Pre-Release | Lighting the Way

Ai will open a PDF as well, as long as it’s vector and not bitmap, so the same steps would work for setting up the engraving.

You can put the kerf into the model using the Offset command. F360 will keep the Offset as a parametric constraint as long as you dont modify the offset lines directly, then you can make a User Parameter called “Kerf” and specify that for the offset distance. Then this would give you parametric control of the laser cut path so you can change it for various materials if needed.

I’m modeling a fully parametric box in F360 right now with the kerf built into the model itself. The tricky part is the finger joints technically need two different offset distances, one for mating faces where both faces are laser cut, and one for laser cut faces that need to be flush with the flat face of the material. This has been fun trying to find the right combination of constraints that will drive the appropriate dimensions, but not break the shape. LOL

At least F360 gives the option to correct a parameter if something breaks. Pro-Engineer just freezes to a stop and crashes, then you get to start over.


My reactions :thinking::open_mouth::astonished::heart_eyes:


What a fantastic project!

I’ve got a ton of LEDs for when I get my Glowforge. I can’t wait to turn a few of my cooler ideas into reality


Are you using construction lines? I highly recommend them. The problem with them is they come in with the dxf so you have to clean them out but they make modeling a ton easier when there’s multiple parametric constraints

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This is why I create a new sketch and use the project tool to move the features I need to that sketch. In some cases I leave the construction lines intact if I need to place text or a logo in that area.

I dunno. The method I described in the post is the workflow I’ve been using for many years in F360. Unless I need a drawing (to get something made in a machine shop or otherwise) I don’t use it.

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Going down the line. “Oh, that’s cool.” Then hit the video. Amazing!


What a fantastic project. It is such a help when you go into:grin: so much detail on your projects. I was so impressed with what you were doing with the project and then when I read that this was linked into other automation in your house I was blown away. Great job.


wow. just wow.

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What?! This project is fan-freakin’-tastic!! I really like the frosted acrylic!

And the whole set-up is on solar? My hippie-heart be stilled.


You literally could sell these for a nice profit

So beautiful – light has its own kind of magic.

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Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the solar panel on top is being used any more after modification.

No construction lines.

There will actually be two model sets. One will be the visual representation of the final product with the finished dimensions for each piece. The other will be a model that’s been adjusted for kerf. This model will be built using sketch geometry that is driven automatically (and parametrically) by the “Finished Part” model.

Using the Drawing feature of Fusion360, you can turn off the “Finished” parts so they don’t show up, and leave the Kerf adjusted parts visible. Then you export a PDF from there, and I just tested this, it does in fact export Vector paths so the file is ready to go directly into the Glowforge user interface, or into other graphics programs for additional artwork or embellishments.

Why two models instead of just one that has construction lines for the “finished” dimensions, and solid lines for the kerf offsets? That would work just as well. It wouldn’t render quite the same if you needed to produce a sample image, not that the detail would be very noticeable. I just have the habit, from 25 years of producing CAD models and drawings, as well as production tool paths and marketing/instruction materials from those same models and drawings, if you have a technology that allows you to meet those various needs relatively easily without needing multiple CAD files with slight variations from each other, take advantage of it.


They are solar… whether by the original solar functionality or not is in the air.

Awesome project @karaelena!

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This sounds far more intelligent than my approach :joy: construction lines work great for me just solid modeling things but I think it will be less awesome for laser stuff. Mostly I guess it works for me and the way I think but I want to learn the dual model thing now

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Beautiful finale !! I would probably be more like the siding guy who took out one of the lights… :neutral_face:


I was originally going to do the “finished” lines in construction lines then offset solid lines for kerf, then thought “Hmm, that won’t render quite right”… Then I thought “Bah, it’s close enough, stop overthinking.”… Then I thought “Well, if you rendered this in a clear material to mimic acrylic, the intersections won’t look right at all.”… and so… now I’ll have two models in the file, which as you see I am still playing on the internet instead of actually getting it done. :slight_smile:

It takes a little longer to set up multiple configurations of the same thing like this especially if you only really need one of them to get the project done, but it’s also handy to already have it if you do need to generate some material for another purpose.

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I can already see @dan typing “Look what one of our clever pre-release users did with their Glowforge.”


“If this is what they can do with the pre-release models, imagine what they can do with our finished production models.”