One of the best features Glowforge could develop would be

The most useful feature Glowforge could add to the software would be “optimal positioning” where all parts to be cut would be auto-magically repositioned to use the least amount of material. Waddaya say Glowforge?


You can try:

But I agree, some version of this built into GFUI would be incredible.


Glowforge doesn’t say much of anything here… They don’t read this forum. You’re not the first to suggest nesting features in the UI, it’s a very good idea. You should definitely email support and tell them that you want it, if enough of us ask for it they might get around to it.

Previous discussions:


@evansd2 did an excellent analysis once upon a time about how minimal the savings actually is when you obsess over positioning, and convinced me it really wasn’t worth it. Not to mention that I prefer using wood, and lining up the grain is more important to me than squeezing as many parts as possible onto one sheet. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Lol that sounds like something I’d do.

Now if only I could find the post in question….


The only thing I could find is this one:

but I have a similar memory to @geek2nurse of reading a post where someone tested a bunch of things and saved maybe 1-2% of the time…not worth it IMO unless you’re planning on cutting the same giant sheet a bunch of times.


The basic idea is comparing how much it costs you to conserve materials to the actual value of the materials you’re saving.

Generally the amount of labor time and effort to save materials is expensive compared to how much those materials actually cost.

So maybe this was the post?

Or this?

Or this?

Or this!

Or… this???

Omg I’m a broken record. I need to spend more time lasering and less time armchair economisting. :slight_smile:


I was reminded of that yesterday as I was packing up my laser stuff to move to the new house. I also had boxes and boxes of cut-offs, remnants and bits & pieces of materials I was saving “for something”. Lots of good material in between the holes. But I don’t recall more than a handful of times that I used cut-offs from the bins in the past 7 years. Definitely not worth moving.

Into the trash they all went. Although my wife was suggesting I should turn them into pizza oven fodder.


It’s amazing what you think you’ll probably never throw away until it’s time to move. :grinning:


Last official day in house yesterday. But I have so many uses for all the things I don’t want to have to rebuy later!!!


Nesting is nice, but only if it is also optimized for speed.

I’d rather see something that displays a grid across the center of any piece I put into the machine (like a slate coaster) to help position artwork better. I generally use a piece of paper beneath it with an axis and an outline for placement of the piece.

One of the best features for Glowforge 2.0 would be a larger cutting area, and a deep enough machine to accept a rotary device for engraving mugs and glasses.


i have a few silly/stupid giveaway things i’ll make sometimes out of little pieces of scrap plywood. first it was the 2021 middle finger things. then the “flying ####s.” i still make the second one and keep a stack in my truck and at my desk at work and give them away to people. haven’t met anyone worth working or hanging out with who didn’t appreciate being told “i totally give a flying #### about you” with a physical gift to emphasize it.


I think the real savings is all the space that hoarding old scrap pieces takes up – for little pieces that are just a bit too big to throw away, but too small too actually be useful for anything =P


My machine will print the same design following different paths back-to-back, so much for optimization.

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Where’s that old Dan thread where he talked about this? Basically he says that optimizing cut order yields a surprisingly small improvement. Let’s see….

Here’s one but not the one I was looking for:

Interesting, the inter-operation movement speed is fast enough that optimizing order doesn’t yield great returns. Never thought of it that way.

Still not the one I was thinking of.

@Dan, Aug ‘19:

Almost none, but when we manually path optimized a random set of prints, we found only small speed improvements (much less than 10%). As a result, we haven’t prioritized it in the hopper to date.

Aha, this is the one I meant, from 2018:

So if we do the math, Dan claims low single digit percents, and this only applies to cut/score jobs… the longest cut jobs I do have many tiny parts and clock in at about 1:20, or 80 minutes. Let’s assume 5% as a sort of worst case, that’s a potential savings of only 4 minutes. If we assume 2%, that’s about a minute and thirty seconds.

The difference is even less on more typical cut job lengths like 2-5 minutes. A 5% time saving on a 5 minute job would clock in at just fifteen seconds.

So I tend to agree that this isn’t worth a great deal of effort to “fix” even at the extreme end of the use case.


Yeah, that annoys/amazes me every time too.


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