Potential stabilization issues

Some questions that I pointedly ignore while I was waiting, that hopefully someone can offer some insight on.

We live pretty close to a train track, and when a train is going by we get some shimmy shimmy shakes in our place. Just wondering if this is something that will affect our Glowforge while it’s working. Does it have any sort of counterbalance, or does it pause the job if there is significant enough vibration? Or on the flipside, if the material we’re working with is securly in place and not moving, will it just keep plugging away unphased?


It might. Be sure to put it on the most solid (and level) table you can find to reduce vibration effects.
(If you’ve got a solid worktable with four inch thick legs, it’s going to be a whole lot more stable than a cart on casters.)


I wonder if they’ve built in “earthquake detection” for the GFUI? That would be a good feature request. The lights should flash an appropriate message in Morse Code :slight_smile:

I’m interested to see what the GF team tells you

I seem to recall them saying after one of the early Maker Faires that people bumping into the IKEA tables and leaning on them while the machine was in operation could cause a print to be ruined…so any vibration strong enough to shake the house might cause a problem if a print was running.

Don’t know.

No experience with vibration enough to shift the base. My cats have done their share of jumping on and off it while it is working to no effect, but they can’t create much more vibration than the :glowforge; itself. I would work on a plan for stability, dampening vibration, and learning the local train schedule against :glowforge: use. I know a manual pause feature is somewhere in the hopper. When implemented, it could very much become your friend.

That’s a good question. Regardless of living next to a train track or in seismic zone, it’s good practice to isolate your machine from external vibration. Most of that can be fixed with your stand/table and how much mass it has and how much energy can transfer to the stand. I have a rubber stress relief mat under my Glowforge and tried to influence it by jumping up and down near the cart on the floor or slightly nudging it. I haven’t been worried about it since. Granted, the floor is basement, solid concrete.

Try to do some tests. I hot glued my iPhone to the cart and recorded some data with an accelerometer app. Did a grid on some acrylic and looked at it edge lit. I’m good to go.

I did some videos of how much the Glowforge can shake itself. It’s pretty interesting. I tested on a cart with no dampening pad and with a dampening pad.


Thanks for all the responses. The table and legs themselves are nice and sturdy, I think my weak point will be the castors on the legs (wanted to be able to move the table for the pass-through feature.) I like the idea of the stress mats underneath – I might look into something like that.

If the house is shaking, you probably want some give in the casters and legs.

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You could put a foam “anti-fatigue” mat on the current hard flat surface and then some 1/2 to 3/4 inch plywood on top of that, then your Glowforge on top of the plywood.

The mat is likely to dampen any excess vibrations with disturbing the GF :glowforge:.

Considerations, don’t use a really smooth surfaced material between the mat and the Glowforge. A thicker plywood is less likely to warp (flake board would work also). The rougher of the two sides of the plywood should be toward the mat for a good grip.

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You could also consider sorbothane bumpers on the housing standoffs to reduce harmonic vibration. It won’t help with physical jostling but might help with any sort of resonant vibration from the building to table to gf.

Interesting thought. We know they have accelerometers in the machine and they are all linked to the cloud. They also know the address the machine was shipped to. So if there as an earthquake they could probably produce a very detailed seismological map.