Pass through slot, GF workbench mounting

I read it as meaning there is just an open slot with no door to seal it.

That’s why I wanted clarification. If it’s just an open slot, why the stringent adherence to the door in the front? I think a lot of people (not me) are going to take dremels to their machines to get them to take 1.5 inches of material.

The front has a flip-down door; you can see it in the video scene where she’s loading leather to make a wallet. That door has a slot. The back has a slot, no door. The slots have a curtain as well.

Put in slightly different wording since it took me a while to piece together and so may help others:

The basic model has a glass-top lid you flip up in order to pull out your material.

The front of that lid closes down on a door, which you can lower to allow sliding the honeycomb in and out, which is useful for carefully arranging pieces on the bed prior to loading.

The Pro also has this glass and door arrangement. The slots for passthrough material are located just above the honeycomb, which places one in the front on the flip-down door (not on the lift up glass), and one in the back at the same height.

The great news about this for passthrough, is it makes it possible that the 1/4" restriction is based on how much space was available in the front of the machine on that door (slot had to be above the honeycomb, and leave enough room to attach the cover flap to the door), rather than how much was available in the back in any regard.

So expanding the passthrough size will require either leaving the door open, or removing the honeycomb (or finding a thinner one?) and cutting the slot to drop lower. While in the back of the machine, there may be no obstruction at all to expanding the size of the passthrough.

While I don’t think I’m going to downgrade my Pro order over this, I must say I was disappointed to find out about this 0.25" limitation on the pass-through (and doubly disappointed to find out the reason was for safety, not a technical limitation).

I feel like this should have been made more up-front, before someone has committed an extra $1500.

Infinite feed on something like 3/8" birch plywood would have been killer.

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Agreed–the fact that this massive limitation in functionality was made so that people wouldn’t stick their fingers in it is a little ridiculous. There are other ways to control user behavior. You’ve just cut out a huge number of furniture-making and other woodcraft possibilities. If Glowforge ever creates an upgraded case that would allow deeper pass-through, I know people would be lining up to buy it.

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To be fair, you haven’t “committed” anything. You aren’t charged till they are ready to ship to you.

I understand the disappointment, but I don’t think there’s any attempt to conceal facts here. (“should have been more up-front” implies to me that you think they withheld this info to get you to place an order.)

Actually the charges are already on our credit cards. We could cancel and get some money back but we only get back the difference between the upgrade and the NEW price of the downgrade. The only way to get all the money back is to cancel the entire order. Still think it was a good investment.


Did you not get charged? I got charged immediately when placing the order

Yes, I mis-spoke. I got charged as we all did.

But we can all cancel any time prior to shipment for a full refund. So I don’t feel we’re really committed if something crops up that is a “show stopper” for us.

Hi Sam,

I wouldn’t have used the word “conceal”, but I did manage to get all the way through the checkout process without being aware of the 0.25" limitation.

Do you feel that information was communicated in an obvious way? I didn’t know about it until I joined the owner’s forum.

Still, this is going to be an amazing product.



Will give you that. Did not see any info on the GF main web site, reviews, interviews, demos that would have indicated a 1/4" limitation of the pass through until recently. I’m pretty sure there are things about the GF that were intentionally not discussed in the run-up to the pre-order (nature of a normal PR campaign) but I’m guessing that one was just overlooked. If the pass thru specs had been fully advertised it would have had very little impact on overall interest. I personally would have liked 3.5" to work on banjo necks but can see upfront that’s not possible so now I can only think of 999 uses instead of 1000…

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I was fully aware of the 3/8" w/ silicon curtain slot allowing for 1/4" pass through since 10/05/15 when I researched the GF site and did other research online either through blog post/reviews and YouTube videos on GF… I have to admit that I have over 6+ yrs of manufacturing and selling products produced with the aid of laser equipment and have had experience using laser’s and other cnc machines since I was an art director at a graphics/signage prop shop since 1995 so I know what to look for as far as specs go. I personally over research before I make any substantial purchase, nothing worse than buyers remorse.


FWIW I can’t imagine too many leatherworkers having problems with the pass through slot. Would take an super thick piece of leather to be wider than .25". Even a 12oz thickness piece of leather is only 3/16" and would fit through the pass through. Most vegetable tanned leather is typically less than 12 oz. I’m excited for my pro model.

The 1/4" limitation was not public knowledge until many of us had already purchased. It was not available anywhere on the site, not included in the purchase and checkout flow, and not featured in any of the videos or press materials. We’ve still not even seen that functionality in action.

I think everyone (myself included) just assumed it would be a more reasonable and useful size. After all, the whole idea behind Glowforge was to move past outdated and limiting laser designs and give users more power. How were we to know that they would put in some really odd limitations that cripple the device? The truth of the matter is that the passthrough slot (as Dan mentioned elsewhere) was a design afterthought.

While it’s not great that Glowforge neglected to make that information public, we ultimately chose to buy a product based on little to no information, so that’s on us. I’m just trying to hold onto some hope about the other exciting features and forget this whole passthrough debacle

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Actually, the passthrough was one of the very first features we designed.


@dan You had posted elsewhere in this community that the pro model was an afterthought. Did you originally intend on having passthrough on the basic model as well, and then migrate that to the pro?

im a fan of technology and im not very smart. that being said; from what ive come to understand with laser printer is if you want to cut think object then just get a industrial laser cutter. glowforge is a personal laser printer with cameras that make it easy for anyone to use. you can fit a glowforge on your desk at home with kids around. its safe and easy to use there’s no need to make it bigger and/or stronger than the pro. if you really need something stronger than a pro its not a personal laser printer its industrial.

Our original concept was a Class I laser with a passthrough. Around the time we concluded that was impossible, we were also facing a round of component decisions between “good” and “best”. That’s where Pro came from.

It was in no way an afterthought.


In my case, because the glow Forge is described as being able to cut half inch material, and that the pro model had passed through in order to cut larger pieces then fit inside the bed, when I placed the order I thought that I would be able to cut half-inch material larger than the bed. That is specifically what I am looking for, because my goal is to make furniture. While I still think the pro model is well worth buying, it would’ve avoided an unpleasant surprise if the two capabilities work together. If all it takes is trimming the door back a quarter-inch, and putting in a ‘skirt’ for safety, I am pretty happy to do that. At this point my only concern would be making sure that the software supported both capabilities in a single part. That is, flipping the part over to cut from both front and back for a half inch thickness combined with sliding the part around to cut larger then the size of the bed. Dan, any comment on that?