Pass through printing on thicker material

I m still waiting for delivery of my glowforge, can hardly wait. I have a need or desire to print on an object that is 36” long 1.5” wide and about 1-1/4 inch thick. Is that possible on the pro model?


* well OK yes but with massive caveats and workarounds that most people wouldn’t touch, including defeating security features an/or modifying your case.

But no. Not as designed. The slot is only about 1/4" thick.


Unfortunately while the passthrough can handle very long materials, they can’t be that thick.

The Glowforge Pro adds a Passthrough slot to accommodate material that is up to 20.4” wide, up to 1/4" thick, and as long as you want.


* confirmation high five with @jestelle! *

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I will say I sometimes get confused when thicknesses are indicated this way…

I sometimes wonder if it means between 1" and 1/4" rather than 1.25" :stuck_out_tongue:

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Yep 1.25 thick. Have you ever printed with the front door open to allow for thicker materials?

Is it possible to do a print with the front door open?

Not without the aforementioned “defeating safety protocols”.
Folks have done it, but make sure you are really comfortable with the machine, because if you screw up your warranty definitely won’t cover it.


There are sensors to prevent this. You can find out more about them and how to trick them by searching for “interlocks” on the forum. The official word (an unofficial from me) is “don’t do this”, because laser blinding injuries are forever.

Thing is, that doesn’t really solve all your problems. Opening the lower front door will give you some more vertical to work with, but not enough. The front “lip” is about 0.75" tall, which cuts into your maximum “no-crumbtray-installed” depth of 2", leaving you with roughly 1.25" of play. This is all approximate, so I wouldn’t try to bump up against this maximum without careful measurements.

Even worse, and more insurmountable, is the rear slot. What we’re describing here is unofficially called “pass-into”, meaning you can insert your material into the front, but the rear slot is a hard limit of about 1/4". In order to pass something much thicker than that through you’re going to have to start cutting holes in your case, and that’s a whole other issue. (a giant rear passthrough slot is a big hole) Glowforge would void your warranty, and in extreme cases, they might not do any work at all on your machine if you’re modified it in a way that they deem unsafe.

In short, what you’re trying to do isn’t really on the table. This is a case where a laminated design is your best option. You put a thin layer in, engrave that, and then glue/attach it to a thick substrate. GF veneer works well here, but then so would any sub-1/4" material you wanted to use.

Since we’re talking about this, I am going to shift this to beyond the manual, which is where Dangerous Things live.


Thank you. I dont need to pass the entire peice through. Just enough to get about 20 -25 inches of the handle in i will get more familiar with my machine when it arrives. I appreciate your advice

20-25" is another issue. Machine depth is just about 19" and taking advantage of pythagoras yields a roughly 27" theoretical maximum diagonal (~19" deep, ~20" wide, disregarding size of actual handle, because I don’t like geometry that much and I’d just be guessing). Usable space of that will be smaller because of the laser not coming all the way to the front of the machine (about an inch of relief, maybe more?) , and precise alignment will be quite difficult. This project has some major challenges here. When you get closer to things and have a concrete puzzle in front of you I’d say repost the situation, we love a good challenge.

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Could you use a veneer overlay applied on top of handle instead ?
Otherwise, the project as described would be better accommodated in a different, larger laser.

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