Would anyone else think a Scheduled Pause feature would come in handy?

I have a number of cases where I want to do some steps then pause it open the lid, make some changes and then close it again and then tell it to continue. Although you can press pause when your watching it which often you can miss. If we could add an pause step this would solve my problem where the Glowforge would just pause same way as if you have pressed the button and then you would open the lid, make the changes and then press the button for it to continue.

This would stop me from having to upload a file then set a bunch of steps to “ignore” and then cut. Then once done I change the ones I’ve done to “ignore”. Instead I could have it all setup in one go and then it would pause ready for me to make the changes.

Two key reasons I do this:

  1. If I want to precisely position an item for a cut or engrave I would first put cardboard taped down into the glowforge. I would then cut the outline of the item I want to place into the Glowforge. I then take out the cut part of the carboard only and then drop in the item I want to actually cut. (fyi - handy tip if anyone has problems trying to line anything up.)
  2. I often cut and score first with the protective lining on the wood but once done I then take the protective lining on the wood so I can do photo quality engraves. I would be great if I could get it to cut first and then auto pause and then I can open the lid and take the layer off before doing the photos.

This would actually not save me much time as I normally make the changes while the first cut is going on ready for the second run but there are cases where if there is a lot of steps I may make a mistake between steps where it would be easier to get it all ready from the beginning.

Let me know what everything else things of this idea?
I personally think it would be an easy addition to the code as most of the capability already exists.



The passthrough mode uses a pause in operations where the lid may be opened, so clearly this is feasible. The question is whether GF thinks it would add too much complexity to the standard flow, which they wish to be as simple as possible.

I think it could be intuitively done, and it would be nice if a pause block could include a pop-up message with instructions, e.g. “flip squares for rear engrave”.


I can do 95% of it on one step.

Just allow the lid to be opened when using the start button pause. It’s not as good as adding a pause step but it’d be useful.

Previously, like December 2017 previously:

It’s been requested so many times, yet instead we get more and more “eh” design features.


Allowing the lid to be opened then continuing would be a welcomed addition!!


This could be useful but we’ve been asking for folders for at least five years now so not going to hold my breath.


The answer to 90% of all GF questions is “use a jig” - and this absolutely applies here.

  1. Make an L framed jig that wedges into the back of the GF and side of the honeycomb.
  2. Leave it in the machine always
  3. Put all materials hard up against the jig.
  4. Problems solved

GF is focused on crafting features as that is what it is designed for.

Doesn’t hurt to email your request to them but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

I’ve personally never encountered a situation where what you suggest would have been more useful than just using a jig.


Maybe not all of your problems… there are some edge cases worth thinking about:

  • The tray can wiggle, which would throw you off.
  • Glowforge software determines what the home location is, and that can change. If I have a job where I need sub-kerf accuracy this could ruin the job.
  • Oddly shaped objects can be hard to align in your example.
  • If you have an item that is radially symmetrical (like circular) a corner jig may not be adequate.

and I’m sure there are other cases, these are just what I thought of at the moment.

A corner jig like you describe is probably handy for lots of quick projects, and likewise having a pause feature would be very useful in many situations.


You are just

The tray should not wiggle - if it does clean your GF
The home has never changed on me in all my years
Odd shapes don’t matter if 0,0 is always bottom left - it will still cut out consistently.
Radial symettry - ditto
There are a small handful of edge cases that need a special jig

Unfortunately, all trays have some play. The divots aren’t a sure thing, that’s what tray boots help with. There are a lot of things that might move your tray in the divots, like taking it out for cleaning or what have you. Also any strong jostling like inserting or removing a particularly snug hold down pin or bumping the material while doing passthrough work might move the tray.

The software based home can change, all depends on your tolerances whether or not you’ll notice. The homing process uses your lid camera to work and that’s been tweaked many times. Also if anything changes about your laser head the zero will definitely change. It may not have bitten you yet, but it definitely can.

Odd shapes and radial symmetry do matter if your angular position is critical. It may not seat properly in a right angle corner.

One off jigs solve for all of these cases, even if you use a compound jig for unusual materials. It is a bit more effort to set them up and use them, but for me the time I spend setting them up would all be worth it if I saved one job on nice materials.

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I have found that honeycomb pins do well as a temporary jig. If you do each part as a separate job you get all you are asking for. I frequently cut a large engraved area as a 6 power-500 speed score and thus remove only the area that will be engraved only and not messing the masking up.

If you do not mess with the location of the design on the screen, it will cut at exactly that place each time and if you have not moved the material it will cut correctly no matter how many “jobs” you give it to do. If you look at the numbers in Precise Placement and make sure they stay the same you can set the design to that same place at any time no matter what the alignment looks like on the screen.

I would use pause a hell of a lot more than repeat - but I imagine the programming would be similar. You should absolutely send an email off to support@glowforge.com :slight_smile: Sometimes things come out of the hopper, so maybe this will be one!

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I would love a pause, for a number of reasons!

This would be welcome for me, I have never thought to ask for this feature but it would be super helpful in some cases.

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When the pause that there is was introduced, there was a lot of talk that one should be able to lift the lid and change something that did not cancel the print. There was a lot of pushback from Glowforge that there were technical reasons and I doubt Glowforge has changed their mind.


I forget. Did passthrough come after pause? If so it seems like maybe those issues were solved?

I think the issues are different. The passthrough has a shape to match up, and even then frequently fails.

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Yeah… though it seems to me that the issues are a lot simpler with pause/continue. Like they wouldn’t need to align anything in the simplest cases, just pause, let us do things, and continue.

I want to trust them and assume there are good reasons why not, but the evidence seems to support that it could be done. In the end it feels like they just don’t want to do it/haven’t done it for some non-technical reason.


FNLs and the paperwork they fret over.

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i mean, almost every other major player in the laser market can do this. i do it all the time w/the universal at work. it’s especially useful when cutting huge sheets of veneer that were once on a roll. no matter how much you flatten those, they still have some curl. and after you cut a piece out and it curls up, i can pause, and either pull that piece out or weigh it down so it doesn’t stand up and block the laser head.