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Score and Engrave on Odd-Shaped Blanks with the Glowforge - The Rice Trick

The Glowforge is a powerful tool for creating intricate designs and beautiful pieces of art. It is also an excellent tool for engraving and scoring on odd-shaped blanks, but doing it right the first time can be tricky. Thankfully, there's a simple trick that can help you make sure your project comes out perfect every time: using a box filled with rice! With this technique, you can easily score and engrave on tricky shapes without worrying about making mistakes or having to start over. Read on to learn how it works! 

First you will want to pick your design. I used this dainty lined florals from the Home Grown Garden and Floral Bundle. This bundle includes 270 Design for just $9.99.

Next you will pick a blank that is thicker than the crumb tray. I am using these cute little gardening tools from Amazon! Next you will bring in the SVGs (or PDFs) of the designs.


After that is done you will want to pour rice into your box. After a few tries I got the box right so my engrave was perfect and you can grab the PDF for this box here:

I did multiple tests to get this box just right, trying a cardboard mailer box, a wooden tray and then creating this perfectly deep box. The key is the height of this box is in the sweet spot for the Glowforge to be able to engrave. This sweet spot is between the top of your crumb tray and .4 inches above your crumb tray.

Next you will remove the crumb tray, place your rice box onto the floor of your Glowforge. Then, you will place your odd-shaped item into the rice. The key to this is to make the top of the item you will engrave at the same height as the top of the box. I used a ruler to help push the item down into the rice as this makes sure the item doesn't go deeper than the side of the box. Next, it is time to auto focus your laser. you do this by clicking the 3 dots and selecting 'set focus'. 


Once it is auto focused send it to engrave or score. For this specific design I chose to score it using 300/15.



Overall, the rice trick is a great way to get yourself into the sweet spot for engraving and scoring on odd-shaped blanks with a Glowforge. With a properly constructed DIY box, you can easily position and secure your blanks for a perfect engrave or score every time.

As you can see in the photo below I tried multiple times to get it just right, the closest one the blank was in the sweet spot for engraving and the back two both fell outside of the sweet spot making the design appear blurry. 

Now grab the Home Grown Garden and Floral Bundle and try this simple trick the next time you're working with odd-shaped blanks and the Glowforge.

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