Tested! Glowforge vs. PLA... is it possible?

Needed a hole in some PLA… Why drill when you can use a Glowforge. =)


That was interesting. Definately more precise than I expected, I expected more melting.


This is quite interesting and may well mean an alternate workflow at some point. It is good to know that you can post-process PLA prints with the :glowforge:.

Now I have to wonder what other printed plastics will cut well? I use a lot of T-glase, it would be awesome if this works with it.

I wish I could say I had a good reason to have tried it… I was walking by the table and it just jumped into my head.

I had not heard of T-glase, so I just looked it up. I use PLA and ABS pretty exclusively.

I just used guess and check on the numbers. Pretty crazy that it actually worked. As Brian above mentioned, I expected some melting as well. Will have to try a engrave and see if I can find some numbers that work.

The technique may be useful to add custom logos or the kids names to items I print. Thought I was just having fun, but this might even end up being useful. :grin:


I’m defiantly going to experiment as 90% of my prints are of a “practical” nature and end up being parts of something else. Often that means a need for precise holes. I’ve always just printed undersized and drilled in the past for this use case, but if everything is on the same plane, this looks like a better solution.


My stuff is at school, but now I am having to have to do a test of how accurate a hole I can get with this technique. That project was just for fun and I scaled everything… Looking forward to Monday now! =)


You know what? If you print solid this could be a way to get cleaner holes.

I am going to have to test it. That was only 2mm thick… Wonder how thick I can get through… This could get fun and messy at the same time. =)

I engrave and score PLA all the time, it’s very clean and seems to behave well around the laser.

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I spotted a few people recycling failed prints and other 3D print waste into laserable sheets, too.

Bonus: Previously-discussed ultrasonic craft knife shown in use in the video.


That is a super idea. I have tons of pla scrap I just store in bins… Have dreamt of getting a filastruder, but the combo of the Glowforge and laser cutting is sweet!!!

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Dude! Thats awesome! I need more space in my workshop now.


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