THE 3D Engrave

I know this is a tumultuous time, but Ive been waiting to see this since the glowforge was announced. Im sure anyone who read the email has seen it, but its easy to get lost in all the chaos of the delay, and I’m too excited not to post about it. In light of that I wanted to make a thread to talk about HOW AMAZING this 3d engrave looks!

I dont doubt that you have seen me be on dan and crew’s butt about the 3d engrave function. Well, they knocked it out of the park! I cant believe how amazing it looks, so kudos to the glowforge team. I really wasnt expecting to see this until after the new year some time. The quality appears to be incredibly high, and this is supposedly only at about 1/4 of max resolution!

This will potentially allow me to forgo needing to CNC or pay to resin print a LOT of 2.5d things. That in itself is a HUGE boon for me. My chinese laser cant do anything close to this.

Im really hoping the pre-release units will be able to do more 3d engraves now that the cat is out of the bag. I cant wait to see more!

Again, im blown away and cant wait to try this myself.

@dan Dont forget to upload that time lapse of the 3d engrave! we’re all on the edge of our seats for it


Yep! (I had a feeling that was going to be one they were saving up. They surpassed what I was expecting by an exponential “warp factor 10 Sulu” level.)

Remind me to compliment them on it profusely when all of the SHTF dies down.


I totally agree. The definition in these details is certainly a head above the crowd of existing lasers. I could never replicate that on the Chinese laser I paid more for than on the glowforge.


Don’t know if anyone heard it from where you are, but that boom was my mind exploding when I saw that picture. “Clean up in aisle 9, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma!”


So impressed with the quality. I’ve been keeping my Destiny clan in the loop on the laser since I plan to make things for people there and posted this morning about the delay, but with a “Look at this, though!” and that engraving.


Seriously, this is GORGEOUS. When I saw it a million new project ideas popped into my head. One of the most basic is if there’s enough detail to make things like 45° mitres from the face. That would be awesome to hide the standard laser cutter finger joints we always see.


I agree that it looks unbelievably good; will be nice to see the feature rolled out to betas to see what people can do with it. This will be awesome for super fine work; you’ll still need CNC for a natural wood finish, though, I suspect.


It looks nice. It’s not any better or worse than you can get with a Trotec or ULS. Wood is by nature a low definition medium. Bas relief engraving at 1000dpi or higher would be pointless in wood, it would look the same but take 6x longer.

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Common it’s also cut from a half inch piece of wood! One of my major pros for a cnc instead of a Glowforge was the extra wood thickness. This kind of nullifies that fact.


Absolutely–it took my breath away. Makes me more eager than ever to get my hands on the machine. I’m even experimenting with creating depth maps (thanks @takitus for your link on that).


aye, but id have to pay 3-5x the amount for one of those, and i just cant afford it. (theyre overpriced if you ask me). I also use quite a number of different materials in my builds beyond wood (acrylics, tooling foams/boards, etc), so I plan on making quite a bit of use out of the 3d engrave function.


That probably won’t be easy to do on initial production machines. Dan has said that linear depthmap gradients translate to very nonlinear depth cuts, and that a lot of fiddling with the Photoshop curves function is needed. He never really said whether or not he was able to achieve anything near a planar sloping cut. Plus, on any material that is not homogeneous, it will be very unlikely to be possible at all.


I could’t agree more. This was the one feature that i had been waiting to see for some time now.

I’m guessing you are really going to want to use the lowest resolution possible that shows the detail you need. i would bet the time needed to engrave at 1300 dpi is considerably longer then 350 dpi.


Ah, OK. I think I understood enough of those polysyllabic words to not expect this feature. Does not diminish the beauty of the engraving at all.


But on the positive side, they have lots of time to fine tune that feature!

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Must be my old eyes – what is the last word in their motto?

Home of Laser ???

Seems blurred out on both the graphic and wood versions. I know its a depth-of-field artifact of the photograph (not a poor engrave)-- I’m just curious.




That seriously kicks more ash than anything that has ever kicked ash before!


Also it’s pretty easy to cover laser joints with veneer (or heck, paint, but very few laser product sellers seem very interested in undertaking such finish work.


Yep, I see “Home of Laser Beams” too.