Pro User Insights


#1

Hey GF Users,

Intending to upgrade to a Pro unit, with the primary motivator being the pass through capability. Curious on the thoughts of those who have already received a Pro unit in terms of the accuracy and usability of the feature for fairly long prints. I build furniture as a hobby and think it would be amazing to be able to pass through long headboard slats as an example.

I guess more generally, If not the pass through feature, which features of the pro make it valuable. Many Thanks in advance for any thoughts and advice.


#2

The automatic passthrough alignment feature hasn’t been released yet, so we Pro owners don’t have access to it and can’t comment on how well it works. There are issues with the camera alignment, so trying to do it manually is not likely to be very successful, although a few people have come up with ways to kinda-sorta utilize the passthrough.

Since I often buy things in 12"x24" sheets, I find the slot useful as a way to jam the piece into the machine, usually just to cut it in half (I have a file with a single line cut just for this).

One thing that wasn’t immediately obvious to me, because I didn’t think about it very much before ordering, is that it’s a pretty thin slot. I have things lying around, like bookshelves, that would be cool to engrave, but they don’t fit in the opening.


#3

Many thanks for the insight, definitely throws a wrench in my plans

This never dawned on me, any idea what the max thickness of the slot is?


#4

Max is 1/4". You might be able to get a little more but not much.

I love it though and use it more than I thought. Also has better cooling, that I’m sure I have used.


#5

As @chris1 mentioned, the passthrough auto-alignment is not available in the existing software release.

How you utilize the passthrough really depends on, well… what you intend to use it for.

I’ve used it a couple of ways… it works great for fitting in over-sized or odd-sized materials. For example, I did some engravings on large, heart-shaped, slate trivets. To center the design on the material, I was able to stick the point of the heart (bottom) out of the passthrough and place it where I wanted.

For larger, contiguous designs, you break your design up into bed-sized pieces that fit within the cutting and/or engraving margins. To align, I use a straight spacer on the left side to act as a material guide. You then basically index your design as you complete one operation of the job and move onto the next. You won’t rely on the camera for this. if you align your job operation layers on top of each other in your design software, you just need to move the material up to an index mark on your spacer.


#6

The slot was mentioned at one time, back in the day, as being 3/8" tall -but designed for 1/4" material.


#7

This isn’t very important. Anyone using it in this manner will resaw a bit of solid lumber down or plane a piece down to fit inside, then attached it to the face of the thicker lumber making it look as one piece.


#8

I guess I’m not anyone, then?

Perhaps it’s not important to you, but I don’t think you can make that blanket statement.


#9

While I don’t have a Pro, one consideration about the pass through is that you have to consider the layout of your room, and have sufficient space around the unit to have the material extend on both sides. If you were cutting a 3-4’ long thing, you wouldn’t be able to put the GF right up against the wall because you might have several feet of material hanging out the back side.

I personally don’t have room for positioning the GF like that, so even if I had the Pro it would be a huge challenge to make use of it fully.


#10

My point was, anyone interested enough in that particular aspect of a laser cutter certainly has other trades and tools that will allow him/her to work around it, quite easily. A tool like this can’t have EVERY feature.


#11

This statement is demonstrably untrue. @chris1 is a counterexample. As am I.

QED.


#12

Me three as far as anyone using the pass through and not having access to a planner or other tools. 1/4 inch definitely limits and/or eliminates what I initially l thought of utilizing with the pass through.


#13

Veneer is always an option.


#14

Obviously you guys aren’t:

:smirk:


#15

Hi jawad_olabi,
Pass through is 1/4 inch but as someone already mentioned you can do a lamination. If you interested in 3d engraving and other types you can try a carvewright it gets mixed reviews, but it does work. I have one and it works fine. It not perfect and there support is ho hum but for thicker material I don’t know of anything capable of matching it for the money. The machine looks like a planing mill (sort of) but for furniture it might be the option.


#16

I’m surprised the active water chiller has not been mentioned more. I guess summer is well behind us. The Pro will tolerate higher summer temperatures than the basic will since the Basic is passively cooled. The Basic will refuse to work if the ambient temperature gets above 80 Fahrenheit. This alone is a great reason to get the Pro.

Also @dan posted the following post about 3 months ago. Has anyone noticed a marked difference between what each can produce? Or perhaps he was referring to yet undisclosed functionality?


#17

Just 2.5C (i think 6F is that right?) is not much a gain over the Basic.
In fact the very limited Temperature difference between the Basic and Pro is the sole reason why i am not going to upgrade my Basic.


#18

I guess YMMV. It’s a lot easier for me to keep it at 78-80 when it’s 100+ outside than to keep it at 74. That 4-6 degrees F makes a huge difference in my electricity usage.


#19

Apparently not. Listen, it’s simple. You can’t have something like this do EVERYTHING. If the bottleneck on this device is that the pass through is only good enough for 1/4" material, I’d consider that a huge win. Again, considering anyone planning projects THAT large SHOULD have the skills and equipment to easily work around this issue. Heck, you COULD just use store bought veneers. It’s essentially what my work around for this issue is, just a TON cheaper. For anything that large I’m going to use my CNC anywards.


#20

By long prints do you mean a four foot rectangle or a four foot rectangle with lots of engraved detail? The first will cut fairly quickly, whereas the second asks a lot more out of the auto-alignment and would take hours to complete. Sort of a moot point until that feature is released in software. I’ve done one cut of the former, in cardboard for my venting solution, and the camera was adequate for manual alignment but it would take some sanding after the operation for furniture.

I’m planning on some furniture myself. I had noticed the 1/4" material limitations early on so have always planned on making my own “ply” with a high-grade surface. While I thought I would be anxiously awaiting the release of the auto-alignment feature, “Is it done yet?!?!” I’ve found so many other things I “need” to do, and not enough time to do them, that I don’t even think about it.