Don’t be afraid to ask anything - this is a great forum with some fantastic members. If you’re somewhat new, you may want to spend an evening or two going through all the older forum posts. There is a LOT (and I mean a LOT) of good information, suggestions, links to check out, etc. Again welcome !
Welcome Amy! We regularly work with 1/4" plywood (which is actually closer to 0.21" if I recall) and it cuts like butter. We haven’t tested 1/2" much but it should work with multi-pass (easier but rough edges) or double sided (have to flip it but cleaner edges) cutting; just expect it to be more than twice as slow as the cut time is more than double when the material is twice as thick.
The big caveat is - it depends a lot on the material. Some plywood is magnificent and some is terrible. It depends on obvious factors like visible quality (knots are bad) but also on invisible qualities like the chemical composition of the glue and the species of the interior plies. There’s no way to know if it’s cuttable without cutting, and no way to know if it emits harmful fumes without testing. So we recommend buying only plywood that’s intended for lasers, from companies like Inventables, Bur-Lane (like in this thread!), Laserbits, or us.
Hello Amy, thanks for joining us!
Judging from your artwork, this is going to be a great tool for you.
Many of us here have been cultivating patience for a year or more ( which is totally out of character for me) and have been following the development and the trials involved, as much as we could glean from what the team could divulge.
Although there are no guarantees, just projected timelines - the progression seems solid (We are still here).
I think the potential for a delay diminishes every week, but that is based only on my own perception of what has been accomplished, and the ability of the Glowforge team. (A read through the impressive qualifications of the staff is a big confidence builder.)
I have been such a fanboy of this project that some consider me delusional, but a positive outlook is required for me to remain involved. What the Glowforge promises to deliver has made it easier for me.
My bet is the company is going to deliver on time. Bear in mind I also bet on the projected June delivery…
But my belief is you won’t be waiting a year for yours.
As has been suggested, the forum is a great resource for information. The audience here spans a wide spectrum of professions and abilities. The cumulative input for over a year has resulted in a robust searchable database and a lot of educational reading. Enjoy!
Many have shared their creativity with us and we would all like to see more. Check out the “Show &Tell” thread for some inspiration, and share some of yours!
Welcome Aboard! Ask as many questions as you need! If someone already brought it up or answered it, I’m sure someone will point you in the right direction. Everyone is pretty friendly and helpful here.
This thread has a lot of info about materials people are buying and from where. I’m not quite sure where @chevalier_jeanpaul is keeping all the material he has collected so far!
For anyone else interested, their website lists the prices at $13-15 for a 12 x 24 inch sheet, with lower prices being for 1/8 inch and higher prices for 1/4 inch. There’s discounts for buying in bulk, like if you want to build a shanty town out of their Real Walnut 1/8 inch plywood, you’ll save 90 cents per sheet when you buy more than 100. Discounts for bulk purchases start at 25 sheets and increase from there.
Aromatic Real Cedar and Bamboo are only available in 1/8 inch and cost $13.95 per sheet and $16.99 respectively. Fiberboard Econo, which looks like maybe chipboard or something, is only $5-6 per sheet.
It notes that a clear finish is applied to both sides of walnut, maple, cherry, birch, bamboo, and cedar, but I don’t understand what that means. I wonder if that would interfere with staining the finished pieces…
It doesn’t seem like you can actually order from the website directly, which is just super annoying for those of us who are all hermit-y
Probably should have elaborated more then just yes…
Yes, the cedar is discolored because its the only one of the bunch without the clear coat. Im guessing they did that so you could smell the wood…lol. I wiped off the smoke discoloration on the others with alcohol although soapy water probably would work too. They all had yellow/brown smoke discoloration, like many coated woods do or ones with lots of sap when laser cut, but it came off easily without having to sand.
My storage solution is still far from ideal. We have a mini maker space going in our home theater/home office room. We are keeping the high tech stuff (3D printing, electronics, Silhouette, robotics…) separate from the less civilized workshop equipment. I am hoping to create some nice storage solutions using the GF and make some nicer desks once we figure out the ideal situation. For now, it’s workable.
Interesting. But aren’t these the ones made specifically for laser cutting? In that case it seems better to put the clear coat on it (to minimize discoloring) as the smell would probably come through anyway once you’ve engraved it (and thus removed the clear coat from the areas the laser touched) … hopefully they’ll have a cedar option with clear coat at some point.
With cedar you would simply put a paper mask on it to protect from wood discoloration. Cedar is rarely glossy in most applications…My guess is that if it’s coated, it looses the useful aroma to dissuade bugs and such…usually the reason for choosing cedar in the first place…