Recovering from PVC Cuts and Engraves

He sold it.

yes, doing this to another glowforge…

here is my crazy idea,

Cutting out the bottom of a GF and then adding in a vacuum chamber, that places the GF into a ‘negative’ space - then cutting ‘unsafe’ materials, and the acrid / caustic gasses never touch any of the equipment, i am just pondering something ‘out of the box’

and as long as I am on the subject, @kory.fransen can you post some pics of the stuff you did? (created using the PVC)

when it rains mustard gas, make hot dogs

I am planning on getting another GF.

I sold my GF to pursue my Crypto Mining operations…which is turning out to be more profitable than initially estimated…On my current trajectory…I will be able to pay the negative equity in the GF I sold and have the ability to buy a new GF PRO by this time next year (9/15/2022).

Now…to your idea…I don’t see why that wouldn’t work…you would have to build a box/container…make sure it is sealed…If you cut out the bottom…you would have to have some kind of platform for the material to set on…then you would have to figure the focus on the head…

The only potential issue I see would be…is the laser beam going to be strong enough at that distance from the head?

Best case…you would have a GF that could cut/engrave materials that it wouldn’t be able to do in its current state/design…Worst case…you have a bottomless GF that can sill be used, you would just have to manually adjust the focus every time you used it…

I am just crazy enough to try that out…Of course, I would have to figure out what kind of chemicals I would be releasing by cutting these “unauthorized” materials and if I have the proper ventilation and venting area to do it in…

There are A LOT of factors to take into account…however…it seems to be a plausible theory.

Anyone got a plasma cutter? lol

As far as pictures of what I made with Vinyl…I only made one thing…it was a custom laptop bag that I designed…it was cut from black alligator printed vinyl (PVC) that I bought from Jo-Ann fabrics…not thinking about the fact it was PVC…

I cut and then engraved the front of the laptop bag - because when I engraved it, the black was burned off to revel this really awesome brown/cream color…usually I am not a fan of black and brown together…but I designed it in a way that they complimented each other…I then had to hand stitch all the cuts and panels together with wax thread to bring it all together…I stitched my family member’s initials into the bag as well…

Sadly…I don’t have any pictures of it…It was one of my very first projects that I completed - hence the reason why my GF went down within 2 weeks after I got it…and I gave it to my family member. I will see if I can get them to take some pics…but…I can upload the design from Inkscape…I still have the files for it.

I think you’re on to something with cutting out the bottom and creating a negative vacuum…if the proper precautions can be taken in regards to venting those chemicals…Maybe I’ll get a plasma cutter after I buy my new GF Pro and give it a shot…

If I do…I will definitely be making another thread in “beyond the manual” :crazy_face:

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I forgot! I have the pattern that I used before I cut the vinyl. I cut it from different colored construction paper to be able to see the different layers and how it was all going to line up…

wow this looks awesome!


yeah. and it only almost cost me $6k to make it :rofl:

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:stuck_out_tongue: what price art? :crazy_face: :rofl:
“what medium was it made with” “OH A $6000 laser”

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:joy: I’m dead :joy:

And speaking of… Tomorrow morning, I am hooking up 12V to a relay that opens a solenoid valve that sparks an ignition that lights up LP gas, that will flame out of a dragons mouth…

like I am

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A) that sounds awesome
C) Be Careful

I have been tinkering with the idea of building a forge and taking up blacksmithing…I know I could design and make some pretty cool knives and swords…

How big is the dragon?

I have been traveling back from a meeting today and so I am just now getting around to following up on this.

Just want to go over a few items of where I am coming from in my understanding of this debate (if you can call it that).

Lets start by returning to my first post (104) where I stated:

Now to post 109, where at this time the item of debate was R2R for Glowforge in comparison to R2R from Apple.

