Feature Requests

As I approach the one-year mark of Glowforge ownership, I thought it might be a good time to think over some feature requests for the Glowforge User Interface (GFUI). Many of these involve the “step panel” on the left side of the screen. I’m not sure if it has a designated name, so I’ll just refer to it as the “sidebar.” I’ll also refer to individual items in that sidebar as “steps” to differentiate them from “objects” and “groups” when selected/grouped in the main GFUI preview/working area.

I thought it would be helpful if I broke the list up into categories, so I went with three:

A. things that I think every GFUI user ought to have and should theoretically be fairly easy to program given what I know about the current GFUI setup

B. things that I think every GFUI user ought to have, but which may be difficult or unfeasible to code

C. things that would probably require extensive coding and would be understandable to reserve for premium users, but which would actually make me become a premium user (I haven’t been able to justify the expense yet with current features).

Some of these may already have workarounds I’m unaware of, so I’d love to hear tips if others have any. I’ll update the list items with that info if it comes up.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s what I’ve got:

Category A

  • SAFETY ISSUE: Improvement of Proofgrade auto-setting of steps, particularly in score vs cut situations. I frequently use tightly-packed groups of score lines for, say, an engraved circle because it is much faster and prevents horizontal engrave lines. In complex jobs on PG material, I have sometimes forgotten to change one of these from cut to score, and only prevented a fire hazard because the UI gave the “area may be damaged” warning. One potential fix would be to assign a specific color in the GF “order of operations palette” that always defaults to score (perhaps at the cost of order, but that can be easily shifted).

  • Once custom setting is chosen for a sidebar step, an on/off toggle for printing. Same functionality as “ignore”, but without the need to fully re-enter settings when ready to print that step. A workaround is to move the object outside the cutting area, but this is less than ideal (particularly if part of a group where some things are being printed).

  • Actually select item in working area when clicking its step in the sidebar. This would help when adjusting something in a stack, such as when cut lines end up “under” transparent boundaries of a raster image, so you have to move the image to click the cut lines.

  • In the same vein as above, access to the size/position pop-up menu just by selecting a step in the sidebar. Would allow for precise adjustments without clicking objects in the working area and risking accidental slight movement.

  • Multi-select items in side bar and choose a setting for all of them. Could work with above for easy multi-object selection and movement/resizing. I know one can have objects automatically merged as a single step with GFUI color palette choices, but sometimes it’s useful to have separate steps, but the same setting for all of them.

  • With multi-step selection above, option to merge into single step.

Category B

  • Step visibility toggle. Hides the object(s) in that step from view in the working area. Default to ignore for safety when engaged. Would improve visibility with densely-packed jobs without having to move objects.

  • Lock object position. Would be helpful when moving some objects and not others, especially in complex files.

  • Access to your own past designs from the Add/+ button at the top of the GFUI. Sure, you can upload, but this would make for easier access. Note: I could see this being a premium option, but I didn’t place it there because all premium features that involve access to my own work rub me the wrong way, and are part of the reason I haven’t gone premium.

Category C

  • Numeric entry of object rotation angle. Let’s face it: manually rotating objects sucks, and is never precise. Also, choosing the rotation point (e.g., endpoint of line vs middle). I think this should be free to everyone, but I will admit that I’d pay for it if it was premium.

  • Ability to create custom material presets. Basically, if you have a non-PG material you commonly use, your own material profile so that “cut”, “score”, and “engrave” auto-set like PG material, but the user chooses the settings for each. I know others have requested QR code generation for that, and I know the QR codes don’t work that way. But it should be feasible in the GFUI, and would be totally understandable to reserve for premium users. I would join in a heartbeat if this was an option.
    EDIT: To clarify, I know about individual custom settings and use them a lot. My desire is to make custom materials so you can set your custom settings as defaults for cut/score/engrave.

Anyway, that’s all. Sorry for another one of my long posts, but hopefully this is helpful.

I assume you have emailed this to support because Glowforge personnel do not monitor this forum.


we have this already. check out the last item on the Working With Manual Mode support page, or search “custom settings”


Won’t help anyone here unless you email to support and they change things, but don’t hold your breath. Much of what you list has been requested for many years.

