Glowforge 3D Laser Printer

From sandbox
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page is currently under construction.

Glowforge Basic Laser Cutter


The Glowforge Basic is a 40 watt laser cutter / engraver capable of cutting a range of wood and plastic materials less than 1/4" (6.3mm) thick. The key attraction of the glowforge is all preparation and printing can be done wirelessly from any computer connected to the glowforge webpage. One thing to keep in mind is that the ONLY materials appropriate for the glowforge is the glowforge created and approved Proofgrade materials.

Safety Concerns

The laser cutter is safe when used by properly trained makers following our SOPs and cutting only approved materials. Used improperly, laser cutters present several risks that need to be understood by all makers. The most important safety concerns specific to laser cutter use are Fire, Fumes, and Laser Radiation.


Use of this tool requires the completion of a safety and usage training module. This training may be found on the Sandbox Canvas course In this module If this link does not work for you, ensure that you are enrolled in the course by going to and clicking on the 'Join this Course' or 'Enroll' button.

Self-training via this wiki, user manuals, or other sources is encouraged but does not substitute for the online training module. Students found using this tool without completing the Canvas training module are subject to disciplinary action which may include termination of Sandbox access.

Trained Managers

The managers that have adopted this tool and can help you with using. Keep in mind these are not the only managers that know how to use this tool, feel free to ask any. Full list of adopted tools can be found here here. Could not get URL after 3 tries.


Tips & Tricks

  • To use the Glowforge you first need to have an account created for you on Any manager who is Glowforge trained can do this for you.
  • Tips and tricks for using Adobe Illustrator to prepare graphics for laser cutting can be found here. After creating your image, you can import it into the glowforge application.
  • The usable materials for the glowforge is only Glowforge's ProofGrade material (a certain brand)


  • Air Filter


A downloaded copy of the Glowforge manual can be found on our shared drive

Manufacturer's Web Site



  • Glowforge exterior (Pro, Plus, and Basic): 38″ x 20.75″ x 8.25″ (965mm x 527mm x 210mm)

Work Area

  • Maximum material depth: 18" (455 mm) for Basic and Plus; unlimited for Pro
  • Maximum material width: 20″ (515 mm)
  • Cutting area: approx. 11″ (279 mm) deep and 19.5″ (495 mm) wide
  • Maximum material height: 2″ (50mm)
  • Maximum material height with tray: 0.5″ (13mm)

Material Capability

Can safely print on any laser-compatible material, with examples below. Glowforge recommends Proofgrade™ materials for automatic settings and perfect results.

Cuts & Engraves

  • wood
  • fabric
  • leather
  • paper
  • cardboard
  • plexiglass (acrylic)
  • Delrin (acetal)
  • mylar
  • rubber
  • cork
  • sandpaper
  • foods
  • ...and more

Engraves Only

  • glass
  • marble
  • rubber stamps
  • stone
  • ceramic tile
  • anodized aluminum
  • titanium
  • corian
  • ...and more


  • Easy and powerful interface will have you printing in minutes
  • Web interface works on Mac, PC, Linux, and many mobile devices (internet required)
  • Compatible with JPG, PNG, SVG, PDF, and other file formats
  • Drag-and-drop layout with live camera preview to position designs on the material
  • Automatically scan drawings and print without design software
  • Catalog of premium, customizable, ready-to-print designs

One Button Print

  • When used with Proofgrade materials, automatically determines settings for perfect cutting and engraving


  • Wide Angle Camera — Mounted on the lid, provides a view of the entire printable area, accurate within 0.25" (6mm)
  • Macro Camera — Mounted on the head, provides extreme up-close information for autofocus, accurate within 0.004" (0.1mm)


  • Exquisitely precise — low-power laser measurement scans the surface of the material to determine the exact height
  • Completely Internal — Lens moves internally up and down inside the head to print on materials up to 0.5” (13mm) thick
  • Multipass — Focus can be shifted between engrave passes, allowing detailed depth engraves
  • Manual focus option — the laser can be focused at a precise height to experiment with a range of techniques


  • Dual high-efficiency internal LED strips give your work broad illumination for a wide angle view
  • Headlights under the lid give point illumination for precise precisioning

Laser System

  • CO2 Laser — Custom CO2 glass laser tube capable of continuous operation at 10,600 nm; rated at 45 watts for Pro and 40 watts for Plus and Basic
  • Fixed Alignment — Factory calibrated optical system does not require any alignment by the user
  • Sealed Optics — Enclosed optical path with cleanable and replaceable windows protects the laser optics to avoid replacement or realignment


  • Case — High modulus injection molded plastic
  • Linear System — Custom extruded aluminum linear rails with belt driven v-wheel carrier
  • Motion — Dual hybrid stepper Y axis; single hybrid stepper X axis
  • Cooling — Closed loop self contained internal cooling.
  • Air Assist — Internal air assist with no external compressor hookup required
  • Recommended Operating Temperature: 60F-75F (16C-24C) Basic and Plus; 60F-81F (16C-27C) Pro


  • Wi-Fi required (2.4 GHz b/g/n and WPA2, WPA, WEP, or open)
  • Ventilation with either the Glowforge Compact Filter, or an open-able window within 8 feet
  • 110/220 VAC, 50 or 60 HZ outlet
  • Glowforge Basic, Plus, and Pro have 800W peak power consumption
  • Compact Filter has an additional 350W peak power consumption


  • Precision power settings allow enough control to draw lines on copy paper
  • 3D engrave settings carve detailed surfaces
  • Positioning precision to 0.001” (0.025mm)
  • Engraving up to 1355 DPI