So, @chris1 the items of concern that I had with post 109 were the following:

  • Concern 109.1) The analysis in your post is only of glowforge. I do not feel it is correct to say that analyzing R2R for only one company (GF) is enough when GF in comparison to Apple is what was under evaluation. Both companies need to be analyzed and compared to each other if you are trying to determine where one standard in comparison to the other on R2R. This is why I called into question your ability to preform analysis and suggested:
  • Concern 109.2) Your analysis is using objectives of a R2R advocacy group. No matter how much you might like their objectives, they still the objectives of a R2R advocacy group. Its great to have objectives but those objectives are not the actual definition of R2R. Again, they are objectives of one R2R advocacy group. There are other advocacy groups and they also have goal and objectives but that is the goals and objectives of those groups. This is why I questioned your understanding of R2R in post 111.

Now moving on….to post 112 where you ask me about my understanding of R2R and I responded in post 116. I will admit, my response directed to you was short, why? At that point I identified you are being pugnacious and it was more worth my time to advocate others to take part in organizations that actually help shape policy.

Why not get involved with organizations such as IEEE, which has members from R2R groups, and help change things as opposed to trying to create battles on the internet. Also, maybe look into doing more formal case analysis. Good ones take time to write, and I will send mine on R2R when I finish.

One last thing @chris1 , try not to assign me a character to play out in your argument. I am not interested in that.


And I’m not interested in your continued insults. I tried not to respond, hoping that if you got the last word you’d shut up, but despite having no idea what you’re talking about, you continue to impugn my understanding and ability to “preform” analysis. I’m putting you on ignore, as it’s the only way I can make myself stay out of this.


People, I think this subject has been whipped into cream.
we are all friends here, lets move on…
I respect both of you @chris1 and @MyDogsThinkImCrazy you are both very smart and informed, lets agree to disagree and move on?



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(shuffle feet) the dragon is just a dragon head, at the moment, ONCE I was able to successfully get that working I would worry about the rest.


Burning vinyl gone amok!


To those of you that think I’M the crazy one for suggesting a material compatibility sheet…

Another prime example of a potentially trashed machine from not having a list of compatible materials…

I believe this makes 3 or 4 that I’ve heard of since I made this post early last year…I wonder just how many more examples there are???

Maybe I’m not so crazy after all…

It is always a problem to get people to read the manual or the safety information or the cautions. Perhaps we ignore them because they have proliferated so in these litigious times. Every time I start my car I get a warning to use the navigation system properly (at least I think that is what it says, I just bypass the message).

Interesting that you are now more active in the forum than when you actually had a Glowforge.


It is always a problem to get people to read the manuals (yes that was sarcasm)…but as I suggested before…and argued over and over again…that a single sheet of paper with the warning of the dangers of PVC to this machine…is warranted…

And thank you for reinforcing my point with this example…These warnings are EVERYWHERE and in/on EVERYTHING we own…at this point it is society’s fault for people not reading the manuals…because we have allowed it to get to this point…

I wasn’t active when I had a GF because I didn’t feel that I wanted to share anything that I was doing or creating with my GF because of the rigorous type of people that are found in this forum…I was met with more pushback, resistance and doubt from the people here than I have EVER experienced in my life!

However, there has been a ‘select’ few that have been supportive of my experience.

Lastly…if you look at my “activity” you will find that I have mostly posted in this thread…the one that I created in the attempt to help people recover from this mistake.



Because…Why not?

It’s free R&D for them (at the expense of the Customer)…It’s not necessarily bad business (Because R&D can be expensive and cut into the bottom line)…but definitely bad customer service (Because they’re using the Customers’ inexperience to save themselves a few $$$).

It is Bad Optics all around.

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The main problem is a matter of both an infinite list of possible materials and the likely possibility of misidentified materials on both sides. Something labeled vinyl masking may be made of vinyl, or be perfectly safe and containing no vinyl but its major use is masking of vinyl.

Therefore a list of compatible materials would be natural wood, and cast acrylic with anything else suspect. (and best to make sure the acrylic is actually cast acrylic because you can trust the source.)

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