.

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None of them are exact, there are slight manufacturing differences between machines. You can always measure yours to determine it’s specs.

Technically, the gridded surface of the tray in my machine is 1.375" tall. From a practical standpoint, I can use 1.4" with no problem.

The focal range for the head measures approximately 0.5" below the head. There is an air assist fan behind the head that will catch on material that is not level, and since wood can warp, it’s generally not a good idea to use up every bit of allotment that you have…if you hit something with the air assist it will knock your gantry off the rails. Big drama. :smile:

So even though technically you might be able to stick something that is two inches thick into the machine when the tray is out, from a practical standpoint, limiting it to about 1.9" in height is a whole lot safer.

So, the range in thickness that you are shooting for is from 1.4" (grid surface of tray) to 1.9" (clears air assist).

Focus has a limit, have to check the exact number, it’s close to 0.5". But there is an easy way to figure out absolute max height of material above the floor.

Stack something (legos, blocks, pieces of wood, etc.) with a deck of cards on top so that the total height is slightly more than 2". With power off, manually drag the gantry and head so that the air assist fan under the tube knocks some of the cards off of the stack. Measure the remaining cards and whatever you used to raise the card deck above the GF floor. The total is your absolute max height. I would lower that number by just a little to be safe. Don’t want to knock the gantry off the track.


Thank you all for your prompt guidance on this topic, much appreciated.
I will certainly be extremely careful if I have to push the limit at some point in the future.

Thanks for the answers, @dklgood, @Jules , @rpegg, that’s right!

You can print on objects up to 2" thick by removing the crumb tray. However, your Glowforge can’t focus too far down, so you may need to put something laser-compatible underneath your material to lift it up. Raise it until the top surface of your material is between 1.5" and 2" (50 mm) high, measured from the metal plate on the bottom.

This illustrated guide: Tutorial: How to cut without the Crumb Tray (Honeycomb) might be just what you need.

I’m going to close this thread - if the problem reoccurs, go ahead and post a new topic. Thanks for letting us know about this!