Stupid question day

People say they used 100 pew and 100 zoom. I missed the meaning?


Pew = power
Zoom = speed
Just kind of something that grew up here as there are no actual units published.


“pew” like a ray gun firing. Pew! Pew! Pew!
Zoom as the head zooms around.

And definitely not a stupid question.


Yeah, definitely not a stupid question. I have a hard enough time with fellow engineers not taking the Glowforge seriously. Those terms won’t ever come out of my mouth.


Ditto. Glowforge is Srs Bsns, no pew zone.


I love this question :blush:

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Yes, I’m used to Epilog lasers where we did things in percentages from 0 to 100 percent power and “speed” from 0 to 100. It suits my technical nature.

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Turn me loose on them. Some people need to lighten up. Subatomic particals are made of quarks after all. Do theoretical physicists have being occasionally frivolous down better than engineers?


No less than “charmed” quarks!

Since science is based on definitions, it is best that we use pews and zooms because that indicates the unique quality of Glowforge power and speed.


Indeed! The only other option was arbs for arbitrary. I think pews and zooms work great.

From what I have seen, I think so.

Off the top of my head –

There is a unit of time called a “shake,” as in shakes of a lamb’s tail.
There is a unit of area called a “barn,” as in “hit the broad side of.”


I agree with you and @markevans36301.

  1. Absent clear measures of power & speed, I see “Pews” and “Zooms” as a humorous GF-specific shorthand. I could have sworn that they came out of a discussion regarding what the actual measures were that frustrated some engineer, but my memory may be in error.
  2. Sometimes these speeds & feeds discussions can get heavy and zooms & pews lighten it a bit.

Glowforge has opened up laser cutting/engraving to a broad spectrum of users. Those who geeked out on Epilogs may find us noobs tiring, but sorry, welcome to the new world. We’re all in this together and the diversity of thinking will be amazing. I suppose typesetters were disgusted by the rest of us when the LaserWriter hit the market too.


Funny you mention the LaserWriter. I remember the first day I ever got to use one, and it was miraculous to hold a printout that looked like it might have been ripped right out of a real book.

Laser cutters have been around a long time, but my own GF is the first one that I have ever used. It gives me the same feeling–a file on the computer becomes a perfect, tangible thing in my hand… the impossible has become ordinary.


It’s arguable that using terms like pews and zooms encourages people to stay in the noob zone.

Who am I to tell people how to enjoy his or her laser cutting experience, you want to pew and zoom, have at it. I just won’t be joining you.

Edit: actually forget the stodgy angle here, it’s just another point of confusion to use the slangy terms. The ui says power and speed, and I think so should we. Why create confusion? The goal of a forum is to communicate, and while yes I think we should all share our ideas and express our personalities, making up arbitrary units is just asking for miscommunication.

And to elaborate on my bit about who am I to tell someone how to enjoy his or her laser, I think we all have our things that we like. I personally get into precision and geometry with a side of old timey engraves. Others like to use off the shelf designs that can be quickly realized, where precision doesn’t matter at all. Signs with no absolute size requirement, etc. There are so many ways to use this tool that well no doubt start to see non mutually-exclusive “types” of users, like makers vs crafters vs designers vs who knows what.

Off topic a bit here buuut…
It would be interesting to see if there are trends among users that GF will use for marketing purposes, like maybe draft board sales aren’t as high to people who buy designs, or vice versa. I’d imagine GF is contemplating how best to leverage the data we’re giving them here.

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But the point is to answer the question that comes after power/speed - what units? Since power is not % or watts, what does 50 power mean? What does a Full power setting mean when Basics and Pros are different? Pews solves that.

The same is true of speed - what units? It’s not inches/minute or second or mm/anything either. So zooms takes care of it.

Otherwise it’s just 50 power, 300 speed. And that’s no clearer than 50 pews and 300 zooms. It’s part of the dialect of the Glowforge Illuminati :slight_smile:


I’m referring to them as Potence and Celerity and you can’t stop me.


Now… STR and DEX, I’d be on board with.


Pews and zooms! Yes

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