Rotary Attachment

I’m sure it’s been discussed before. We’ve owned the GF for a few years now and would love to be able to keep up with the expanding market for laser etching. Are there any plans to create/offer a rotary attachment that can handle tumblers, flasks, etc?

As 2" is the maximum diameter you can do without major surgery there is not much place where such a rotary gadget would be useful,


If that is the absolute definitive answer that is extremely disappointing.


The only physical way for the Glowforge to accommodate something taller than 2 inches is to cut the bottom out and elevate the machine. I think the size limitation was made clear by Glowforge from day one.


Without cutting open the bottom of the GF, you are limited to a maximum of 2" total depth.
Do you have a good source of tumblers or flasks that are under 2" in diameter? The thinnest one in my collection is still over 2.5", so it wouldn’t even fit under the GF laser by itself, let alone with any kind of rollers under it.

A device for turning pens, rolling pins, other small items… that could still happen, if not by GF then by someone else.


I’m not saying they weren’t upfront about the machines capabilities as they were in the kickstarter phase. I have just hoped to see the machine evolve into more than a $7,000 paperweight for me.


What exactly is making it a paperweight? The lack of a rotary?

The universe has a limited number of options that if you expand abilities in one direction you limit the possibilities in others. I also had many design hopes that the universe ruled impossible.

One thing you can do is make rubber stencils and use sandblasting to etch the surface or even do a search on mechanisms to use rabbit skin glue that shrinks as it dries pulling chips off the glass as it does so. It uses hydrofluoric acid that is very nasty but is also possible.

You would also find that many folk here have many machines, many much more expensive than the pro that can do large rotary projects, and still keep their Glowforge very active as well.


A 90 degree angle mirror and some additional equipment can create a rotary that will fit items up to 4” in diameter in the Glowforge.


:roll_eyes: :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Interesting. I wish I knew more about the technical aspect of such things. It does give me hope for the future.

Thank you for your insight.

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I understand that there’s are more than one way to skin a cat. Unfortunately, for my business they aren’t quite as practical as a rotary attachment.

I, too, have several other (more expensive) machines. I just have to not been able to find a way to incorporate the GF into my workspace as I had hoped.

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Point taken.
“It is not the strongest that survive - it is the most adaptable.”


Very true. I’ve adapted quite nicely to using other machines to be successful. Very astute of you. :slight_smile:

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More specifically in biology when a new type evolves it does everything, but nothing well , later more advanced types evolve to do one thing better and make the primitive very rare. But when change happens it is the primitive variety that survives and the specialists go extinct.

Tools evolve a lot like that as well. As my Zune and pocket camera can attest. I suspect that thinking about what the Glowforge can do well could bring many ideas to light. I would bet that all that glass would need something to display it all.


Just because it doesn’t have a rotary? Despite all the other things it can do?


I’m honestly not sure what it can do outside of making coasters or earrings. I haven’t seen much in the way of finished products. I own and operate a company that deals in apparel and home goods. I had thought the GF would enhance my business, but again, have not found that to be the case. It doesn’t mean it’s a terrible machine, it doesn’t mean I hate it, it just means that it wasn’t a good fit for my company.

Sell it and get one that has a rotary. (Seriously, I love my GF, and it’s perfect for me, but if it doesn’t do what you need it to do, get one that does.) :slightly_smiling_face:


You’ve spent a total of two hours on the forum, no wonder you haven’t seen much.

if you take the time to dig through the made on a Glowforge category or even just go through the spotlight featured items in the UI, you’ll find lots of finished products.