Difference Between Glowforge and CNC

Today there are so many gadgets that are used in daily lives that help us to carry out various work and make our lives easier. Different type of gadget is designed specifically keeping in mind the purpose of the gadgets. Some gadgets are computerized, some run on electricity, some on batteries, some are rechargeable, and many other different forms of gadgets are available in the modern world to enhance the lifestyle. One of the recent advancements that can be seen is the use of laser technology in different areas. One of the most common gadgets using laser technology is the laser cutting gadget. 

Glowforge vs CNC

The main difference between Glowforge and CNC is that Glowforge is a 3D laser printer and cutter, while CNC devices use computer programs and software to operate the printers and other CNC-based devices. The working of both of them are different, and the commands given are by different methods.

Glowforge vs CNC

Glowforge is a 3D laser device that can be used for both cutting and printing operations. The device can be easily operated by the presence of a switch button. It receives the command from the PC or laptop. It is connected to one end while another end is connected to the power cable.

CNC stands for Computer Numerically Controlled. The major devices using CNC are CNC laser cutters and CNC punch presses. The CNC laser cutter is used in the case of metal sheets and involves a number of operations. It also involves some of the gases for its operation.

Comparison Table Between Glowforge and CNC

Parameters of ComparisonGlowforgeCNC
Meaning3D laser cutter and printer, which can be operated and controlled by a simple button.CNC basically stands for Computer Numerically Controlled.
Device type3D laser printer and cutterCNC laser cutter, CNC punch press
StructureIt resembles a big box in the front face and has metal buttons and an exhaust fan. It connects to the power switch and power cable.The CNC is based on the software program, and the command runs through it.
OperationThe printing and cutting command is given by the PC or laptop connected.The cutting command is given by the software program.
WorkingA special feeder helps to cut any material at any length desired by the user.The CNC laser cutters employ laser beams and gases for the cutting of metals.
AccuracyLess accurateMore precise and clean cutting

What is Glowforge?

Glowforge is a 3D laser cutter and printer which can be operated and controlled by a simple button. The usage of the machine is very smooth and can be used by anyone. It helps in the cutting of any materials at any length. The machine is flexible and has a fast operation. The printing capability of the 3D printer is strong, and the print is retained well.

The glowforge 3D printer is pocket-friendly and has a good response mechanism. The printer has a special feeder which helps to cut any material at any length desired by the user. The cutter lets cutting of material by eleven inches. It has a structure that resembles a big box in the front face and has metal buttons. It has a four-inch exhaust fan and connects to the power switch and power cable. This helps to prevent the fumes generated during wood-cutting from being trapped in the device.

The working of the printer is quite similar to the other printers. The command is given to the printer by the PC or laptop. Following this, the start button of the printer starts flashing, which indicates the receiving of the information by the printer.

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What is CNC?

CNC basically stands for Computer Numerically Controlled. CNC laser cutting is a method used for the manufacturing process for sheet metal. The first step in this process is vaporization cutting which makes use of the laser beam. The CNC laser cutter can cut various types of metals such as copper, stainless steel, brass, aluminum, zinc, etc.

The CNC lases cutting employs different types of gases such as nitrogen, compressed air, etc., in the process of cutting the metals. The CNC process can also be employed in the punching presses. The main idea is to control the entire process by the computer rather than the own working mechanism of the device.

In the case of CNC laser cutters, the data can be entered in 2D or 3D format, which is then processed to create the suitable shape and cut in size required. The CNC laser cutters are more accurate, have quick processing, have easy programming, and also contain a large variety of tooling. The cuts made by these are clean and clear except for aluminum which creates problems while using this machine.

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Main Differences Between Glowforge and CNC

  1. Glowforge is a 3D laser cutter and printer which helps in the cutting of different materials. CNC devices are based on and controlled by computer operations.
  2. Glowforge can be easily handled using a simple button. CNC devices are used by software programs.
  3. Glowforge can be used for the cutting of woods, while CNC laser cutters are used for metals.
  4. Glowforge can be easily used by anyone when compared to CNC devices.
  5. CNC laser cutters make cleaner cuts than Glowforge.


Laser cutters have been an important invention in the past decade and keep on modifying the structure and functions for better operations. The cutting of materials has been made easy by employing laser beams and other advanced technology that makes the process smoother. Glowforge uses laser beams and is mainly used for wood-cutting. It also has a strong printing capacity and is effective. CNC laser cutters are used for cutting metals, especially metal sheets. The employment of laser technology and other gases makes the cutting process very effective and is preferred over other cutting processes.


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00170-014-6080-4
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0010448510000631
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Last update on 2022-08-08 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API