Final Update

Thanks to septimus39 and jacobturner my questions were answered.

To summarize for anyone that may have the same questions:

The passthrough depth for the pro cannot be upgraded because it would interfere with the electronics in the back of the GlowForge.

The overall depth of the GlowForge cannot be upgraded due to the shipping cost it would cause.

Thank you.

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I ordered a car but i wanted a speedboat… That would hardly qualify as the manufacturers problem

You compare the GF to the Epilog but in terms of capability and price there are difference between the two.
IMHO If you want all these things that the GF cannot deliver then you would be better off spending a heap more on a different machine.

I hope i am not coming across as facetious, i just find it hard to understand why people think that when a company, any company, takes an item to pre-ordering stage that they can suddenly change major aspects of the design to suit individual’s needs when ultimately that would be a new product


@bdm I think @montaque93 point is that there is no way you could engrave a pair of Converse shoes in a glow forge due to the 1.5" engraving limitation, it’s misleading! How many other misleading items have been posted about this laser? It’s not a matter of “ordering a car and wanting a speedboat” it’s a matter of being sold a speedboat and getting a car. It’s questionable how many of the items shown on the site have been actually produced with a Glowforge. In addition, very little of the “magical software” has actually been demonstrated. The whole concept seems to be a dream that the company would like to deliver, only time will tell if they actually can.

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I fully understand the desire for a deeper bed, and especially the ability for the pass through to handle deeper materials than it does, which in itself is making me a bit conflicted on whether to upgrade to the pro model, but I really don’t get why people are grumbling. do your research, purchase if the specs seem good for your application, don’t purchase if it does not suit your needs. If you jumped the gun and ordered the second you saw it and then realise you are not happy with something about the deal, then get a refund. Seems pretty straight forward to me…

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Continuing the discussion from Disappointed:

It was (and still is) in the Tech-Specs when I ordered on (i think) Day 2 of the Pre-Ordering

[quote=“joetnagel, post:3, topic:348, full:true”]
… it’s misleading! How many other misleading items have been posted about this laser? It’s not a matter of “ordering a car and wanting a speedboat” it’s a matter of being sold a speedboat and getting a car…[/quote]
Then don’t buy?
Or buy something else?

If you are willing to do stitch work i don’t see how shoes would be a problem and ‘Glowforge Inspiration’ is quite different from ‘Glowforge Capability’.
(at the risk of argumentum ab auctoritate) As a Marketing Consultant married to a Lawyer i can assure you our decision to buy into the GF was based on what the system’s Capability and Specifications are not what the pictures show.

A great deal has been made about the dimensions of the Glowforge, but @dan has mentioned several times in other threads that at least one significant factor in that is the shipping cost. People are already complaining about shipping costs, especially international customers, and even adding a couple more inches of depth to the system could make an enormous difference in shipping cost overall, if it gets pushed into the “Oversized” category. It’s frustrating for all of us who have pictured doing larger jobs, but they didn’t just randomly pick these dimensions, or choose them to frustrate you. There are good reasons for everything being the way it is.

Ok that makes sense for the overall size but what is the reasoning behind the 3/8 passthrough?

I haven’t seen anything specifically about why they chose that, but my guess is that it’s a safety concern. At 3/8" you can’t really get an adult-sized hand in there, but if you bump that up to 1.5" then you definitely can, and that could be really risky for Glowforge from a liability standpoint. Pure speculation on my part, so take that for what it’s worth.


The mentality of “This is awesome (but not quite perfect), I wonder how much better they can get it?” is typically best suited waiting for second generation devices. If you are early adopting (first gen purchases included), the mentality ought to be “This is awesome (but not quite perfect), I have all these plans to modify it myself!”

Granted, GF 2.0 is likely not going to have a nifty half off sale, but by the time it comes around, you can have saved up a significant chunk of change. It may be better to wait a while, and see how the GF evolves. I could easily see them going smaller, to help those who have a primary interest in hand-drawn trinkets, as well as bigger, to help those with desires similar to those expressed here.


The word “Research” comes to mind (again).

That’s why I did more than just look at the tech-specs. The information was out there, you just had to go find it.
That’s research, what you seem to have done is look at the GF site, then ordered, then realised that it may not meet your needs. That’s not the same thing at all.
Just as a pointer, I spent 2 solid days on the internet ensuring that I gained as much info as possible and then another day looking at my likely needs and whether the GF was likely to fulfill them before I ordered.
As it turned out, it will not meet all of them, but it will meet enough to justify the purchase price. As has been said before, perhaps you should wait for GF 2.0. The purchase price will be higher, but it may suit your needs better.

Another alternative would have been to simply ask. The GF FAQ pages give you the facility to do this BEFORE you purchase.
Again asking would have counted as research.

