Rotary engraving

Will you be able to etch something like a pint glass?

Maximum thickness of material with tray installed: 0.5″ (13mm)
Maximum thickness of material with tray removed: 1.5″ (38mm)

Maybe a shot glass, but no rotary function.

@dan: These kinds of questions have come up often enough for me to wonder…

Have you guys ever thought to make the entire bottom of the machine able to be removed, allowing materials of any size to be placed under the machine, though not changing the cut depth or focal range.

I would think this is likely a safety issue type of question, since then you have the chance for the laser to fire where there is nothing underneath, and it hits the ground (or foot, or hand, or…)

But, with the camera on the GlowForge, and restricting non-bottom work to engraving, not cutting… it feels semi-reasonable as an option.


I think this is a great idea. Or even including an extension ring, so that there’s still a bottom, but you increase the depth of the working area by 4-6". The working depth of the laser wouldn’t need to change, just the available space underneath it. I’d buy one for sure!


I would back this immediately. I’ve considered and pre-ordered the glowforge on the available specs. Even though the thickness of the material is not that much I’ve discussed engravings with my friends and about two thirds that they come up with to have engravings on do not fit the glowforge.

Now I’m not planning to run a business for engraving so it’s only a minor issue for me. An extension on the bottom would be welcome.


Now when we know 1.5" is the max size, any glass except very small shot-glasses (and small spice jars) are out of the question.

So we need to etch them the normal way, by cutting out a mask and applying for example EtchAll.

All examples I’ve seen is vinyl masks which makes this a no-go. Is there any cuttable self-adhesive film that might survive etching?

There are quite a few places that sell materials for laser cutters.
This one has self adhesive polyester frisket.
I know nothing about this place other then that it came up on google!

I don’t know exactly which chemical is used in different brands for etching glass, but I guess some of them should stick

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So, I have an idea - if we remove the cutting tray, we should be able to cut a hole in the bottom of the Glowforge with it’s own laser, thus enabling larger items to fit!


Haha. Exactly that crossed my mind as well :slight_smile:

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So how did they do the spice jars on the samples? What am I missing? Or are they really narrow vials?

Those spice jars can fit inside the glowforge once you remove the media platform. The machine will accept up to 1.5 inch thick material for engraving.