Does the laser bed have horizontal and vertical rulers for squaring up materials?

Can’t answer with a positive negative, but none that has ever been shown in any of the demos. Think one of the first things I will do is make a quick squaring jig. Could be as simple as a ruler with pins to fit in the honeycomb. The honeycomb itself will be reasonably square but because it is removable will never allow a precision measurement. If everything works well, the camera pre-registration will take care of most of the needed squaring.

I am in the process of making rulers and guides for my own laser cutter… but the glory of the camera and interface is that in the Glowforge you should have absolutely no need for them.

The glowforge has no rulers etc. but I believe the Steel laser bed has a square grid design(from memory) so this could be used roughly.

I believe they plan to have a feature to snap the design square to material if you want, so your material can be at an angle and still use all the space.

I’m sure the camera positioning will be capable of a lot, but eyeballing or relying on a camera exclusively to make sure my text is straight on my precut material still feels risky. Having something to align a material physically to goes a long way toward guaranteeing successful cuts and engraves.

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Precision alignment without any rulers or jigs is the dream. This thread is talking about it in terms of aligning to pre-printed materials, and has @tony and @dan 's attention:

You could use the machine to cut some acrylic with graduations (ruler marks) engraved on it. By cutting from corner to corner you could even make one the entire length of the bed in a single piece.

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Rulers (specifically metric/imperial tick marks on the side of the work surface) are more of a preference then a necessity .We heavily used them when we first got our first cnc. But with better motion controllers (i.e. LinuxCNC or Mach3/4) you can issue a G54 P1 for you materials then a P2 for you fixture. Then you have a constant location if you are doing a repetitive job. Then a couple years ago we added a borescope that was 40mm offset with tool. This makes doing double sided ops much much easier as you can perfectly visually see what you are lining up too. Basically the Glowforge has this (it has a Macro camera on the business end.)

If you absolutely need a form of measurement on edge of the work surface you can use this. This is a adhesive backed measuring tape.

You would need two sets. One for the X Axis and another for Y Axis.

Now, Without knowing what the edge of the work surface looks like- I am not sure there is a spot to place it. But I am sure with the Glowforge you could make a ‘shelf’ for it.

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No ruler in the hardware, but one in the software that’s rendered to scale against the image on the bed.


What about hard rails? Measurement is less a concern, more about alignment.

I think you would be better off cutting your own guide rails and sticking them to the honeycomb with magnets. Hard rails are just going to be in the way when you want to pull everything out so you can get something in there that is the max internal dimensions.

Or if you are cutting on a specific object you could cut a jig to hold it.

Both good options but if there’s nothing to square them to the same problem exists. I’d like to be able to do Jigs for repeatable work. Camera-only alignment makes me a little nervous. For example, If I have a hard square rail to line up a work piece to then I know that every time I start the engrave and cut will go exactly where I want. If I don’t have that I have to tweak every time and end up ruining prints and wasting material. Something fixed, straight, square, and immovable to physically align to is hugely important to repeatability. Not having anything is a huge miss.

Truly if alignment is that mission critical for you. A jig would be the best bet.

At any rate. I watched the video again and grab this screen capture.

CSI Enhancement Zoom:

There is a lip on the left and right hand side. The reason why there isn’t lip in the front or rear is for the passthru feature on the Pro. I’d assumed they’d use one part number for the work area/bed in both models for manufacturing/costs reasons.


That is funny!

Nice find! That’s the question I have been asking. Excellent.

Good detective work. You’re correct, although that’s an SLA prototype and not a shot off the tool, so it’s possible that changed - I don’t think it did, though.