Glowforge Premium in an educational setting

I work in an educational makerspace based on a school campus. We have several glowforge machines, but only one “premium account” that gives access to the full suite of design tools in the Glowforge design software. Since we can only share that with 3 accounts, how are educators granting access (temporarily) to students in classes. We have set up a generic user and gave it premium access but having 10 students log into that account to create designs causes a lot of issues. We could use another design software - but there are benefits to using the one that comes with the unit (however without premium access, features are quite limited). How are educators handling this? Am I missing something obvious? Thanks!

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You’re not missing anything. Teach your students to use a real design app, Inkscape is free and as capable as anything you might pay for. The students will be well equipped for any future in the graphic design world…


I don’t think you’re missing anything obvious. Given GF’s interest in the educational market perhaps email support - they can either help you work through the issues you’re having or perhaps provide a better solution.

Some other lasering teachers have mentioned they are having their students use apps like TinkerCAD, Cuttle or FlatFab (all low cost or free and easy to use. I would not recommend Inkscape at this time)


Welcome to the forum.

The users of this forum are Glowforge owners and not Glowforge support personnel. Therefore, unless we have had an experience similar to yours, we won’t be able to be of much help. Glowforge sales, or Glowforge support will be able to help you and may be able to provide enhanced user capabilities for your classroom.

Perhaps other educators are here in the forum and will weigh in to assist you with their experience and expertise.

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Interested in knowing why not? I’ve taught laser classes for years and always start with Inkscape - it’s free, downloadable to personal machines and lots of additional educational content on YT. I use it myself but only as a secondary design app - Corel, Affinity, Fusion 360, FreeCad tend to be my go-to design apps.

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Unfortunately, free doesn’t equal good or ‘will help you get a design job’. It’s trying too hard to take on big Adobe while coming up short. Personally, I think people starting out would be better served with smaller, low cost more polished apps that do a smaller set of things well. And lest you think I’m coming from an ‘Adobe or nothing for professionals!’ standpoint - we’re always on the lookout for the best, most cost effective thing. In many years and talking to hundreds of artists Inkscape is never anyone’s top choice. There are few things it does people will reach for like the living hinge generator and ability to export PES files (machine embroidery). You said yourself it’s not your first choice.

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Thanks. I’ve reached out to support to see what they advise. In some cases, and with some populations I work with, the GF tools in premium would be a very convenient and easy thing. I am using - and do teach apps like TinkerCad, Inkscape, Illustrator, and Photoshop. I will look into FlatFab and I’ve only recently tried out Cuttle. Personally I also like Lightburn but it’s not really compatible with glowforge at this time (or at least I’ve not figured that out yet)

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Yes, I understand. I was hoping other educators would chime in. It’s a pretty specific thing I’m asking about. I’ve reached out to support.

That’s because I learned others first and the other apps I listed are purpose-built for specific use cases like 3D engineering drawings that Inkscape is not. I don’t know that I’ve seen much here that couldn’t be done pretty simply with Inkscape - not a ton of “art” being created here. That Inkscape isn’t something artists look to as a first choice isn’t really applicable to the topic at hand. At best, it’s art being placed on 2D surfaces that might be combined into 3D objects. For an educational environment a good 2D design program like Inkscape is fine. The OP’s reference to essentially looking to replicate GF Premium design tools for the full class vs the individual account they have it for now suggests that flat design is what they’re doing and not art.


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