G.F newbie and stumped on which program to use

Hey GlowForge community- please don’t judge, but I have 1,000, 000 ideas but no clue where to start, all due to finding a program! I’m looking to do a majority of my projects using wood as my medium of choice for signs, wooden jewelry, etc. I’m looking for a program that gives me the ability to import personalized photos/writing and engrave them onto wood pieces as well as a program that has a lot of fonts to choose from for the cut out personalization of signs. I’m a total noob, so thanks for understanding the simplicity of this!

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Well welcome to the forum!

I have good news, this question has been asked As many time as there have been new owners, you’re not alone.

Rather than answer it all over again, I’ll point you to some previous discussions:

And I’ll point you to this thread which is full of suggestions for “what to learn first”:

You’ve got a lot of reading ahead of you! Get a snack and a drink and dig in, you’ll be glad you did. :slight_smile:


Okay, based on your OP (you didn’t say what kind of budget) go download Inkscape and GIMP they are both free and powerful. But before you dig deep into those work your way through several of the tutorials here. Being new as in brand new it is important to get your head firmly wrapped around the difference between a vector and a raster.


Thanks for your input! After kicking back and doing the research, I can finally enjoy the ride, using Inkscape. :slight_smile: I appreciate your help!

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Good advice on getting familiar with the way things work as a whole. It seems like common sense advice but when the excitement to just jump right in took over, stepping back to learn about the process as a whole really helped (I can even complete full Inkscape projects without playing a step by step Youtube vid in the background now :wink: ). Thanks!


Thanks for the feedback. Sometimes it is hard for us old timers to know if we are having an impact or not.

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Hello and welcome to the Glowforge community. I was in the same boat last year.

The Glowforge community is an incredible place with the most incredible people. The research feature on these forums is the very best. There will always be other community members that are very happy to help. You can also private message any one of us. Just click on our name.

Stay active in the community and you will be rewarded with friendships, humor, and the very best education about the Glowforge and everything that is associated with lasering.

Think of the Glowforge community as a very prestigious Ivy league college.

I use an iPad. Apps for the iPad ——Affinity Designer, Vectornator , Concepts

Udemy.com and skillshare.com are websites that offer online classes to learn all of these different programs and apps.

Here are a few website links that are very helpful.

  1. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sWOebDU94HwezYPbHa3YdtXjpLbEl_vEPvCb1dSByL4/htmlview?fbclid=IwAR3OXd3FuS8eprN0GHGnKHNXw9q_V5qtR4pTJoK2Jp7IsFVpx-R5uM1cI_A#gid=2079951607

  2. http://www.daniellewethington.com/getting-started-with-the-glowforge/

  3. http://www.clker.com/

  4. https://makerdesignlab.com/tutorials-tips/online-file-generators-for-laser-cutting/

  5. https://www.shillingtoneducation.com/blog/graphic-design-terms/

  6. https://suncatcherstudio.com/patterns/resize-print-image/

  7. https://logosbynick.com/inkscape/

  8. https://concepts.app/en/ios/manual/

  9. https://inkscape.org/~logosbynick/★logo-design-tutorial

  10. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MbDyBmBQzZ7BPdSNQ8vlyQPNVKXpDcVueLLqJWnpNAQ/edit#gid=0

  11. https://svgsilh.com/

  12. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17Wd6UZ8_WGDupc5WfMc_aiSxE-NoEuDfEByOFHLVxcc/htmlview#gid=0

  13. http://www.pixelias.com/vectornator-tutorials.html

  14. https://hackerfactor.com/glowforge.php

  15. https://support.glowforge.com/hc/en-us/articles/360033633574-Working-With-Manual-Mode

On Monday, I will be sending you a 500 question quiz. :wink::wink: :wink:


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