Generating preset QR codes?

Apologies if this has been asked and answered somewhere else…

I recently received my GlowForge (Woo Hoo!). I’ve already done a few projects, leaving me with scraps of wood for playing around. (I’ve already give away some awesome door prizes.)

I really like how the proofgrade materials have a QR code (barcode) to automagically configure presets for etching and cutting power levels and for the material’s thickness. I’m currently putting in some of my leftover scraps (for smaller projects) and just dropping in the QR code for quickly presetting the GF.

I recently purchased a bunch of foam boards for prototyping. My idea is to try stuff on inexpensive foam board or poster board first, then move to wood when the prototype looks correct.

On this forum, I saw that someone already posted the settings for the foam board. (Thanks!)

My question is: Is there any tool or option to generate a custom QR code for this material? This way, I won’t have to manually set it each time.

I’m hoping for a very generic solution since I plan to use lots of materials that don’t have a proof barcode. (I want to etch glass, cork board, paper, cardboard, etc.) After I work out the preset settings (or find someone who has already posted them), I want to print out a QR code that I can use to rapidly configure the material.

The current proofgrade QR codes currently decode as “Glowforge:[6 letters]”. Like “Glowforge:A:KAAAD”. What do those letters mean? I’m hoping that they define settings – and not an index into some database that I can’t access directly. If they do reference a database, then can GF consider adding support for more complex QR codes? I’d really like to generate a QR code that effectively says:
This way, I can put in the foamboard, drop in the correct QR code from my little paper rolodex, and go.


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Here’s a topic that ran for 4 months that discusses this in detail:


Hi there!

Yes, asked/answered, but don’t apologize! The more the merrier! It’s a wonderful idea. :slight_smile:

I think you might be best off posting this in Problems and Support as a suggestion since Glowforge staff doesn’t necessary read other categories. I’d move this over there for you but, as I understand it, the creation of a post (not the existence) in Problems and Support triggers staff viewing.

I hope this feature gets included someday!


It has been kicked around (see link above) mainly because it is a great idea. Whole point of a computer is to make it do the repetitive work instead of you.
(Some things that worked and now have to be tweaked make me believe that the QR codes themselves are moving targets - meh).

Be that as it may, (for now at least), you are going to have to mark your raw materials or devise a snappy database to retrieve parameters.

I have already prepped a measurement on a lot of things I will be putting into the GF. If they did not have a masking on them then a small strip of masking worked well for the thickness.

You woke me up to another item though.
I can also place the forum found cut/engrave parameters on these non proofgrade items as well.

Certainly saves scouring the forums or flipping through notes when I got a machine to cut this stuff.


Good suggestion and has been talked about a bit. I do see the value of being able to generate your own QRC stickers to put on full sheets of material that you are going to process for production work. That would make it easier.

I’m not too interested in the QRC stickers as much as the functionality they represent: saved settings for materials. It’s easy enough to manual choose the material in the drop down box. Just to be able to select a material that you made default settings for would be helpful.

One thing to note is that since the software is officially incomplete, there may be some behind the scenes adjusting of power profiles and settings, with QRC , these settings would be adjusted off the board. Any individually saved settings are fair game for disruption at this point in time.

I see this as less an issue as when the beta and pre-release unit were in the wild and a few times there were complete reworking of the interface and the power profiles. But still, there would be a lot of unhappy campers who had done all this work making saved settings for their own material and then an update would make them useless. Just something to consider.

It wouldn’t make sense to code the Proofgrade settings directly on the sticker, as they want the ability to update the settings over time.

The settings in the UI are downloaded dynamically from when it starts up. How the QR code maps to that is left as an exercise to someone more interested.


Thanks @AhnoldZ. Good to know that other people have been thinking about this. But I’m not seeing any technical docs about what those 6 letters actually mean. I might need to reverse engineer the QR codes and see if I can figure out what everything means.

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The 6 letters are just an ID for their database to look up settings. There are no settings directly encoded in the QR code.


Barcode is just a form of coded information read by scanners or cameras. The information within them is code for material and settings. There is a lot of software out there for Barcode but can be expensive. Keyence. Cognex,printronix,etc. :slight_smile:

As others have said, the barcode is just a unique identifier, as per Dan here:


Thanks @johnse. That answers my question. :slight_smile:

I looked at the materials API page and noticed that there are 37 separate IDs, but the store has 35 separate PG :proofgrade: materials.

Do you notice what the difference is between the two? I am not a programming techie, but I normally can follow what is going on in the programming. What are the 2 extra IDs referencing? Or did it stand out to you that there are 2 extra (as of Nov 20th)?

I’m not particularly good at counting. If it helps, here it is reformatted into human.

Glowforge:1: Medium Clear Acrylic
Glowforge:2: Thick Clear Acrylic
Glowforge:3: Cherry Plywood, 1/4"
Glowforge:4: Walnut Plywood, 1/4"
Glowforge:5: Frosted Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:6: Teal Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:8: Cherry Hardwood, 1/8"
Glowforge:9: Maple Hardwood, 1/8"
Glowforge:10: Walnut Hardwood, 1/8"
Glowforge:12: Maple Plywood, 1/8"
Glowforge:13: Maple Plywood, 1/4"
Glowforge:14: Medium Natural Leather, 2-3 oz.
Glowforge:15: Thick Natural Leather, 5-6 oz.
Glowforge:16: Maple Veneer, 1/32"
Glowforge:17: Walnut Veneer, 1/32"
Glowforge:18: Cherry Veneer, 1/32"
Glowforge:19: Blue Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:24: Basswood Hardwood, 1/8"
Glowforge:25: Red Oak Hardwood, 1/8"
Glowforge:26: Cherry Plywood, 1/8"
Glowforge:27: Walnut Plywood, 1/8"
Glowforge:28: Poplar Hardwood, 1/8"
Glowforge:31: Black Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:32: White Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:33: Purple Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:34: Draftboard, 1/8"
Glowforge:35: Thin Natural Leather, 1.5 oz.
Glowforge:36: Red Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:37: Green Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:38: Orange Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:40: Yellow Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:41: Fluorescent Blue Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:42: Fluorescent Green Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:43: Fluorescent Orange Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:44: Fluorescent Pink Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:45: Fluorescent Yellow Acrylic, 1/8"
Glowforge:47: Draftboard, 1/4"


Got to learn about JSON things this morning.

The 2 unlisted items are Medium Fluorescent Orange Acrylic and Medium Fluorescent Yellow Acrylic that are not yet in the Shop (although the Medium Fluorescent Green Acrylic is using a Yellow image). :astonished: