Planning shop location for the Glowforge

I keep a rough CAD layout for my home shop that I update when planning layout changes. Having a scale model of my shop comes in handy for things like optimizing shop layout.

In this case I used it (and a rough model of the Glowforge) to add a new table to my shop. The table had to fit between one of my existing workbenches and the wall, and be tall enough to allow for a cabinet (which used to support the drill press) to slide under it.

Anyone else out there redesigning their workspace to accommodate their new Glowforge?


I feel inadequate in my planning now. I don’t even have a flux capacitor.

Looks good though


Very nice! I’ve got a CNC that’s the same size as the Glowforge, so I’m going to build a stand out of aluminum t-slot with a hinged cover over the CNC to keep dust contained, and a shelf below it for the GF and the CNC’s vacuum

And @chris, I recognized the Vex FX name from the map. You are literally down the street from me.

@tim_piotrowski No shop is complete without a flux capacitor!

@Mike13 I have an X-Carve CNC that lives on the workbench to the left of the drill press, which I have yet to model. My plan is to make it so I can easily move the CNC to the bottom shelf of the workbench when I’m not using it. Glad to know there will be another Glowforge in the neighborhood! I’m actually located a few blocks from that location, but that’s the general area.

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If anyone has cool ideas for CNC + Glowforge projects, both Zach (X-Carve, Carvey) and Danielle (Othermill) are friends and we’d love to show stuff that could be done with both!

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@chris - my CNC is an XCarve too. Same with me on the map. I’m in the east side of Venice kind of near the SM airport, so even closer to your pin.

@Dan - I’ve already got ideas cooking that’s use both the Xcarve & GF. Excited to get them out of my head and into real life! :grinning:

@dan Between the Glowforge, X-Carve, and 3D printer the possibilities are almost endless. I’m super excited to find ways to combine them all.

Right now I’m mostly working with laser cut acrylic and 3d printed parts for an animatronic, but have yet to get the CNC involved.

I am trying to do the same…cleaning out, purging a very small room in the back of the house. Though my space is not nearly as tech filled as yours, I posted elsewhere wanting to know if putting the 38" GF on a 36" table top will be OK. Adding another piece of plywood on top is not an option. Is the entire size of the GF 38"…or is there a smaller footprint underneath? Any feet on it? Is an overhang of 1 inch on each end going to be OK?

Thank you

I’m was in the process of building a garage with a 650 sq. ft. office/shop above to move my PC, vinyl printer/cutter, heat presses, and other equipment out of the 110 sq. ft. dining room. I was leaving room for future equipment like a laser cutter but I thought that’d be 6 to 8 years down the road before I found out about GF. I made a few adjustments to the layout to put the GF on a counter along the back wall so I can punch a hole through for the vent. The CNC router is staying in the basement for now to keep sawdust away from the printer.

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@chris your shop looks very tidy and well thought out.
My problem is figuring out where to put it so it does not immediately get covered with crap.

I am less concerned about the fumes from the glowforge getting out then I am about dust and metal bits getting INTO the glowforge!


@jkopel There’s a reason my CAD was not accompanied by a photo of the actual shop! While I may have a few more awesome tools/props/etc than the CAD shows, I also have the accompanying clutter and mess that multiple active projects creates!

As for the well thought out part, a lot of effort goes into that. I don’t have a huge amount of space in the home shop, so I have to make the best use of what space I do have. My house does not have a garage so I converted a spare bedroom into a workshop. Thankfully I also work out of a few other spaces where I have access to larger tools, but I can’t go without a workspace at home.

Part of how I keep things organized is by following a mantra coined by Adam Savage of the Myth Busters (who’s a maker, and former ILM model shop wizard) called “first order of retrievability.” The idea being to keep the tools you use the most frequently readily accessible. The more you use it the closer to you it should be.

In my case that means the pegboards and drawers of my workbenches have 90% of the things I need within reach so I don’t have to stop working and go hunt down a tool. The less I use a tool the further away from me I keep it, so that space can be used by something in higher demand. If I don’t use something more than every month or two it ends up below the work benches or in a storage closet. If I only use it once or twice a year it gets moved to a storage unit about a mile away.

I’m super jealous of all that space you have, and that beautiful Clausing lathe!


@chris I assume you are getting the basic model, not the pro. Otherwise you’d be feeding long materials out the window!

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This made me laugh. Good point :smiley:

@fan-of-glowforge I’m getting the pro model for the added power, optics, and ability to handle longer part runs or continuous use thanks to the better cooling. Though I really wanted to use the passthrough slot it is rendered almost useless (especially for me) by being limited to only 1/4" thick material, rather than something practical like 1/2", so I don’t plan on using the passthrough feature very often any more.

Thankfully I have access to a couple larger laser cutters in the event that I want to work on material thicker that 1/4" and larger than 12x20", so it just means I can’t do those jobs quite as conveniently.

In the event that I do use that feature I have a rolling craftsman cart that is large enough to hold the Glowforage so I can roll it out to the center of my shop.

I am lucky to have a huge room. I’m not saying it is empty…but, there is space.

I need to find a way to protect the Glowforge from dust while not using it, so I am guessing I will just make a custom cover for it to keep the dust out.

I do a lot of spin-casting which uses talc, so the workshop can be quite dusty even with air extractors running.

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I also run and operate a screenprinting shop. Luckily, our area that the Glowforge will be going into is unfinished, so I have plans to run some assisted venting in anticipation of receiving the unit. Figured I am the equivalent of a ‘nesting’ mother. I’ll be getting our shop setup months before it arrives. :smiley:


I had some ideas where to put the GF until I made a cardboard 1:1 scale model of the thing…it’s enormous. Now I have to do a little “tweaking” in my maker room accommodate (still worth it).


Great idea! I had the same reaction once I got out my tape measure–I’ll probably make a cardboard analog too.

For those of you using Sketchup I have made my Glowforge reference model public in the 3D Warehouse.

The outer dimensions (length, width, height) are accurate to the specifications provided on, however the rounded corners and inner details are there for aesthetic purposes only.

Happy workshop planning!