For anyone who is a COMPLETE BEGINNER with laser design, designing softwares, etc

So anyone who knows me in this community, KNOWS that I am an absolute beginner at ALL of this. I mean ALL of this. Glowforge, Lasers, laser designs, any type of designing software, the whole sha-bang. I am probably one of the most inexperienced people that has EVER joined the Glowforge Community. Very quickly after receiving my Glowforge, I became very frustrated and very obsessed with trying to dive straight into the deep end without knowing how to swim. I couldn’t even upload a premade design into the GFUI. I didn’t even know what GFUI meant until about a week ago! LOL! Any term used, any software that has to deal with GF lifestyle that you can think of- I had probably never even heard of. Much less knowing how to manipulate it or even understand. Every piece of advice I was given, sounded like PigLatin to me. You can see for your self that I am speaking the truth HERE !! I was LOST! And I am definitely not very experienced, still. But I am learning. Now I can move around freely in software, I can design a box on my own. I can make a sign. I can do several things. (Which I cant wait to share the pics of my things when I get back to my shop because I forgot to take pictures and share. I am having some problems with some things now, but I am hoping that cleaning my machine yesterday cleared it up. BUT… I wanted to leave one of the biggest sources of help BESIDES my peeps from Glowforge Community because THEY were the biggest help leading up to my “ah-ha lightbulb moment”. I can not begin to tell you how much help they have been. Not just to me, but to every single person that shows concern along the way and needs help. These people are AMAZING!! But the first one that was a huge help to learning to piddle around in Inkscape was This Inkscape Tutorial. It starts very basic and shows you how to make all of those options disappear on Inkscape Interface, leaving only one row of tools being displayed, making it look much less disturbing. Then he walks you through each of the first group of tools. Describing each one as well as showing you how each of them works. Then, adding the next group of tools in order to walk you through slowly. It breaks it down in a way that is a lot less overwhelming for someone who is completely new to all of this. and require a subscription, but you get a free trial and it is more than enough time to go through all the tutorials you want to that have to deal with laser design.
Next, would have to be the class I took on Inventibles that will teach you how to do several things. Including DESIGNING YOUR OWN FILES! This helped me TREMENDOUSLY!!
Ok, now this next one is one that I haven’t gotten to experience fully yet. You do have to have a trial membership for it, too. And Adobe Illustrator as well in order to follow along like I want to.

I found all of these by googling “Learn laser design”, “Laser design for complete beginner’s”, “online classes for learning how to design for laser cutting”, and I could go on and on and on for days here. But I am sure you get the drift!

I am not real sure where this post belongs. I chose to put it in Glowforge Tips and Tricks but before I posted it, I received a warning that anyone who might be a “non-regular” yo Glowforge does not have access to this section. So I might need to post it in another Area. So it might be posted to two different areas here.

And last but definitely the most helpful would be your fellow Glowforge Community Members! They will stay up all hours of the night with you sometimes just to help! (I am not recommending you to ask them to do so) I am only telling you of my experience!

Now, with all of that being said…
Even though you all already know, I am gonna tell yah again! Yall are the BOMB.COM! And it is the most comforting feeling to newbies when we are in the midst of our temper tantrum, poor- poor pitiful me, I wanna give up but I can’t, desperate, emotional break down. It helps! A WHOLE LOT!!! And I must give credit where it is damn well due!!
Also, I feel that Glowforge should do a little research and take note of(which I am sure they can name several from the top of their head) and do something tiny and special for those who are always right on top of every situation putting themselves out on a limb and willingly walking into what can sometimes be a VERY stressful situation and putting themselves out there leaving the door open for some people that don’t have (as my father used to say) any “act right in their lives” and take things out on people who are only trying to help (Which I personally have only seen one situation where someone was being very rude and very unappreciative to the ones who were only trying to help)!

SO… I hope this helps anyone that might have trouble, like myself.


Looks like a good find, I’ll be exploring it latter.