When I ordered mine on the first day, it was very clear to me that the max bed depth was 1.5 inches. What was not clear, was that the pass through was designed for 1/4" thick material. And with that not listed any where on the site, I assumed the pass through was 1.5" as well. I did not order a pro, but I am still disappointed by the limited depth of the pass through slot.

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I do love it when people try to make their point with an insult. Really elevates the conversation.

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That was absolutely not worth asking us to take our time to scroll back just to read an insult. And it undermines the value which WAS in your initial post (there is value there, though only for the next generation).

I am sorry that you appear to be taking things personally. That means it is unlikely for anything productive to happen here, when something productive could have happened. You should possibly read that first post yourself, and understand in what way it pertains to yourself. I am not saying you are the only one attacking, but that update is quite clearly an attack. Sit for a moment and think about what you are afraid of in this case.

As for WHY there is not a larger passthrough… because space is limited.

A laser tube is large. It is also delicate. It also exists in the machine somewhere. Sit down with CAD and the dimensions of the Glowforge for a little while, look up the physical dimensions of a 45W laser tube, and the mounting hardware for one. They are rather consistent.

Now… design your own GlowForge, and make it have a full 1.5" door possible in the back. The front is easy, it already has that much space available, and dan himself has said (likely his lawyer is yelling at him for having done so) that you can bypass the safety interlocks to have a large front entrance by leaving the door panel open.

The back however… you have to get under the laser, and you have to not risk breaking the laser. This risk is not just from your material passing under the laser tube, but also from removing all support structure from below the laser in order to have that space completely open for material to pass through. Laser tubes have this odd tendency not to levitate.

Without changing the outer dimensions of the GlowForge… please modify the internals so that it continues to work, but allows a larger passthrough.

Should you manage to do this… please share it here. I am sure that dan will happily incorporate your designs.

The easy counter, which you are likely to resort to since you already have shown a desire to attack people instead of discuss ideas, is to tell ME to provide you with a CAD that shows how you cannot fit a larger door there. So I will respond now: I already know it cannot be done, but am willing to be shown that I am wrong if you know something I do not. You do not know that it CAN be done, you are just screaming that you want it, and so it should be.


I am sorry that you are taking it personal, I tagged everyone that has written on the post + Dan. In your first post you did not tell me to get a refund or buy something else, you simply wrote that I should wait for 2.0. So it was not directed towards you.

To address what you wrote, I wrote “This still leaves us with the question of why is the passthrough slot only 3/8” and is there a door?"
You just explained to me the answer to my question, the back of the device would not allow it. That makes sense. There is no picture of the back of the pro (from the pictures I have seen) so I did not think of that as a possible reason.

I am not trying to attack anyone, I am just tired of people that reply to a thread with no useful information. You and @septimus39 gave me useful information.

My original post was directed to the GlowForge team and people that would like to see a bigger passthrough before they start shipping.

Continuing the discussion from Disappointed:

Sorry, i don’t have too much more time to waste on the blatantly obvious but…

  1. Your quote above.
  2. A screen cap from GF’s tech-specs below

How you are extrapolating “a reasonable expectation of 2 inches” from Maximum thickness of material with tray removed: 1.5″ (38mm) is indicative of much of the thought behind this discussion.

Now i did not buy a Pro (Australian so the shipping fees were extortionate) but i don’t see how, from reading the above Tech-Specs, one could breezily assume they are going to be able to slide something through with tray removed at that size.
If i were to have considered the Pro then like @bridget said i would have Researched more and/or e-mailed Dan.

Out of interest when my wife and i were deciding whether to buy or not we must have looked at ~20 different sources and we also e-mailed Dan Shapiro with some questions… to his credit he responded in record time with direct and effective answers. Perhaps that could have been an option for you?
We did not jump into our purchase making a whole bunch of ‘reasonable assumptions’ and thus feel comfortable with our choice to buy which saves everyone a lot of time and stress.

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Well, my guesswork explanation may still be right in the general concept (there are parts in the way of a potential back side door enlargement), but is not completely accurate.

The Open House livestream allowed me to actually see where they have the laser tube, and I was quite wrong about the mounting method.

I assumed the cutter was set up like the laser cutters I have seen so far (which is like… 3), with the tube mounted stationary along the back side. But it is mounted on the moving carriage. So the entire tube passes above anything you cut every time you cut.

Having the laser tube mounted on the moving carriage worries me. My uninformed opinion is that all the movement and vibration of the tube might shorten its lifespan. Or I could be completely wrong. Does anyone out there have any experience with this issue?

A lot of good info on the new (15 Oct 2015) interview article, great FAQ and more.

Check it out