Fundamental Techniques with Stimulated Emission of Radiation - or Lasers for Dummies

After reading what everyone does with themselves, it seems that the majority have some previous experience with lasers and associated software - while there are many like me who are new to the technology and are climbing out of the laser 101 hole.
Those of us in my position are fortunate enough have a resource here in the forum of the Glowforge team, and experienced users that we have seen readily step up to help with this blind date rabbit hole we jumped into with both feet. Much appreciated, Thank you!

I encountered some information that was helpful to me, and I thought a thread with helpful links somewhere here would be worthwhile.
If you are like me, current resources were exhausted with the purchase of the Glowforge, and no room left for the professional software at the professional price. Fortunately there are capable free programs out there.

I’ll start it off here with a free plug-in for Inkscape with a tutorial I tripped over while digging around.
Courtesy of J Tech Photonics - Here

If I managed to place this inappropriately or it is redundant, moderators please behave accordingly.
Thank you all for your contributions, I need all the help I can get!


Glowforge - What Software to Learn

The above thread has a lot of good conversation around both free a professional software that can be used for projects related to laser cutting if you are interested.

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Just a quick skim of the link, but I believe it’s a plugin that creates G code. The Glowforge, unlike many consumer level lasers and CNC machines does not use G code. The standard SVG format from Inkscape will work fine with the Glowforge. Still a good link for some of our other machines.

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Yeah, as @rpegg notes: this tool is useless for Glowforge. But, everything they discuss prior to activating their extension is still useful. Instead of using their extension, you just run a Save As and choose SVG for file type.

Built in with Inkscape (.91 and later) are some laser centered extensions. These are found in Extensions->Render.

Gear and Hershey Text are the ones I know of as being laser oriented. I thought there was one for a tab and slot box generation, but don’t see that off hand.

Gear is aptly named. Generates gears. Hershey Text makes text in a limited range of fonts, but text which is designed for a laser to trace the outline only. Most normal text fonts will result in a raster type cut from the laser by default.

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Thank you for the link!

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Thank you Jacob, I appreciate the help!
Thank you @rpegg!