Digital files

I am new to the glowforge community I haven’t received my glowforge yet but I have started working with some svg software because I want to use my glowforge and soon as I receive it but I am so confused how did you guys learn to create your awesome work on with you software (I use Inkscape for now)


Trial and error…A lot of error and troubleshooting. Google and Youtube helped, but mostly I learned the software through trial and error and this forum.

What I couldn’t find an answer to online and through searching, I would ask a question and someone more knowledgeable than me was always kind enough to step in and help point me in the right direction.



The fundamentals of Inkscape come quickly, you will be rolling in no time.

Welcome to the forum Ken! :sunglasses:



Glowforge provides many tutorials, however, in their support pages - linked above.


I had never seen Inkscape when I purchased my Glowforge. So once it was installed I went through every command and tried to figure out what that command did and how it worked. Then later when I wanted to accomplish something I would remember the command that would do it.

I would also recommend setting up Gimp that is also free. Inkscape is great for vector information but falls short with raster stuff. Gimp is great with raster stuff but clumsy with vector stuff. Together they compliment each other very well.


All of the above plus let me make it easy for you. Go here and you will get lost in a wonderland. Most of it was written by members here while waiting for our units after the crowdfunding. Some of it has aged not so well but most of it is as valid as the day it was posted.


Start with very simple things. Fit basic shapes together to see how kerf works and to understand that the edges of cuts are slightly angled. These types of experiments help build your internal knowledge base and give you new ideas, making it easier for you to create new designs.


^^^^this- Once you have your Glowforge and run through the setup routines and made the required two pieces, then this is a good place to start that. But until then learn the programs you need to know when the Glowforge arrives. In that link, there were many who had to wait several years, for their Glowforge to arrive.


I tend to download things from the Free Laser Design sections and then mess with them in Inkscape until I understand - the tutorials linked above are fabulous.

For the :glowforge: itself, absolutely go through all of the First Prints. It will not only teach you the ins and outs of your laser - it’ll teach you some of the terminology we use without even thinking about it - and introduce you to Inkscape and how it interacts with the :glowforge:


It’s much easier to find a starting point that is close, and modify it. I can’t draw… not with a pen or a pen tool. But if I find something in the right ballpark I can adjust the paths, add and subtract simpler pieces, and make it into what I need.

If there is something specific I need to figure out… I Google it. After doing that 500 times I sort of learned Illustrator. :man_shrugging:

I also use OneNote to keep notes on graphics and laser techniques I don’t want to forget. I take a lot of photos and screen shots.


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