2(ish) Weeks with my Glowforge


I see sharing “my first weeks with the glowforge” is a thing. What a grand idea! Here’s mine.

My machine, which I named Glowforgeous Splendifferus, arrived October 3. It took me a week to turn it on - I needed help moving it, and moving it again, and a quiet few hours to set it up. But October 9th I finally got to it.

First cut, the obligatory founders ruler:

As apparently is not uncommon, I didn’t have a backlog of plans for things to laser. So I started to look around for designs. I have a 6 year old. She draws like a 6 year old. So I scanned one of her designs and made my second project, the plaque.

I have a group I camp with. It has a logo. I also had a small RV, named the Guppy. It also has a logo.

I had only limited time that first day (because I had to pick up my 6 year old from school). So I cut 5 coasters with the camp logo and the RV guppy, to see what the light engrave vs dark engrave settings would get me. . . after which point I recognized that just dropping a JPG in the Glowforge App doesn’t give the best results. Doh.

I invested in some Gorilla tape for demasking. Highly recommend. After demasking, the guppys all but disappeared, especially the lightly engraved one :-/

The kid really liked her plaque when she saw it. She quickly whipped out a cat picture. I engraved it the next day(after she went to school). Now I’m beginning to see the alignment challenges firsthand.

I revisited the camp logo, this time processing it through Inkscape into a Black & White SVG file. I flipped yesterdays’s coasters over to cut some more. Better! Alignment is going to become something I need to figure out. Still happy with this days cuts.

I then spent a day teaching myself Inkscape. I made this design with vines and flowers.

The vines cut beautifully. The flower doesn’t want to engrave properly :frowning:

So I spent the next few hours trying to fix the flower (I added an outside star on some just to amuse myself). Even after futzing with it, I couldn’t get it sorted. It scores nicely, but doesn’t properly engrave - there is always a gap in the last petal. After a while, I moved on - I’ll get back to it someday.

My kid is going as a 1920’s flapper for Halloween. This means her father is setting up a speakeasy. So clearly, trinkets and signage must be made! (I also draw like a 6 year old. Those logos above were done by a professional.)

I’m particularly happy how the acrylic sign turned out. I had bought some lighted color changing bases off Ebay while I was waiting for Glowforgeous to arrive, and am just thrilled with how it lights the acrylic.

We now have a small pile of acrylic pendants to demask. And I have a bigger version of the sign to cut. Tomorrow! Her father is sure they will win the decorating contest. Or be banned for creating a Speakeasy at the Family Friendly event.

My alarm just sent off. Meaning, time to get the kid. (Yes, I set an alarm so I don’t lose track of time and forget to pick her up from school.)


That’s a great bunch of projects! Amazing that you got that far in only two weeks! :grinning:


Very nice set of projects. Good job!


Easy to see you are having fun!


Wow, those are some great first projects!

I have some ideas about why you are having trouble with the flower. Although you uploaded a PNG to this forum, it appears that you sent an SVG of the Inkscape file to the Glowforge. To me it looks like you sent a file where the flowers (as well as the vine leaves) were specified with a stroke and no fill. But because they are closed figures in the GFUI you can choose to do them as engraves and fill them in. That worked fine for the leaves, but the flower is a little more complex and you were at the mercy of how the stroke direction closed the figures. If you actually want the insides engraved, you need to change the parts you want engraved to fill, no stroke. That may require you to separate parts in your Inkscape file so some are stroked, some are filled. This may be more work that is worth it to you. You can learn more about this type of thing by looking over the tutorials in Glowforge Tips and Tricks. I would look for Inkscape tutorials in the 2D Vector Design section.


Thanks! I’ll try your suggestions & dig around some more in the Tips & Tricks. (well, after the speakeasy launches) Or, I’m thinking I might print it out, and then use the trace feature instead of editing it again :wink: What I was most surprised at is the GF App UI showed the flower complete, so I was expecting it to engrave that way - you know that WYSIWYG expectation .


Very nice example of how flexible the Glowforge is for getting designs onto different types of objects for a permanent display. Nice startoff!


This has really been bumming me out the last couple of days. I love how easy it is to use the GF, especially compared to my old K40, but the lack of precision placement makes many of the projects I want to do infeasible.

I think my particular GF has a bigger issue with this than others (I have a thread in the Problems and Support for it already, waiting to hear back), but even then I hope this is something they improve on greatly very soon.


I am planning to score a board with a grid, then place some circles on the intersections and score them, just to see for myself the camera alignments for my machine. Hopefully tomorrow - depends on how my Sunday as Mama is going. Fingers crossed.


“Just to amuse myself” - that’s the best! Glad to see your experimentation with different materials and designs. Keep up the awesome work :slight_smile:


Super cool first projects! Your daugher has some talent. Love the swirly arms and legs she uses for her people drawing :grin: I’m thinking merpeople and squidies. ??