Glowforge Material Manager Chrome Extension

I’ve spent the past week creating a Chrome browser extension that allows users to save and modify custom materials for use in the Glowforge web interface.

This project is not affiliated nor endorsed by Glowforge, Inc.


I have tested the extension on my home computers and it has not caused any issues with the Glowforge UI. I believe it is ready for testing and feedback in the wild. If worse comes to worse and the UI starts misbehaving, uninstalling or disabling the extension will return the Glowforge UI to normal.


Please install from the Chrome Webstore here.
If you wish to view the source click here.

The Basics

I am working on additional documentation though I believe many of the settings will be self explanatory for most people. The plus icon creates a new material, the minus icon removes a material, the edit icon edits a material and clicking a materials name displays its details.

Create / Edit / Remove


A material must have a thickness name, a material name, and a thickness in millimeters. The thickness name should be an adjective that describes the material and the material name should be the name of the material itself. However, you can use whatever phrasing you wish, there are no rules here :wink:

Thickness Name Material Name
Thin Baltic Birch
6mm Baltic Birch
1/4" Maple
Blue Cardboard

The extension does not currently use LPI as you are used to in the Glowforge UI, it leverages their internal definition of scan gap. Below is a chart that that defines the relationship between the two.

Scan Gap Settings Glowforge UI LPI
1 1355
2 675
3 450
4 340
5 270
6 225
7 195
8 170
9 150
10 135
11 125
12 115
13 105
14 95
15 90
16 85
17 80
18 75


One thing to note is that the materials created in the extension are not instantly available for use. It takes up to 10-15 seconds for material changes to synchronize with the Glowforge UI. When the icon in the title is yellow there is a pending change, when the icon is green the Glowforge UI and the extension are in sync.


Synchronization can be finicky at times, please make sure to refresh all open Glowforge UI pages after installing to the extension to make sure it is correctly enabled. If you find that a material was not synchronized, click the synchronization icon (the green or yellow circle) in the header. This will force a refresh to take place. If it doesn’t not turn green after a few seconds, refresh the Glowforge UI page.


  • Creation of Materials with custom names and nominal thickness set.
  • Custom Cut, Score, and Vector/Bitmap Engrave settings.
  • Score, Vector Engrave, and Bitmap Engrave settings can have multiple saved settings per material.
  • Material synchronization with across chrome browsers.


  • Removing a custom material refreshes the Glowforge UI.
  • Deleting the extension will delete your custom material settings.

Edit 1: Updated the LPI Table
Edit 2: Removed caveats that have been patched and added sync as a feature.


I wish I used chrome. FF here…

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Thanks for this. I can’t wait to try it out!

I keep a copy of Chrome installed just for using my Glowforge. The GFUI has fewer weird bugs when used with Chrome. (Although support for non-Chrome browsers has improved noticeably in the past six months.)


Cool project! I’ll keep an eye on it. This serves a real need.

I did run across an issue though, I didn’t find a way to scroll and the window wasn’t big enough. The "Create " Button dissapears when you have all the plus signs open.
Mac OS 10.13.3 Chrome 65.0.3325.162 (Official Build) (64-bit)

Congratulations on singlehandedly producing what is probably the MOST requested GFUI feature, something Glowforge is either ignoring, unwilling, or inexplicably unable to do. (And in one week no less)

Heres a screenshot


And thanks for ditching inches!


I’m looking into it. My mac is still running Sierra, I will update it tonight an test it tomorrow. It seems to be scrolling fine in Sierra.

If you get a chance can you answer the following questions:

  • Can you still scroll even without the scrollbar appearing?
  • Can you try setting Show Scroll Bars to always in system preferences?
  • Is it possible to create a material and use the edit functionality to add the score and engrave settings?

Either way, I will take a look tomorrow. I’ve seen reports of strange behavior with scroll bars in Chrome since Apple added the auto show scrollbars. Hopefully, it’s simple to resolve :smile:

I’ll check in the AM. The answer to the first question is No. I was not able to scroll at all which is why I could not save.

Also unimportant, but weird, when the window with the extension is dragged from one display to another, the extension window dissapears.

Awesome! Works for me!

The focal offset wasn’t very intuitive to me. I assume that’s using the internal reference in steps that Glowforge uses for focal height- or something along those lines? My default was to type in the offset that I was looking for (-.01") but that was returning NaN. I played around with it for a minute before just trying whole numbers and switching between Proofgrade/Manual to see what it was doing with the focal height value.

With the sections expanded, I was able to scroll OK using a magic mouse and the trackpad - but I also have show scroll bars set to Always.

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I just installed this and will try and see if I can add some material in the afternoon. Will you be logging the custom settings by users and eventually maybe releasing a ‘starter-pack’ data list ?

thanks for doing this!

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Brilliant! It’s amazing to see the impact a designer community built around Glowforge has on ironing out the issues Glowforge can’t fix. Hope I can contribute at some point too. Thanks for the hard work.

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Yes, This does fix it. Thanks!

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Fantastic work!

Can you imagine how many more extensions there would be if GF had a well documented (and stable) API for their UI?


Awesome. Thanks for releasing this. I’ll be testing this out tonight when I get in.

Um… WOW. This is great!!! Thank you!

Agreed, I’m still figuring out the best way to describe some of the properties. The fields I’ve made available are pretty raw at the moment. Aside from speed and power, I don’t do much translation and validation of the values entered. Internally the values for speed are still a mystery to me. They appear to be controlled by a logarithmic decay function…

I believe all fields except name are technically optional, as the Glowforge UI sets defaults when values are left blank. Focal Offset does not need to be set and will default to the thickness of the material supplied.

This post did reveal a mistake I was making, the extension currently treats focal offset as an integer when it should have been a real number. I will be rolling out a fix for that shortly.

Thanks for the feedback.


This might help re speeds

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Just tried this … with the “new material” defined --> use the ProofGrade setting to invoke the settings saved by the app versus the heretofore user input manual settings. Picks up what you defined and Voila!! :sunglasses::glowforge:


I must have missed the DONATE button. So please let me know how I can buy you a beer.