Common problems/questions

Hello! You’ve been referred to this post because you have a common problem or question. Check out the list below to see what this post can do for you. Just click on a topic that interests you.

1: I'm new to Glowforge and really have no idea where to start

Hey, welcome to the forum!

Glowforge has a getting started page, it’s definitely worth your time:

When you’re ready for even more info, you’ll find everything in here interesting and useful, read through it and everything it links to.

New owner (well, almost)

1a: What else should I buy to go with my Glowforge?

Here’s a roundup of good threads about this.

What are some things to buy while waiting on your Glowforge?

2: I want to find masking/tape to cover my materials

Cash is king here. Click through for a recommendation for inexpensive masking material.

Cheapest 12" wide masking tape

3: I want to design/make a box

There are lots of sites that help you create boxes,here’s a listing.
Is there a free box building website

4: What materials are dangerous to laser?

A nice roundup of things to look out for.

"Do not laser" list?

5: Why won't my laser cut through my material?

Not sure about why, but this is how you troubleshoot it.

HELP! Not cutting all the way through gifts!

Plywood is sometimes inconsistent, especially if you buy it from a big box retail store. Here’s a trick that might help you figure out if your plywood has problems.

Trick for inspecting plywood

6: I don't know what settings to use to cut my material

It’s fast and easy to test. Click the link for more info.

New material cut test method

If you want to look at a list of materials, feel free, but beware these settings are just estimates. Testing is much better in the long run. Anyway, here you go:

Spreadsheet for Non-Proofgrade Materials

7: Are there any tricks to removing masking from lots of parts?

Yes, there are!

How to remove masking from 423 parts at once

8: How do I design finger joints?

The easiest way is with a box generator, see above. If you want top do something more custom, read this thread:

Variations of finger joints

And especially this bit about designing your own finger joints:
Variations of finger joints


Very helpful!


That’s lovely - under 6 I’d link the the First Prints on the support page as well.


Replying in lieu of “liking” twice.