Yeah... it's a ruler

It’s kind of funny… but since getting the GF, I’ve realized that I don’t have enough rulers. The “my first project” Glowforge Founders ruler is a great initial project, but I found it lacking:

  • It’s only 6" long. I really wanted 8" so I could measure bigger projects.
  • It’s only inches. But lots of the online projects measure stuff in millimeters. So I want both.
  • It’s made of wood – but I want something a little more flexible.

So… I’ve been making rulers out of “Fun Foam” (that cheap, 2mm thick foam from Hobby Lobby and Michaels). It comes in a variety of colors. (Shown here with PG medium draftboard for comparison.)

To make these, I engraved the text and lines. I cut the outer edge.

  • Engrave: Use variable power from 1-10 for discoloration. But can go up to 20 for depth. These rulers use 1000/20/340 (speed/power/LPI, or in GF lingo: 1000 zooms, 20 pews). Engraving at 225 LPI shows raster lines, but 340 doesn’t.
  • Thickness: 0.076" (2mm).
  • Cut: I used 500/60. At 500/50, you might have to gently tear it out.
  • Color: Red, Green, and Blue all engrave to a nice dark color. (Blue foam is dark, but engrave is still high contrast.) Yellow never gets very dark. There is foam in white and black, but they don’t discolor; they just emboss.
  • The kerf (amount that melts away from the laser) is about 0.025". And it WILL shrink back a little in the minute after cutting. Having said that, my SVG includes a border with the kerf so the final rulers are the correct size. (This is not a guarantee – don’t sue me if yours is off.)

Ruler 8in (16.5 KB)

ps. Does anyone else read “girlfriend” when they see “GF”? My GF is jealous of my GF.


Yes :blush: you need to have a talk with your :glowforge:, it really shouldn’t be jealous of your girlfriend :stuck_out_tongue:


That’s ingenious! I always pull out the measuring tape when I need flexible, and sometimes it’s just a little too flexible, KWIM? :grinning:


Ooo I like the hard drive magnets holding down the cards that hold down the foam. Technique noted!


If you put the magnets on the foam, then the foam becomes permanently imprinted with the crumbtray pattern.

The old hotel room key cards also make it easy to pick up the magnets.

NOTE: Do NOT cut the hotel room key cards! As I understand it, the plastic releases poisonous and corrosive gasses.

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The strongest magnets I have I ripped out of an old terabyte HDD. If you wrap them with duct tape, the ends stuck together, it gives you a little ‘flag’ you can easily pick them up by.

Nice rulers! :sunglasses:


My duct tape kung fu has moved to bi-colored flags!


That’s right, I forgot that was you. Yours is a superior method!

What I like about @dr.krawetz technique is minimal footprint. No matter the size of the magnet the hotel keys just covers a whisper of the material.


I wouldn’t recommend using such large, powerful magnets… keep in mind that the Glowforge head uses magnets to hold itself on… I’d be afraid of it knocking the head off if it passed over one of them that large.

The neat thing about those magnets: as long as they are still attached to the outer metal, they are very strong in one direction (down) and very weak in the other direction (up).


My GF is a Pro and I don’t mind because it is a potential source of income.


I hoping someone comes up with files to make these.
Multi-Angle Ruler Template Tool


YES! My heart sank when I read the title of this post in the support forum: MY GF just died


I actually own one of those!

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Haha i was going to try to make this myself by using the pictures online… I need this in my life too

Could you scan the pieces so we can behave badly? Lol. I’ll make the file!! :slight_smile:

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It’s not a file. Files aren’t good for measuring…they tend to rough up the thing being measured.



(I am just going to assume that here GF = glowforge)


I can picture you in those 90s chat rooms right now /smacks you with a fish
(ahhh the good ole days)