Do you really need an alignment jig to do an 8’ sign?

Made on Glowforge

Hi, Im Dave Cordner, was in kickstarter campaign but lost faith and bailed.

My son however kept the faith and his Pro unit arrived just before Christmas! Nice!

Well I’ve had so much fun with his Glowforge Pro, that I re-ordered a pro in the current campaign, and will receive it this Wednesday! It cost me more than during kickstarter campaign, but with lots of user experience now (since Christmas), it’s worth it.

Oh yes, here’s my referral code, pass it along, is great fun.

Sorry lost faith, but now I bought another because there are not enough “print-hours” in a day…

Here’s today’s Made on Glowforge story:
Well it started with restaurant owner showing me a poster, (above)
He liked the PUB names above the doors…

I purchased a Celtic font library, and installed. I used Turbo CAD to do layout at real world scale. The first time I tried to pass to Inkscape to create an svg, the text did not come through.

In Turbo Cad, you can select the “pretty font string” you want to print, and “explode” it. The result when you save file as dxf, and load into Inkscape, each of the letters is a grouped path(s) object. Assign a color, and you’re ready to pass to GF to print. Cool side effect of this was if you ungrouped the letters in the string in inkscape, then did select all, and rotate 90 degrees, the horizontally oriented letters/sign become a vertically oriented sign. Each letter rotates independently when ungrouped, and as a string when grouped.

ABC Becomes


Later you will see in the pics how I used Inkscape to manipulate geometry of text to create walls for 3D acrylic letter boxes which house the LEDs

Back to the Made on Glowforge story:
So we have a Glowforge Pro, pass-through slot… who needs alignment jig…

Showed Jeff the restaurant owner a prototype “sketch” not meant to be delivered, he wouldn’t let me take home. He bought my prototype and we installed on front of his building. Letters are 1/4” HD plywood.

The owner liked them so much he said he wanted two more and left the design work to me.
The result, installed just in time for St Patricks Day.

The sign in the daylight is made with baltic birch (.5”).

I loaded the sign into the GFUI, then using manual (100/full/1pass) and cut as many letters as I could from a 10”x20” baltic birch “blank”.

Character alignment was done with 8’x9” .25” HD plywood template, actually by product of printing letters.
Had HD cut panel 9” strips, then fed through passthrough slot.

As each letter cut, I slid the panel further through, aligning the previously cut letter with the cutout(s) (pushing the print job through manually).

I do not have AI, to cut and stack my art for use in jig alignment techniques as describe in forum. (thanks forum).

I decided to use the previously cut letter’s hole in the wood, and zoomed in, “select all ctrl-A”, followed by up arrow clicks to move the job along. Worked very well. Note, each time I had the lid open, I was sure to relocate crumb tray as pushing material through, can cause miss-alignments by tray movement.
I used a rubber stamp blank sitting on left side of crumb tray for simple, keep it square tool, remove, close lid, print next letter.

The lighted sign is mounted on 8’x9” box/frame. The frame holds the individual letters, and protects wiring and holds controller which displays 300+ patterns. The LEDs are linked letter to letter left to right. This allows patterns to run across the restaurant/pub name. Have you heard the phrase the whole 9 yards? (Length of GI induction processing line at basic training), well the LED sign has 12 meter’s of LEDs. :sunglasses:

The letters are constructed with .120 clear cast acrylic, for the base, 1/2” cast white acrylic for the sides, and proofgrade green acrylic on top. This is all. Capped with. A gold letter printed and affixed to acrylic Thanks to the Glowforge user forum, and frequent posters like glowforge user “cynd11” for giving idea adding double-tack to material then printing resulting in a sticker.
Here’s a couple pics from the bench

I live in the Denver area, and well, enjoy CLANCY’S IRISH PUB, 7000 W38th in Wheatridge, Tuesday evening is a Celtic Music Drop in evening of fun.

Drop by ask Jeff the owner who made the signs, I may have a guitar, mandolin or Guinness in my hand, but would love to visit.

I will post an update with a link to pdf, and or .docx file for anyone interested. Or message me and I’ll send along.

Thanks again to all in the forum who contribute. I read alot, ignore the piffle, take notes and am having a blast.


Pro job man!
Welcome back to the fold. :sunglasses:

7000 w. Just east of Wadsworth?


Wow! Wow! Wow! Amazing job!

Yep, across from Colorado Plus, south side of the street.

1 Like