3D Laser Printer Lets You Engrave Sushi (And Other Things)

glowforge / glowforge

3D laser printer Glowforge may look like a simple printer from afar, but in reality, it's the key to a very fancy dinner party. Using a beam of light the width of a human hair, the printer can engrave, cut, and shape almost any material.

While the device is technically not printing anything, the laser can create complex shapes that are drawn or downloaded on a computer by cutting up materials placed inside the device. The 45-watt laser is so precise that it can cut out or engrave extremely complex designs (on surfaces as large as 20 by 12 inches), and is strong enough to cut through a quarter inch of plywood or acrylicGlowforge knows what materials you're popping in the machine, and the printer can adjust accordingly. For example, if you place your laptop inside, the laser will know to engrave without damaging the computer. 

Laser cutters are nothing new but this product is targeted towards beginners. Besides picking out a design and pressing a button, there's not a lot of work for the user. Glowforge has a collection of projects you can download and create using your printer—all you need is the raw material. Once you put the fixings into the machine, it will take it from there.

Most interestingly, it's safe to use on food which means you can cut out elaborate pieces of chocolate, or engrave delicate designs into your seaweed. If you ever wanted to eat one of your own drawings, now is your chance.

You can pre-order a Glowforge for just under $2000. Sure it's expensive, but after you buy it, you can engrave a fancy design into your now-empty wallet. 

[h/t: PSFK]