Now do not take this as mean spirited because it is not meant that way but it makes things so much easier for some of us. White space, please! I almost stroke trying to get through run-on paragraphs. Weird, I can take a run-on sentence in stride (I’m often guilty myself) but a run on paragraph physically hurts. It looks like a wall to my dyslexic brain. //rant


Way to squash someones enthusiasm…


Sorry, it’s what I do.


I have to say…I remember always being pulled to the side in English class. Ms. Elkins would always say "This is what your grade could have been (100), but since you have a two-page paragraph…here is your big fat fail! I remember how hard my father fought me with this, as well as how long. I finally fixed it. Never did I have a problem with it again until the computer boomer days started 1-3yrs later Still to this day I can write and not once will it be an issue. But get back on the computer and it is like my brain has never even heard of a run on. I have always wondered if others have the same problem? Or just me. Maybe you just answered my life long question. Maybe I am the only one.


Trust me, as someone who notices, you are not the only one! I wish I could better parse in my head so it didn’t bother me, it’s not a grammar nazi thing with me, it just is very hard for me.


Anyway, I felt obligated to check the linked in thing and so far it looks great! I skipped the install videos as I have that down but the rest I am watching. It is amazing what you can learn when you think you already know something!


The only link I have ever been able to question is this:

They were teaching typing class to 7th graders at the new school system when I moved across the country. Rather than what grade my old school system was teaching. Which I want to say was 9th and up. So I missed the chance to take typing. And I would always try to type as fast as possible, without knowing the correct way. So I wonder if I acquired the bad habit back trying to make up for a skill I lacked.

YES! I found so many that were so very useful! I honestly am greatful for these little courses. Laser design is not the easiest skill to suddenly want to achieve Esp. when Only computer training I have been taught is Denticon, Maxident,Open Dental, etc.

I would only add that folks should check into their local libraries and see if they have online access to through the library. Ours does, and we get full access to all the courses including the exercise files, for free.


Thanks so much for the suggestion. Just looked and my library participates. Never thought to check.


Glowforge did make a lot of the Tips and Tricks possible by sending out so many pre-release units. So many of those who got these early machines participated in the forum constantly, documenting so much along the way. I’m still in debt for all the good things they threw my way.

I was there where you were at the beginning. I did know a little bit of Inkscape, but pretty much only the difference between vectors and rasters. Still learning every day.


Thank you! I too am a novice and feel like I am going backwards. I have a project I want to complete and I have waisted days trying to make it work. I will go through these tutorials.
You are GREAT!

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Nope! I was you…you are me.


A lot of us were a lot greener than we make out!


I got my glowforge and feel the same way you do…Its been sitting there for nearly a year because I cant figure out what program I need to make my own images or what file things need to be to be compatible. Sigh…


Welcome to the forum.

I am sorry that your Glowforge has been sitting for a year. You are missing some fun! I urge you to unbox and set it up. You don’t need any program to produce things available in the Glowforge catalog. There was a reason you invested in Glowforge. Let us help you get a return on your investment. You can do this! We will help.


You can do a whole lot with all the designs in Free Laser Designs. That will bring you up to speed on use. You can customize by dropping in bitmaps as they are, just to get a sense of what happens.

It seems like making your own designs is an important value. What things are you interested in creating? That will help narrow down your choice of software tools.

We are very good at hand-holding on this forum and problems solving. I hope you can get this wonderful machine going!


I have unboxed it lol and i have done small projects on it that are free on the glowforge website where I am stuck is how i add in my own personal projects…for example I made a plaque and want to personalize it with a name. I searched online an it told me to download Adobe. I downloaded and paid for Adobe illustrator but couldn’t figure out how to work that and send it over to a format the gloworge liked. Any tips on how I can do personalized projects in an easier program??
Thank you so much!

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well to start how I can add someones name to project or even an image found on the internet. I appreciate your help so much marmak

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