Transporting Glowforge

Dan stated that staff are taking GF home, to shows and such Voltage and Data usage for the off grid user?:

So are there recommended procedures to secure the laser head?

Securing the GF in general?

I remember seeing the 2 person carry pictures, but they did not look real stable.

Is there a case that the staff has found that has proper protection but minimum dimensions?


I am looking for more details beyond the Pelican Cases. I love the cases, but wonder about minimum padding in the case.

Also, if using the air filter, does it transport well in the same case? Does there need to be separation between the air filter and the GF?

Can the GF be transported in more than just the flat horizontal position? Since the weight of the GF and a Pelican case would push the 75 lbs mark, will using a 2 wheel hand cart (putting the GF on angle or its end) require internal XY axis arms stops or removal of the honeycomb tray?

If the GF gets transported in a non-flat horizontal position, how long should it be unpacked and left in its operational position before powering it up for use? I figure that it would need to reach room temperature, before turning it on (for colder climates) to prevent optics from clouding up (like glasses would).

Does the cooling system have issues like compressors do for fridges and freezers requiring acclimating or adjusting to being out of proper operating position?

Part of my plans for the GF is more utilitarian which will require transport to different locations once or twice every couple months. Not always having a second person (or larger vehicle) means angles and jostling that I am not happy about doing.

I have designs for lifting and moving the GF in and out of the case that keeps it in the horizontal position, but need to get the practical/real world experience to “Glowie” from feeling abused.


I plan to take careful notes on how it is packed when I receive it, including any additional material securing moving parts. I figure if I restore it to its as-shipped configuration, I should be able to move it with moderately rough handling, as though it’s being sent through the mail.


It’s out of context, but I do know that the GF team does a lot of transport of the units from this:

No idea yet what sort of arrangements they have for cases and whatnot…but they must be sturdy enough to handle some occasional transport, so it should be okay as long as you don’t drop-kick it around the room. (Might need to get some assistance to carry it.)

At any rate, we’ll know more as soon as December rolls around, and we’re due for an update from Dan then on how the shipping is going. :slight_smile:


I second this. The packaging their shipped in, with whatever strategic foam cushioning stuck inside, is probably the safest way to repack them if you’re planning on being a little rough with them (by which I mean, not keeping them in their normal position or moving them around a lot). They probably aren’t handled all that preciously while they’re being shipped, and the packaging is designed to take that kind of abuse.

Even if you don’t plan on taking your glowforge anywhere, you should still keep the packaging in case your move or ever need to send the glowforge back to HQ. It’s kind of annoying to keep big boxes and stuff, but it’s so worth it when you end up really needing it.


I would say it looks like head security is a relative non-issue. At least for short duration moves like most people will be dealing with.

At the New York Maker Faire I watched as they brought a unit back from the presentation on stage. Two people carried it over rather quickly over semi-level ground in a huge crowd. No massive precautions. Just the fastest waddle they could manage while carrying the moderately heavy/awkward load. Then they plopped it on the table, connected various plugs and vents, and… it worked.

If you are putting the machine in a truck for a full on relocation, pack it as you received it in the mail. If you are moving around your house, or taking it somewhere in town for a short demonstration… treat it like a super heavy microwave.

I know there is no way I would have moved my own laser nearly as cavalier as they moved the Glowforge at the Faire.


I keep them in the rafters in my garage. Then every once in awhile I look up there and notice I’ve got the box to something like a PC I bought 10 years ago (and has long since been disposed of) :slight_smile:


I write the end-of-warranty date on big boxes and recycle them when they"expire."


They might be tougher than they seem. I bought my laser cutter off eBay and it was used. The original owner didn’t secure it at all before shipping; no tape, no straps, no bolts, nothing. It was shipped freight so it was on a pallet (and therefor kept upright the whole time), but it wasn’t attached to the pallet in any way either.

Amazingly, it didn’t even need to be adjusted before use.


Note to self…I’ll try to remember to post the photos I take of the packing arrangement as I’m unpacking it, to serve as a reference for those wanting to pack it up again for transport.

Of course, that information will probably be contained the the user manual anyway.


Surely someone will upload an “unboxing of Glowforge” video to YouTube. I can always count on those when trying to figure out what goes where in an emergency repackaging.


There are a few pieces in the Glowforge for transport that are re-install-able. Two screws that hold the gantry in place, two silicon skids that keep the wheels on the gantry cushioned, and a clip that holds the head in place. While you can move it without them (I remember @jacobturner following us during that sprint at Maker Faire!) we recommend keeping them for moves. We recommend using the shipping box, although as noted we do sometimes (ok, often) put it in well-padded vehicles.


Thanks Dan! That definitely answered the securing of internal moving parts.

As you and others have mentioned, the shipping box can be reused, but the Pelican case will give me a very durable protective transport.

I hate to assume, but if the GF has not been in too much of a temperature extreme, it sounds like once the GF is unloaded from the transport case, and the screws, clips and silicon skids, it can be used immediately (without acclimation or coolant needing to “settle back to normal”).


That’s fantastic!! As someone who plans to go to craft shows and conventions this is reassuring!


Black Friday sale on a possible transport device. For some reason, the word “stat” keeps popping up in my head.


Okay, now there’s the official start of my Black Friday shopping :slightly_smiling_face: Ordered and will pick up on Friday morning. Thanks for the link!

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Noticed this Black Friday sale on Amazon… Lots of Pelican gear…


Not quite as “Straight into the vehicle” as I would hope for. But it looks solid.

@Dan & Co: Any words on the bottom of the Glowforge for if there are screw connections we can make use of with this?

Lacking screws to go directly in… first project to make would be wooden clamps I suppose. The feed stops may be able to be used to help secure the Forge, possibly put some straps/tie-downs across those?

Holding off on the purchase of this for now. I don’t think it will work with the Glowforge + Filter. But… if it does work, then I am quite willing to drop the full $200 on it. So, those of you who do get one, let us know how it goes (and hopefully you have a miter saw or other tool to use it with if the Glowforge fails to work out)


Bought mine online last night and picked it up at the store this morning.

It really is a heavy duty piece of hardware. I got a DeWalt stand for my high school drama department’s saw and this actually seems a bit beefier. I also like the saw attachment rails. Great idea. The handle is a solid handlebar now vs the two individual ones shown in the video. I think that probably stiffens it up.

If I were running this into a van or station wagon I expect I’d be able to find a way to mount a couple of small wheels on the handle end. Then I could roll it to the car on the two big wheels (12"), turn it around and then tilt the handle end into the car. The wheels would help roll it into the car.

Absent a way to screw the rails into the base, I will screw on a 3/4" piece of plywood onto the rails. Then add a couple of straps as you’ve suggested that would be screwed to the plywood and then run up & over the sides just outside the lid perimeter.

I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for a Pro. It would essentially just be sitting on a collapsible and rolling table. I think it will be more useful for a Pro in fact as I won’t have to be disconnecting & reconnecting a hose connection to a window or wall vent, just roll it around. I’ll be able to tuck it against the wall when not being used and then just pulling it out when I want to use it.

And it was only $99! :grinning: