First Cut: Turtles all the way down

So, after literally years of waiting… The GF has finally arrived. Open the box, everything intact… Incredibly professionally packaged, everything protected, setup super intuitive. Dan’s vision is a screaming success! Laser cutters for everybody!

So I plug it in - …and just stare at the screen for 40 minutes, trying to think of something worthy of the occasion. Look through some of my personal projects for the last few years, nothing inspires.
I get hungry and go to the kitchen to get food. I tell my wife that I am so overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the thing, that I literally can’t think of what to cut.

She says ‘Make me a turtle’.

Ok… brain kicks in to gear… ‘I’m going to make you the best turtle’, I say. I can do engrave, marquetry, …all the things!
I pick a picture of a stock turtle from shutter-stock, work some Illustrator magic… Drop in a piece of proof-grade maple, and GF just sees everything, suggests cut settings, which are all correct for the cuts I want. Press the magic go-button, and it just…does…what…its…designed…to…do!
First pass, perfect cuts/etch.
I cut the inlays in some press-board I had lying around, and it’s a bit more manual… I had to cut twice, because first pass didn’t go all the way through, (my ignorance, not GF’s fault) I pull out the finished bits, glue them together, and it is exactly what I envisioned. Less than an hour from conception to finished thing. My wife now has a turtle, and I have been lifted of the burden of deciding what my first project will be.

I am looking so much forward to playing with this thing. Thank you, thank you Dan, and team, for bringing this amazing machine to life. Each step of the process is a reminder that the GF is really something special!

Turtle says ‘Hi!’


Awesome turtle! (Marquetry looks great!) :grinning:


That is an awesome first job!

I know, right? Enjoy the adventure!


What a gorgeous little turtle!!! Great first project!

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Amazing, turtles are big down here as we are a hatching site. Lovely!

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I don’t have a feel for the size of this thing, but it seems like it would make a lovely pin or other piece of jewelry. Very nice!


I don’t have my GF yet, so I don’t know how large the holes in the crumb tray are. However, guessing, using the two hairs on the right as reference, I’d figure it’s about the size of a dime.

Thought I’d put it out there to see how close I am. :smile:


Funny, my wife also suggested it would work as a pendant. I may have to modify the design… The only problem with the glow forge, is it’s so easy to bang things out, now when I print something, I immediately want to improve it and print another one… ;p

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Eep, was hoping no one noticed the hair… Fact of life living with 3 dogs… The turtle is exactly 2 inches head to tail. I might make a smaller version as earrings though. Stay tuned. :slight_smile:

Turtle showen for scale! :rofl:

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While the glowy can make most anyone look good I am once again reminded that after almost a year I am still basically a toddler with a crayon.


Pfffft! :wink:

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I LOVE reading stories like this…full of excitement, enthusiasm, and high praise most deservedly for Dan and all of his amazing people. :slightly_smiling_face: And…I also love your turtle!

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Hi Turtle! :turtle:


Beautiful sea turtle. You could sell the heck out of those along the beach in Hawaii.


Nailed it! That’s a perfect description of how I feel.:crayon::crazy_face:


What a great first job.Ride the wave dude.


You say that like it’s a bad thing… Remember toddlers doodle on everything with that crayon. Walls, tables, furniture… They crayon for the sake of crayoning, with no self-criticism, no fear, and no shame! They crayon because just the process of crayoning is fun. The GF is an amazing machine, making all sorts of new things possible. I’m pretty sure I’d just get giddy watching it cut circles all day. Just keep it busy, enjoy the flow.

All the world’s great artists started with just a crayon, and no idea what they we’re doing. Get lost in the process of creation…of anything, and see where it takes you.

Crayon away markevans36301… I, for one, look forward to seeing what you do with it!


First a beautiful turtle, now a soliloquy for all us crayon doodlers.

Having had a PRU for the spring and summer I actually have a fair bit here.

This is the sort of thing that I like doing most:



And here I thought hatchlings were small?