My Glowforge Setup

I often get asked about my setup that I use with the glowforge because it is hard to tell in pictures and I realize I have not really explained it well. My setup has been evolving but here it is currently…

To start, I don’t do much cutting with the glowforge. I mainly do engraving projects and the projects are usually with items that would not fit with the crumb tray. So therefore, I don’t get out my crumb tray unless I am cutting. So I have replaced my crumb tray with some difference concepts that I only use when not cutting with the glowforge. To further clarify, I don’t do cutting on these jigs, I only cut with the crumb tray, but this is how I get by without using the crumb tray for pretty much everything else.

Before getting into the details on this…

  • This is a setup I have built purply around my specific uses of the machine. I might not have the same uses as someone else but maybe these concepts can be expanded on to better fit other uses if that is what someone wants to do.

  • I use 3D printed parts often and I will post the files for others to 3D print if they want. If anyone wants to 3D print them and sell them, go for it. I don’t mind also printing these type parts for people as well.

  • I use ceramic magnets for parts of the jigs. I have done a lot of research on the forums on magnets and their potential effect with the assist. I take that all into account with the ways I use them. I do advise anyone else wanting to use them should first spend time on the forums looking into the precautions to take with them, if you have not already done so. The forums have a lot of great information on magnets. I specifically do not use neodymium magnets. Every project I have done has been doable with the much less stronger, ceramic magnets.

  • And probably most importantly, whenever I do more elaborate setups in the glowforge, I always set up my jig and item and then, with the glowforge off, I move the laser arm and print head over all parts that will be printed on and make sure the glowforge will clear it. This is one of those sanity checks that you can’t really over do.

Magnetic Whiteboard Jig

For this jig I use a magnetic whiteboard I picked up off Amazon. I then have 3D printed blocks of heights .8, 1, 1.2, and 1.4 inches. Each block has a little hole in it where I then glue in a single ceramic magnet. The reason why I don’t have printed blocks for less than .8 is because at that point, I can just use the .2” magnets. But certainly, making smaller ones is doable.

These blocks are then basically little feet that I stick to the whiteboard and now have a board that can easily be lifted to different heights with those 3D printed blocks.

The main application I use this jig with is things like fabric and other items where being able to set a magnet on top of the item would be useful. This is the jig I am using in things such as these:

^^^^^ If you do this then seriously, make sure you know what you are doing and are being cautions. I have a strong amount of training in class 4, I use all proper PPE. I even have a wall mounted air filter above the glowforge to act as a fume hood.

Grid jig
I have posted a while ago a rinsertable grid that is still a good option. I have expanded on it a bit mainly because I have two glowforges and wanted to make something more universal. I have posted a few designs all around the idea of finding somewhere that can be reinserted.

For a while I was using this concept where the 3D printed part was allowing line up with the front and edge of the glowforge bed:

This and the magnetic raising of the white board was what you see behind stuff like this where I use a grid to print sets of coasters:

It also was behind this setup that allowed me to knock out an order of 20 wine trays and doing 2 at a time:

These projects are all using the same printed grid and 3D parts. I have also use the set up to do things like batches of hangers, rolling pins, cork screws, spoons, just to start.

I just finished up a v3 of a no crumb tray line up that better fits with the foot space and it does not touch the front of the glowforge. Therefore it has the same number of points of contacts with the frame of the glowforge that the crumb tray has. This piece allows for lining up from the front left edge of the crumb tray and the then not having the crumb tray. I will do an updated explanation on how to use that hopefully this weekend but it has been spot on so far, no matter the height I have my magnetic tray at (and the item still within the needed range of the print head).

I am not sure if this explains better what shows up in my photos of prints but hopefully it makes sense.


This is a great description of the talented projects you do!! 3D printer is on my list of wants but I don’t have the time right now to learn that process…still trying to devote time here and learn more!


I just know enough to get by. I am still on tinkercad level lol. My designs are not really advance at all :slight_smile:

Its nothing like when doing design with the forge.

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So maybe there’s hope for me:-) And I’m proficient in Tinker Toy, not Tindercad!!Thanks!


You are soooo talented! I LOVE your work! :heart_eyes:


Wow. Just wow.

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Very cool! Very logical. Thanks for sharing!

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Next level. Thanks for the great info!

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So I figured doing an update post to address the magnet question I get asked might be good.

First off, before acting on any recommendation of mine you really should spend the time get look around the forums and make sure you know a bit of background. There is so much good information here.

If you look around the forums a lot of magnet issues have been with the assist fan on the print head and rare earth magnets. This is a good post on them: Ceramic vs. Neodymium Magnets - Bluestreak Equipment

I only use ceramic magnets and I have a magnetic whiteboard. these are my magnets:

And this is my whiteboard:

So not only do I use ceramic magnets but I also make sure to properly place them and if I have to them in a sport that the fan passes over, then I personally am choosing to accept the risk because I have evaluated it.

In photos like this:


This is suede fabric and toward the front of the glowforge is stacks of 2 magnets. The reason why the fabric is tugged tight is because I have stacks of 2 magnets on the underside of the whiteboard that is wrapping the suede to it.

Whenever I put ceramic magnets in a spot the assist would pass over, I just use one magnet. I am sure it can handle more than one but my approach with magnets is to just use what you need and find a way to need less or shield.