Print Direction

Are there any plans to allow a change in the engrave direction?

By direction, I am talking about where the laser start and finishes. By design, the laser engraves from the bottom up (bypass door toward the exhaust fan). I have found this to be a problem when engraving 2 color acrylics as the air assist blows freshly burned particles on freshly engraved areas which are still cooling. (i.e. black top layer gets blown onto the white bottom (engraved) layer) The two stick together and it is difficult to clean. If we could reverse the print direction it would eliminate this problem as the air assist would be blowing the particles to an area that hasn’t been engraved yet.

How are others getting around this issue? or am I the only one?


It’s been requested multiple times in the past. I’m just not sure it’s physically possible on this machine.

Boring explanation below, blurred for those who don’t particularly care to know why I personally think it can’t work.

Due to the current placement of the air assist, the residue is always going to be blown forward, and if the residue gets blown onto virgin territory, engraves might not penetrate as deeply if the engrave action moves from the back to the front. (It will be fighting increasing buildup as it moves forward.)

So we would then likely get a crappy engrave from a depth perspective. If the air assist was placed to the side of the beam, rear to front movement might be possible. (Or it might just cause buildup on a side, instead of the front.) But this one isn’t built that way. So without a complete redesign and rebuild of the machine, which we wouldn’t see on these anyway, i don’t see how they could pull it off.

What I’ve learned after a few (dozen) deep acrylic 3D engraves is that running a final low power/high speed pass to burn off that little bit of residue buildup gets things pretty well cleaned up. You can try that with the two-toned acrylic and see if it works out. It might help some. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks for adding your vote to this issue. It’s something folks discover can be a problem with particular designs.

I haven’t read anything on the forum that indicates Glowforge is considering a change to this feature. Support acknowledges it and another tick for the hopper.

Here is one of the more lively topics addressing this.


I think the selectable option would be welcomed.


Thank you for the feedback @gethammboned! We appreciate any ideas for improvement. We haven’t announced a feature for changing the direction of the engrave, but I will let the team know about the continued interest.