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I knew they didn’t monitor these for specific repair/troubleshooting requests, but I guess I hoped they at least assigned someone to occasionally peruse stuff like this. Sometimes the current procedures can be confusing because forum searches often kick back a lot from circa-2017 and things were ostensibly run differently then. I know I can sort by newest topics, but that’s neither here nor there. I’ll send it along via email. Thanks.

If anything, this post will give others a chance to share thoughts/tips on some of these things.

Not precisely what I was asking for. I definitely use saved manual settings a great deal. I was thinking of something more automated, where you can create a custom non-PG material (not just settings) and choose the default cut/score/engrave settings for that material. Then, when you choose your custom material, the GFUI auto-guesses what your steps should be and starts with your custom settings, just like it does with PG material.

Thank you as well. This is disheartening to hear, but good to know. I seem to see a lot of general long-term dissatisfaction with Glowforge as a company from many who have been around since the beginning. Would you say that’s true to some extent? It definitely doesn’t make me inclined to purchase things like Premium and extended warranties.

ok, i see what you mean, Essentially being able to group custom settings into a custom material choice. That makes sense.

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Don’t get me wrong, the machine functions just fine as it is. Premium is a joke for me, Inkscape is free and far more capable so that offers zero value, but the machine keeps printing. I’m over 4 years in now.

The user interface is just a place to align your design on the material and assign settings. No other functionality is necessary for me.


Just to note, I’ve been here since the beginning and I am satisfied with Glowforge as a company.




Many things on your list would be so very helpful for me. I have Essential Tremor so, precise movements and selections are nigh on to (and actually) impossible sometimes. I won’t hold my breath but, I will live in hope!

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I would not agree regarding the general long-term dissatisfaction from people that have been here a long time. Yes, we want folders and a few other things, but the machine has improved over time and they continue to strive to make the interface better. It is a hobby machine, so people that outgrow the Glowforge move on. Many of its features are geared toward new users and crafters.

There are lots more features now than when the machine was introduced, and they never promised to duplicate the features of graphics programs. It is a printer, not a design program.


Definitely a fair assessment. I regard the GFUI in the same way, which is why most of my suggestions are geared towards ease/accuracy of positioning and “print” settings.

It still bothers me to regard this as a printer on any level. It’s just…not. lol

I appreciate the feedback of your experience (and that of @jbv and @eflyguy as well). I tend to be one of those people who is always looking for ways to improve a system, and so when I see things that seem like they should be obvious features—particularly ones others have asked for as well—and they are not offered on a machine that cost this much, I tend to wonder how much a company cares about its users after initial purchase. Then, with that mindset, I end up with confirmation bias where I see sporadic complaints from long-term users, and I begin to think it is indicative of a systemic failure in the company’s approach. It’s really helpful to see it framed from the perspective of those who have actually been here for the last 5+ years, particularly in the vein of “believe me, there have been a lot of improvements since launch.” So again, thank you.

I agree (apart from calling it a printer). Like I mentioned above, most of my suggestions are in regards to things that either have to be done in the GFUI (print settings, etc), or may be done outside of it, but would be a lot easier if accessible within it (selecting/moving elements without clicking them, etc). But yeah, precision rotation and such is definitely better suited to initial design in a program…it would just be nice to have for last minute adjustments. Wishful thinking, lol.

Yarp. This.

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What I have been suggesting for years. Many times I have spent hours going back and forth trying to align that last half a degree of rotation. If your design is a long rectangle, and your material is a long rectangle of almost the same size that half a degree matters a lot.

That already exists.

these are my settings and you can see how I have named them.

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A debate in conceptual semantics. I took my user name from a computer display somewhere on the internet that was showing a dialog box of installed printers, and the last on the list was “Print to Laser”. I thought "How cool would that be?! " :star_struck: Now I own one!
That was before I joined the forum in 2015, and I am another of the first users who is very satisfied with the machine that works as well as it did new.


The ability to save settings for non-proofgrade materials was possibly the most anticipated feature. Before they released it, someone wrote a plug-in you could install in your browser.

I have something like 60 settings saved, but also recorded elsewhere because I have had stuff (specifically designs with settings assigned) vanish from the UI before. Not 60 different materials here - just settings for cut/score/raster/vector.

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Like most of the internet, what you don’t see is a lot of people popping in to say “all is well!” I’m also in the satisfied from the beginning camp. It hasn’t been without any hiccups, but I’m quite pleased with my Gf experience overall.