Non-cutting margins?

The maximum cutting area topic comes up every so often, but I have not found any discussion of exactly where this is located.
As the non-cutting margins are different on each side, it does become a bit of guesswork, and very frustrating if you’re trying to pack in multiple cuts per board, and lose one because you guessed wrong.
I now do a light burn each time as a way to mitigate this, but a bit more hard data would be useful.
I’m now engaged in trying to sort this out.
My first step is to use a template page size of 12" x 20", then draw a 10.5" x 19.5" rectangle, centered to the page, and see where this cuts.
NB I’ve got white marks on the bed, so that I can locate the board in the same place each time !

I use this:

Thanks for the heads up.
Trying to sort this out while watching the reports of fire at nuclear station, so tricky !

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I know what you mean, i was just reading about that too.

I use this for everything. I line up all my files with the bottom right corner where the cuts and engrave lines are and when i load it in to the glowforge everything matches up perfectly, no moving stuff around.

There is a hidden rectangle around the entire template i usually delete before starting since when i get careless it messes with me.

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I think the part you may be missing is that it changes depending on what you’re doing. An engrave takes more room, a cut or score less. A fast engrave takes more room - a slower engrave takes less, etc.

There is not one number, there is the largest - which would be for a cut, and the smallest, which would be for a fast engrave - but if you always design for the smallest then you waste material - or for the largest your design doesn’t always fit. It’s a moving target, and you are best served to use the guideline and adjust for a specific design instead of trying to adjust for every design.


It shouldn’t change, as the operative word in my first post is “cutting”.
I have been around long enough to gather some know-how, but it was just the point I made in my first post, that there doesn’t seem to have been any coverage of this particular aspect of the available space - where that maximum area is located, not how big it might be.

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The cutting area has not changed from the day I got my machine (in 2017).

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The 0.0 point is always the same spot as long as your crumb tray doesn’t movie. The maximum area will change by a few millimeters depending on your machine, but generally 10.95” x 19.45” - as is stated in the tech specs, and literally dozens of places on the forum.

If you make your art board 20"x12" and place your art in it - it will show up in the GFUI in exactly the same spot.

It sounds like you’re trying to make a jig without actually making a jig - which is fine. I know, for example, that on my machine the right bottom corner is 1/4" in and 1/8" up from the edges - so that’s where I put the edge of my board, but that placement will change depending on the speeds I use - and my crumb tray doesn’t move. If yours does, there’s a boot design on here to lock it down.

If I’m unclear on what you’re trying to figure out, and that doesn’t address it, can you describe it a different way?


This is the template I have used. It might not be the absolute extremes.

I generally don’t bother, just use 20x12 workspace.


Sorry! I didn’t notice you were doing this inside the gfui. I use the template i linked to place all my artwork in before loading to the ui. I have it set as the default template. So when i open Inkscape, it’s what pops open all the time.

If you wanted to use the whole sheet of draftboard, and wanted to cut an opening in it that had equal widths all around (think picture frame), where do you place it ?

And yes, I am familiar with all the post about maximum cutting size.
PLEASE read my posts more carefully.

You should take your own advice here and read other people’s posts. Your question has been answered by @deirdrebeth, and many other threads on the forum: There is no fixed 0,0 you’re always at the whim of the software (which is admittedly pretty consistent) and the crumb tray (which moves enough to screw up very precise placement).

So, kind of end of discussion. And that’s not even counting the fact that your material size may change (proofgrade is pretty precise but it can vary) and addressing your rotation issues.

Good luck, there’s no easy answer to your initial question. Look into tray boots and get ready for some frustration while you try to make the glowforge do something it’s not great at doing.


You can’t. The crumb tray is not centered - or at least, the head cannot move to the same extremes in each direction.


I have found the bounding box provided by @dwardio to be quite helpful. GF Bed Bounding Box

Bye all, and thanks for the fish.

They even sell this @ Wally now. Thanks, Adam.


I would place it all the way to the left of the bed against the side rail. The bottom goes against the front edge of the bed.

You will have about a 3/4" margin on the left and about 1/2" from the bottom (if I recall correctly).

Now if you cut the published max size (10.9x19.4) with the lower left corner of the cutout in the lower left of the bed’s accessible area, you won’t get a centered hole with equal sides because the right side can get to 1/4" from the edge. You’ll also be about 1" from the top of the material.

So you need to shrink the cutout from 19.4" wide to 18.9" - that will add another 1/2" to the right side machine margin and you should get sides that are both 3/4" wide.

Then you need to do the same math for the height. Except this time because the top machine margin is greater than the bottom, you’ll also need to move your lower left corner up so you can have a larger bottom edge. I believe you’ll want to shrink your cut out to be 10. 45 so you’ll pick up an extra 1/2" of room on the bottom so between the 1/2" the machine can’t get to and the 1/2" smaller rectangle, you’ll end up with a 1" bottom & top border. That should result in the maximum rectangle you can cut with equal widths on the sides/top&bottom.

If you want all of the sides to be the same width, then it’s a simple matter to calculate for an additional half inch on either end (so your cutout will be 18.5" wide) and the result will be a 1" margin (equal widths) around all sides.

Since the “0,0” of the machine is really X=3/4, Y=10.9; it’s easy enough to setup your drawing to use those fixed margins to place your 10.45x18.5" rectangle in the GFUI. Move it to 1/4" on the X and 0" on the Y and you’ll get your 1" margin all the way around.

I think everyone was answering a question about cutting out the maximum sized hole in a piece of Draftboard, not the question you asked about a hole that left the same amount of material on all sides (the minimum I think that can be done is 1" left on all sides).

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