Printing our own codes?

We have an enormous veneer press and my other half has a notion he might like to make some high grade ply with interesting contrasts between the layers for the GF. Might it be possible to have some facility to print our own codes on the mask.
Idea for the hopper.

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I do this with my cnc. (I don’t have a veneer press, I just glue different thickness together) With my cnc I have the precision to decide at what depth I carve what.

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Nice. only got ours by chance, but seems a shame to have it and not use it. It’s about 8’ fall and has a 3’x4’ bed. so should be able to make some pretty useful stuff with it.

If you mean the ability to place visible markers (QR codes, Barcode etc…) on the premask so the ‘cloud’ could load a manual preset. Yeah. I’d like that also.



A while ago @dan mentioned that they were not planning on releasing coded masking material separately because they would have no control over what that was stuck to, and the whole point of the coded mask (perfect cutting and engraving settings) could no longer be assured.
But I have the feeling that it won’t be too terribly long after the proofgrade materials are released into the wild that someone comes along and figures out a method/hack for printing your own codes.
If you are manufacturing your own materials, than I don’t see a problem with coding them for yourself. If you were trying to sell that material as a competitor to the proofgrade materials then there could be issues arising from IP rights around the invisible code.

Of course, you could put a qr-code decal onto your material that pulls up a webpage with the correct settings and a unique name, type those into the GF software once and save as a preset. It would not be auto-detected, but the next time you wanted to use that material, scan the qr code again, to remember the name of the preset, set, and go.

Personally, I really like the idea of multi-layer/multi-color laser-safe plywood/veneer materials; a wooden version of the two-color engraver’s plastic.

Who knows, maybe you could pitch the idea of becoming a proofgrade supplier if you come up with something awesome that works well


Wasn’t thinking so much of that. More a system where he can make some ply as a batch, run some test cuts and then save the successful settings to the GF IU which will then give you the ability to print a settings code onto your mask.
He wants to do stuff like high contrast woods and wood/acrylic plys and thinks it would be nice to make, then print, then mask, then store.

Get some laser-safe stamp material (like this) and cut your own QR code into a stamp that you could stamp all over the mask. You could even use yellow ink!

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well now that is a nifty idea!

If i read that correctly, and you are talking about traditional printing for putting the codes onto masking material, you may run into issues there. I don’t know of any masking offhand that has a liner which would allow it to run through a printer without sticking to the printer (mind you, there are plenty of materials that I have never heard of :slight_smile: ) I could see using a flatbed printer after the masking has been put onto the material, but those are pretty pricey (they are also sweet if you have the $ and space!)

If we are given (or if someone figures out) a way to create our own GF-readable codes, or if the GF can read QR codes in the scan, I would think the stamp idea has some great potential. I could understand why they might not want to allow that to happen though, from an IP/trade Secret point of view.

I guess worst case, once you have dialed in the settings for a material, you could mask them with regular transfer tape and do a light engrave/marking directly onto the mask with the proper settings or a preset #.

I can imagine a scenario where you find a particular material that is consistent across the board. Maybe a brand-name paper product or something, that you would buy in bulk. Being able to make a product ID tag with a settings code to keep with the material, that you could scan prior to loading into the glowforge would be great. Not as great as having the codes right on the material (especially if you are organizationally-challenged :confounded:)

You could use a screenprinting approach to get the marks onto masking material.

The only ways I see any point in making a code seems to be:

  1. so you can keep your materials storage completely disorganized
  2. so you can sell material to other people
  3. if you have two materials which are visually identical, but have drastically unique settings for proper lasering, and aren’t able to keep them reliably separated and labelled in your storage. (mildly distinct from point 1)

Outside of those cases… I cannot think of how this level of effort is preferable to just saving the settings in your Glowforge interface and selecting them from the standard drop-down each time you use the material.


I agree, and as far as labeling the material, nothing a few PostIt notes can’t handle!

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  1. Applies (in spades).
  2. Doesn’t apply.
  3. Sometimes applies.


I seriously need to have a rethink!