Design Challenge #1

Glowforge Design Challenge #1

On the Glowforge Talkshow (#6), a design challenge was discussed by @polarbrainfreeze, @karaelena, and @rebecca. We thought it might be fun to bring the challenge to the forum. If folks enjoy this first design challenge, we can discuss posting additional challenges in the future.

All designs should be able to be created using a Glowforge. The intent of this first design challenge is engage all Glowforge users, regardless of technical or artistic ability. In other words, create something that any user could realistically print and assemble.

Guidelines for Design Challenge #1:

Create a design to be printed on a Glowforge following the guidelines posted below. Share your design in this thread. Let’s all discuss.

  1. The design can only use one type of material (e.g., wood, acrylic). Participants should select a material that could be in the Proofgrade collection.

  2. The design can only use one piece of material.

  3. The size of the material is limited to the size of the Glowforge technical specifications:
    —Working bed: 12″ x 20″ (300mm x 500mm)
    —Maximum thickness of material with tray installed: 0.5″ (13mm)
    —Maximum thickness of material with tray removed: 1.5″ (38mm)]

  4. The design can incorporate commonly available materials (e.g., rubber bands, paper clips, toothpicks, screws, and the like), but not more advanced components (e.g., electronic elements).

  5. The design can be fixed, movable, or propelled. If design is propelled, it must be propelled by human or natural means (e.g., thrown, hand cranked, wind powered, floatable.)

  6. We are only looking for design presentations since we don’t have Glowforges yet. Feel free to share images created via software or pictures of hand drawings.

  7. There is no deadline to this challenge. Share ideas as your timetable allows.

Please keep comments of Glowfolks’ work in line with this forum’s FAQ as posted on the Discourse website:

Thanks! I hope folks can join in!


I’m excited to see what people come up with. :smiley:

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I would love to see peoples imagination running wild .:thumbsup:

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oooo… do we get adhesive or no?

/starts formulating

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As adhesive is a common product, I say yes! Adhesive is allowed.


Oh, I will try and make some time for this. Will there be cookies or other care package for the winner? :yum:

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I am super excited to see what you all come up with.


Well, um, there is no winner. What?! If cookies were involved, I’d definitely send some your way. :upside_down:


If we voted on a winner, I’d be willing to send cookies!


Love it!! I might have a few ideas bouncing around…can’t wait to see what people share!

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Cookies from @kim1032? Awesome!

We chose the word “challenge” in the title to try to avoid competition. The nature of the thread is “come one, come all!” Share what you’ve got. Competition might lead to some not wanting to share a project.


Should the intent be that a Glowforge is the only “major” tool involved?
As in you can use a screwdriver but not a milling machine?
(asking for a friend) :slight_smile:


For clarification-

The goal is a start to finish design that can made with ONLY the glowforge basic and no 3rd party devices. (CNCs, Lathes, Drill Press, Planer, Orbital Sander, Jointer… etc…)

  • Hand tools are allowed. Power tools (battery powered or plug-in are not)

  • Common Adhesives are allowed. Common metal fasteners are allowed (small nails, small screws etc…)

  • Propulsion of said design can not be electrically powered. Common household apparatus are allowed (i.e. rubber band, paper clip etc…)

  • LEDs or AVRs (or any ICs for that matter) are not allowed.

Basically think of this as you are stuck on a island with one sheet of a material and a small box of common office supplies from the 99 cent section of OfficeMax/Depot/Dollar Store.

(Yes the GF is magically powered in this scenario).


Just to clarify, you mean LEDs, AVRs, ICs, etc are NOT allowed, correct?

It depends, what is an AVR What is an IC? :thinking:

@karaelena, what say you? :relaxed:

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“Your mission, should you choose to accept it”

-rebecca Regular


This is a terribly exciting, and terribly frustrating. As I have never had a GF or any laser cutter. I don’t fully understand its capacities or limitations. I do on paper, but it’s not the same.

I definitely feel slightly handicapped in this.


Indeed, this is why anything I submit will come with a giant disclaimer of “concept only, vectors need to be perfected with real laser and real materials”.
CNC and 3d printing proves this out. I am getting better but things almost always need tweaking.


I guess I’ll be the one to pop this cherry:

I’ve actually got a little material left. I could maybe make some little wooden livestock to throw

(Oh, and for an idea of scale and explanation, the round central pivot is sized for a standard round pencil.)


No promises, but if you include an SVG and materials list with your submission… well, who knows what would happen.