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Glowforge Laser Cutter - Things I Wish I'd Known.


Laser cut earrings and keychains I've had my Glowforge laser cutter for several months now and I've made some things that I'm really quite happy about. Someone recently asked me what I wish I'd known before I got the Glowforge, and I figured I'd expand those thoughts here.

I already knew this, but just so you also know: the Glowforge requires an internet connection to work, and it's not open-sourced. The on-line interface and catalog work very well, and make a lot of sense for both the user and manufacturer. But, if you're the type of person who needs to control the hardware themselves, the Glowforge probably isn't for you.

The Glowforge fits really well on this Ikea LACK coffee table. I spent really quite a lot of time searching on-line for a lot of workbenches that I didn't buy. Ooooooh, now the table comes with a lower shelf.

If you like prototyping on cardboard, get yourself a cutting mat and box cutter to make cutting that cardboard down to size a lot easier.

Gorilla Tape is really great for removing the protective paper from Glowforge's Proofgrade materials. Wrap a loop of tape sticky side out, around your hand, and press the cut pieces into the the tape. Pull the tape off the cut piece, and voilà, the protective paper peels right off.

For the most accurate material-to-cut alignment, place the material as close to center of bed (that's where the camera is) as possible.

A "No Artwork" error in the Glowforge online UI can mean "artwork doesn't fit in laser-able area."

I'm new to vector design software, and so I did a bit of playing around to figure out what worked best for me. Sketch (OSX only) is quite good, and Inkscape (Windows, OSX and Linus) is surprisingly good for free (open-source) software. But I'm most comfortable using Adobe Illustrator, probably because of my previous experience with Photoshop. For bonus points, it's available for both OXS and Windows, and it comes with a Creative Cloud subscription.

If you're considering buying a Glowforge (they're shipping now, you should get it in just 2 weeks), please consider using my referral code: You'll save some money and I'll get some money.


Tags: laser-cut, glowforge

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