Not able to reach advertised cutting area


I tested the cutting area of my Glowforge standard this evening. The web site says: “Cutting area: 11.5″ (290 mm) deep and 20″ (515 mm) wide”, so this is what I expected to get.

So to verify this, I created two files in Inkscape. One with a rectangle with 289mm high and some small amount (10mm) wide, and the other with a rectangle 514mm wide and some small mount (10mm) high. Then I loaded each individually in the Glowforge UI. No matter how I position the shapes on the laser bed, the UI treats them as out of bounds (i.e. too large) and will not allow me to cut. So I guess my question is:is there something wrong with the my specific Glowforge, or is everyone having the same issue? I’ve had some issues with my lid camera giving a skewed view, and so I really want to understand if this is a problem related to that, or if the website is just misleading / incorrect.


The current cuttable area is 19.5" x 11", and the engraving area is somewhat less than that depending on the speed being used for the engrave. (It was outlined in the Production Features and Specifications status letter that you received before you accepted the order.)

It’s not a problem with your unit, they are working on increasing those limits through modifications to the software, but at the current time, the units are operating at less than the full bed size listed on the web page. :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes, with that in mind they should probably edit the page to something like ‘eventual’ bed size.


Yes, they probably should. Eventual “target” bed size would be even better. :slightly_smiling_face:


Ok, thanks for clarifying that. The website should definitely be edited, as one could make a case that it’s false advertising as it is now.


I’m still hoping they eventually hit it. (They’ve pulled some rabbits out of the hat with this thing so far…) :wink:


Loving those rabbits.


Doesn’t matter if they eventually hit it or not. If people are reading that and then purchasing, they’re being mislead. It’s unethical and probably illegal.


They clearly explain the limits in the letter that they send out to the people who pre-ordered, with the explanation that it is still being developed, and giving people the option to defer receipt of their units until the software development is completed.

If we accept it now, we accept the limitations, knowing that it is still under development.

Glowforge is actually giving people the choice to get the unit before the software is completed, knowing that the pre-orderers are getting pretty tired of waiting and extremely anxious. (I don’t imagine most people deferred the order.)

If going forward, they are forced to limit the machine to an 11 x 19.5 inch bed size, I’m sure they will change the web page before taking additional orders. But as of now, they are still planning to provide the 11.5" x 20". (There was never a time limit on when these machines were going to be ready.)


This isn’t about pre-orders. I’m fine with some limitations, within reason, and I expected as much. I’m talking about people that are placing orders right now.


They’re only preorders too. It’ll be a while before anybody can order a Glowforge without having a fully refundable pre-order first and then waiting for an email to ask if they’d like to convert the pre-order of an imaginary product into an order of a real thing with these specs.


I think they’re still considered pre-orders since they’re still being developed, but you do have a point. Support might want to have a chat with the FNLs at that. :slightly_smiling_face:


They appear to be.



Pre-order in most peoples’ minds means they’re not shipping out right now, but you can pay now and you’ll get in line to get one. Given how much angst this caused me (worried that I had an issue), I think it would be better for everyone, both Glowforge and customers, if what they posted on their web site matched the actual real capabilities of the device as of today.

Most of the content I see on these forums is from people who have been involved for a LONG time. I think the perspective of a recent user would be valuable. There is a lot of really easy stuff that GF could change that would make the customer experience smoother, lower the impact on Rita, and generally make everyone happier.

Anyway, thanks for the info. I have a few other issues I’m not sure if are unique to my GF, but I will post them in a separate thread.


Don’t forget the focus range is also less than advertised. 11mm instead of 13mm. No explanation or word if it will be fixed like the XY dimensions.


I think in general GF has been really upfront and honest with those of us who signed up before it was a real product (“founders”). They communicated frequently about the delays, and did their best to try and make up for those. I am very happy with all that, and I trust that the company is run by an honest and ethical person.

But the website is misleading, and not consistent with that standard. It should be changed until and if the device capabilities are improved.


Thanks for the answer, @Jules.

I really appreciate the feedback posted here and will make sure to share it with the rest of the team. Thank you so much for posting this topic.

closed #18