Take your Glowforge to work day

For 2 years I have served as faculty in the BIDMC SPIN course (surgical Program in Innovation). which is a course run for selected surgical residents to learn medical making. Some of you have seen a few of the videos I made a long time ago for the course explaining 3D printers, etc. So today was class #2 which was the CAD and prototyping class. The project in class (after watching my intro to CAD and intro to OnShape videos) was to design a clamp that attaches to the accessory rail that runs down the side of an OR Table. Many surgical devices are designed to clamp onto this rail While not a hard CAD project, requires reading a blueprint for the rail itself, worrying about clearance, plastic shrinkage, etc. So to introduce the project, I made a humorous video with the residency program director, who is one of our top surgeons at the hospital (and of course this makes her the perfect “straight man” for the video. The demo object is half 3D printed on my Prusa mk3 and half Glowforged (:proofgrade: white acrylic) but no time-lapse of the lasering unlike Octoprint which always makes one… Now of course since Discourse tends to eat vimeo links, I’m just going to post a hyperlink here (it’s short) rather than embedding the link.

In addition to using CAD we actually make stuff in class. So I filled the van up and schlepped it all down to Harvard Medical School’s Tosteson building, and set it all up in record time; although since there is no Ethernet (grumble) there was no way to join the guest network at HMS (since you have to agree to terms on the page (sigh). My only choice at that point was to use my laptop as a wifi hotspot onto the ethernet. Which worked great (well except you can’t run setup from a laptop acting as a basestation since you can’t switch wifi network - can I beat the dead horse of complaining about the lack of ethernet here again? One of the other faculty who also has a Glowforge, not yet setup, didn’t realize it can’t connect to 802.1x networks, so I am guessing the MIT Media Lab won’t be getting their Glowforge on any time soon… since every university environment I know has a complex wifi setup…) so had to do the setup from my phone (well that’s a hoot). Anyway eventually that worked with a lot of cursing @Dan (and for some reason the GLowforge’s stupid wifi board refused to even see the network due to the channel my mac selected by default, so manually switched to channel 16 and then it could see it (my phone could see it no problem as could several laptops in the room:

The setup

'Forging in action (and of course what didn’t make it into the box? A hose clamp, so who had to hold the stupid hose onto the back of the Glowforge (yeah, glad I put a long engrave on the demo…). Even just hanging it out the window worked great as the wind was fairly strong so blew it away immediately and no smell at all

(the young plastic surgeon in the pic got to press the big button! One of the surgeons wanted to know what the hell my escutcheon was for and what it was - obviously not a 12-monkeys fan…)

The Glowforge definitely makes a dramatic demo (I mean there is a blinking laser tube, what’s not to be amazed by)


Looks like a great day! :grinning:


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A show like that has to have given some in the crowd the itch…


Great write-up! That’s a lot of work to schlep all that gear, I’m sure it was appreciated.


Haha, cute video. Was that Scott Joplin ragtime Music?

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Yes the Maple Leaf Rag (needed it to be past copyright so it wouldn’t get snagged by the video server)

Way to go Henry. Nice demo.