Glowforgey World in the Winter

99.9% Lurker…but I was just so excited and have been excited since I got my glowforge the day after Thanksgiving, talk about things to be thankful for, at everything I’ve been making. My experience with a laser cutter hasn’t gone further than watching the videos of others playing with this magic bringer of joy so I have to admit; I WAS TERRIFIED of the thing. Like the nervous shivering chihuahua who pees every time Aunt Carol comes over.

Aside from not-as-loud-as-I-think-it-is noise (I’ve tried several decibel meters), multitudes of warnings during the getting started, manuals, and your first prints documents; I look forward to coming home from work! ( I love work too so it’s not really out of the norm)

We of course start with the obligatory ruler!

From there I diverted from the course (I am a rebel like that) to start trying some of my own graphics. Now being the Photoshop aficionado that I am I was thoroughly excited. Not to worry - that died quickly as I soon learned you can’t manipulate much with raster graphics and Photoshop doesn’t support svgs.


Alas - as I further RTFM’d myself around the community (lurker, you peoples are awesome btw) Inkscape landed in my programs folder. Bit of a learning curve as I diverted from my projects into; What can I cut? That looks neat. So I made an attempt on a leaf at the lowest/fastest setting and my own living hinge (both disasters, if you ask a virgo).


The hinges broke on both but I’m one to make use of my mistakes; so I hand stitched my own book together.


So once again, I abandoned that idea and resorted to borrowing someone else’s until I figure out how to make one on my own. Thus continued the learning curve with Inkscape. I could engrave things, cut things, but never rotate them in addition to save each cut/engrave separate. Of course me being the newb as I was, I figured, I haven’t seen this question on the board so it’s probably just the way it is. So, I go about my business and discover vectors in inkscape. (I know all you intermediate and experts are like “DUH” but you have to remember from the perspective this-is-new-I-hate-it-I-don’t-understand starters.

This, this discovery was the best thing ever. If there is one thing I love more than Photoshop, it’s vector drawing. It was my all time hobby before I lost track of my FreeHand program. Then I discovered something magical when creating this:


It’s always something silly we do that ends up making us discover things. I find the best discoveries were done from silly mistakes. You could layer everything together - color them differently - make sure they are all vectors - and it’s like magic. Well, magic to me.

Being the holiday season and the efficiency hunter that I am; I expanded on my gift-tags by making them modular. I figure I love making things, why not bring some joy to other’s holiday too! Thus became: Homecrafted Custom Gift Tag/Ornament Keepsakes

  • Pick your shape
  • Pick your saying
  • Pick your inscription for the back.

After a few test runs, I am delighted with the results.

In the spirit of holiday tradition (and for sticking it out for this whole lurkers read) help yourself to spreading some holiday joy!

Oh, I also ended up going back to my original project and with Acrylic! (it really smells, but I haven’t tried leather yet…) I am very happy with the results.

Thank you for reading.


Hahaha–loved your story and your projects! Keep having fun! The effort to learn vector drawing programs will totally pay off in the end, as you are already finding.


Good for you! It was really fun to read about your story of discovery. One day you get to parametric modeling in Fusion 360!

The tutorials that several experienced Glowforgers have assembled help to navigate around early Glowforge indiosynchrasies regarding vectors/rasters, operation order, alignment… I’ve bookmarked so many, it’s beginning to look like I’ve highlighted the whole book! I assume that you’ve been going through The Matrix posts Community Glowforge Tutorials: Table of Contents. I guess, I’m mostly thinking about how I will get up-to-speed when my Glowforge arrives.

I can’t wait to see what else you make. Also, thank you for offering your designs. That’s a very nice thing to do and fitting for the season.

Merry Christmas!


Nice work!

I fully understand your journey of learning vector based design and I’m still learning and making lots of mistakes along the way.

Thanks for sharing.


You are officially a lurker-no-more!

Nice job of creations.


Lot of wonderful projects for a week of ownership! Can’t wait to see what week two brings! Congrats! :grinning:


Some great first projects!


Those look amazing! Nice job!


I will have to show this to my daughter. she wants to do small trees and ornaments for the cottages at Maryhurst(a facility for abused and neglected girls next year) While I got Beamer, we are also moving to a new house etc. and time is too constrained for this year. :frowning:

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Thank you for posting. Those are great projects!!

Great story. So glad you could master some skills fast to turn out some good products. So much potential for a creative person like you!


I’m always impressed when new owners jump right into complicated projects - living hinges? I’ve had my gforge for a couple of months and still haven’t attempted one. I think it’s a mixture of knowing what I can do, and wanting to minimize the material wasted in experimentation. Super cool to see what you can do already, and here’s wishing you good luck that your other projects are prosperous as well! :raising_hand_man: (this is a high five)


It all looks great and thank you for sharing!


In looking at your living hinges, they seem to be full cutout rectangles rather than single line cuts, which is the norm.

There are extensions that you can have in Inkscape that make living hinges. It does take some time to practice on real material to get a sense of it.

Check out my stamp roll file. It has some hinge files on it to get you started testing, even if you don’t make the whole box.


Thank you! I will try them out and update!


Funniest thing I’ve read today :smile: Thanks for the chuckle. You’ve done some great things for a scaredy cat in the first week!


I thoroughly enjoyed your commentary! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, troubles, and amazing first projects. Hope you are significantly less terrified now. :slight_smile:


What a nice start to your journey! Congratulations on finding the joy!

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