3 years = $20

Well, third cake day and still the only thing I ever sold from this machine (pro) was a medal I made for a friend and he insisted on giving me $20 for. I’m not complaining, because I’ve made every Christmas present since then on the thing, and that has saved me a ton. (Many were just draftboard).
You guys who are paying for your hobby and making as much as a Nigerian prince in an email impress the heck out of me. I don’t know any people willing to pay even the cost of proofgrade material, much less a finished project. $200 for a lamp is a bit beyond my circles.
I’m just glad to be part of the crowd and see the cool things people come up with.
Keep calm, and Glowforge on.


As someone in between I’ll tell you what can make some cash flow from even cheep people.
Simi custom gift items that do not use a lot of wood.
I’ve done stuff for Valentine’s Day two different times and made about $300 both times.


I sometimes wonder what it’s like to not have the compulsion to monetize all hobbies.

I didn’t buy a Glowforge to start another business, but I couldn’t stop myself once I had it.


I don’t want to sell things because I don’t want to be stuck making the same things over and over.

I just want to create and explore my artistic limits.

I admire the amazing people who share their art with the world and get paid for their work!

For me though, the pressure of sales and supply ruins the experience of creating just because I can.

But who knows, maybe someday I’ll stumble on something that I would want to make a lot of!


Daniel Pink talks about motivation in his book Drive


One thing that stands out to me is there can be a hit to creativity once an artistic piece becomes a commission.

For me I found that when I was selling items it was a chore. When I was making them to give away or just to create it was relaxing and brought more joy.

Today I choose joy. :innocent:


Oh. And

HAPPY CAKE DAY!!!’ (Belated)


Back in the day, I saw what I was doing as printing my own money. As I was working in gold, I needed to sell stuff in order to pay for it, but the gold in the ring would cost me about $10 and it would sell easily for $100. There was the additional weirdness that folk could not own gold just for owning gold. You had to have it “as” something. But as a jewelry designer, I could buy all I wanted, so the price was artificially low.

Then Nixon changed the rules and that $100 ring cost $150 in gold, but the ring would not fetch even the gold value, and where the markup allowed a lot of work to go into the piece, now there was no money to actually do anything.

I went to silver for a while but that also climbed beyond reach of the effort, and then to sculpted copper, but where early on any imperfection was seen as proof of the handwork and more valuable, eventually the handwork was seen as a negative, and the mass-produced stuff was selling at a higher price than handwork in better materials. I never stopped doing the artwork but I did other things for money.

Designing for the catalog is helping to pay the expenses of indulging the effort, but I have no local market for even paying for the materials and even gift shops, where they exist locally, are just outlets for some international outfits that have exclusive access and by contract cannot sell anything else.


I had started selling only because I liked making so much that my husband said I needed to do something with it all. Did pretty good for a while, and then it became a chore, as I was selling in a local store downtown. Having to go down and see what had been sold, what didn’t sell, etc., became a hassle. So I did a few small craft fairs - made enough to pay for the space, but didn’t make a ton. So now all I’ve made is boxed up, cluttering up my work space. Now I concentrate more on either gifts or making useful things for our home - like custom drawer dividers for my IKEA drawers that I keep all my small kitchen appliances in.

However, since I purchased my GF because it looked like fun, I never meant for it to be a business, just a hobby. And I’m fine with that. So continue to enjoy your GF too!


I purchased my Glowforge Pro as a hobby, but I disguised it as a business opportunity. I haven’t made a single dime off of things made with the Glowforge, but I’ve made a lot off of the files I’ve created and selling replacement parts (wheels, belts, fans, etc.).

I have a lot of hobbies, only one of them ever turned into something to make money at.


I use my GF for personalized gifts. Haven’t made a single penny off of it, and, at this point, I don’t plan to. I know if it becomes ‘work’ it won’t be nearly as fun. But giving a personalized gift is awesome. I don’t typically create my own ‘designs’, purchase many of those and use premium for a lot as well, but it’s still something most people don’t have and there’s fun in the giving!


Almost three years with my Glowforge and the only “money” I have made is a couple of free haircuts for engraving some gifts for my hairdresser. My Glowforge feeds my need for creativity and like @marieregency, I am afraid the pressure of selling items would ruin that. Last night I whipped up a business card holder as a birthday gift for a colleague at work. I personalized it with his alma mater and he was thrilled. I love the feeling when I am able to give something personal like that with so little effort and make the recipient so happy. I don’t begrudge those that are able to sell items, designs, svg’s or the like. It just isn’t for me.


Didn’t buy it with the intent of selling anything. It’s just a tool in my workshop.

I make gifts for others but that’s it.


I do both…design stuff just for fun or a functional purpose…and also create designs for the catalog. Both things give me a measure of satisfaction. I actually like the actual designing part more than seeing the finished result. Designing and preparing something for the catalog is tedious and quite a PITA…but, once done, submitted, accepted, and published I don’t have to lift a finger again to reap the rewards. When I first started submitting, I went in with a fury. Now, I’ve slowed way down…and the income has done the same as well. There’s a huge competition going on in there.


I will say, if they didn’t require premium to submit designs, I might have done some I created that I think would do well. Que Sera Sera…


I tend to go all in when I start a new material or creation and make a bunch that pile up and then the wife reminds me that we don’t need 20 coasters or a dozen lamps or whatever and it’s an incentive to move on to something else. ADHD is a good thing - it causes me to go overboard but then lets my attention get grabbed by something else & I’m good :smiley:


This!!! As soon as I try to monetize a hobby I stop enjoying it. I’ll never be rich, but I’m happy. :grin:


There’s always the middle ground. I only make things for money during what I call a campaign which usually ends with the passing of a holiday.


I have a full time unrelated job and my :glowforge: is my creative outlet.
As most, I create original personalized gifts for friends and family.
I have learned a lot of peripheral skills related to owning, operating and designing for the :glowforge:
On ocassion, I have solved problems by creating a solution in the :glowforge:, and saved some money.

As a wise person here once said:
“Why buy a $3 replacement part when you can spend $3,000 on a Glowforge and make it yourself?” :rofl:


SAME!! I have a compulsion to monetize every hobby I love then I end up not loving it so much anymore lol. Though I can’t ever see myself NOT loving my GF time!


LOVE this perspective! Because my initial thought was “with how much this costs, I dang well better do something to earn my money back!” Yet I never think of trips, concert tickets, or other ‘expenses’ like that. Maybe I could just enjoy making things without monetizing it!