My first Real project things noticed good and not so much



Well I have had the Glowforge for three weeks now and with dealing with even moving it was a project as it was heavier and bigger than I planned and even now I do not have a good solution to the exhaust except to pump it out an open window and set the huge filter to just pump everything in from the environment and also get the exhaust from the glowforge that comes back in the so I did not even do the first piece till a few days ago and that was (and still is the despertaion of itchy fingers.

Then yesterday morning I spilled hot coffee all over the rug and despite all plans that became the rush project. I did not focus on kerf much as I expected things to be a bit lose and designed it so that the structure would hold it together, and did not recheck well enough the distances involved. I do want to thank heartily whoever finally put numbers on the screen to give even a rough idea of scale as a couple days before I could not tell.

So after some trials to discover the 250 zooms at full power would reliably cut the home depot plywood I hoped that 350zooms at 50 pews would not be too deep so planned for two passes, As the engrave goes slowly back along a narrow path, however, the fan blowing the superheated air to the front acts as a blowtorch on all that is downstream keeping it hot and charing things more, If there is a downwind end to that narrow engrave, that blowtorch effect will burn it as deeply as the laser itself, and could even be the cause of fires. where the engrave is moving down wind the fan will cool the engrave, and while more soot would result I think there would be fewer fires.

Those Programming the Glowforge could make that the probable outcome I believe. the reverse is true in a simple cut quite surprisingly, as a cut going into the wind is cleaner than one headed the other way. as all the cuts have the same values might some experience make a change in the standards depending on what direction the laser was cutting or even have a preference for one direction over another particularly things like that torch effect.

The first attempt to have the design start near the edge was a big problem as the actual start turned out to be a good way in front of the wood and even scarred the crumb tray some where lasers are not supposed to be able to go so I had to stop it and realized that there was nothing save lifting the lid. the switch is in the back of the glowforge and the place it plugs in behind that so neither is a good solution and lifting the lid chances that some laser light might get out before the laser reacts. If the start button (which apparently has no job at that point as hitting it several times did nothing, could be put to use as the same sort of emergency stop as is triggered by lifting the lid.
you can see that false start in the bottom left corner.

When I started moving things I noticed that each object could be moved separately but many were very near contact and it would be most easy to have them overlap. Again a newbie’s expectations almost caused a problem. Now I did make several layers and all but the engrave were dumped into the same process. In some things I have been working on that is another problem I have been working on. I rename objects, I change layers, colors, and even groupings but I cannot tell when they get to the GFUI which is which and don’t know how I could take two that are set on the same cut to be in different groups or vice versa. If six things are all in the “to be cut” group you can’t put just one on ignore, or I don;'t know how to anyway.

in a similar vein I had seen folks say they kept a square say in there stuff and if needed just load it into the GFUI, but while it can be scaled (thanks again for the numbers on the side) but not to different x and y, I understand that the GFUI is not a design program but it should do that.

One more thing for the Tech folks. I have a tablet that I got the GFUI working and was hoping that they would operate jointly as the main computer is in another part of the house but I can have the tablet there at the laser. It is far too clumsy to do more than simple things but apparently when one is used the other cannot participate. this is not so good.

So After I got it all cut out where I thought the kerf at least would leave things loose they were so tight that they needed to be press fit with a vise and any thought of having it be able to be taken apart vanished as it was so tight many parts needed press fitting with a vise or visegrips.

The idea for the clamps worked very well as the springs bend easily going in but dig their heels in when coming out.



Well congrats on getting your first cuts! :grinning:


Not my first cuts, I of course made the obligatory founder ruler and keychain rulers as well as quite a series of messes, discovering anew all the standard gripes like hiding the cut settings like they were state secrets, and forcing us to spend a lot of time and !materials trying to get a handle on what setting does what.

Were it not for our discussions about carousels many aspects of this design would not have been considered.


All a part of learning to use the new toy…and your design turned out great! (Now the fun begins!) :wink: