Got THE email. Advice for beginners?

I finally got the email. I’m excited that I should receive my glowforge this Wednesday which I thought would take up to 6 weeks. Anyone have good tips and advice for beginners like myself? I want to play with it right away!




My advice is to go spend 6 weeks at Disney.
That way you won’t think so much about the Glowforge arrival.


I’d say spend a lot of time reading up on venting solutions. Make sure you understand all the setup issues folks encounter. Read through the first prints.

I like to do the Glowforge wifi setup on a mobile device but keep a desktop computer separate and connected to your own network and logged in on

Do not try for your first print a giant engraving with many details.

Are you familiar with design software?

Are you expecting to use Glowforge designs?

What would you like to do? Go through the Free Designs category and pick a project you’d like to try.


Haha, well actually I’m getting it shorter length of time then that. Got my tracking number and should get it Wednesday. Whew!


I was skimming and missed that detail.
By all means start nesting!


Ok, yes the venting is gonna be a big issue for now.

I am not familiar with the design software.

I will be creating designs but also want to use Glowforge designs.

Is the free design category a topic here in forum os is there an actual website (link) to the Glowforge designs?

The forum has categories. Are you reading this on a tablet or phone or on a laptop/desktop? You can go to the categories by clicking on the menu lines up by your avatar (currently an orange D) and find Tips and Tricks, Free Laser Designs (made by forum contributors, not the Glowforge free designs which will be part of the app), and Made on a Glowforge that you can browse through. That will keep you busy.

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My tips:

  • However much area on a desk you have cleared, clear more space.
  • If you don’t have indoor ventilation, then make sure it’s near a window.
  • If you don’t have magnets, get some. If you use stripped hard drive magnets, then leave the magnets attached to the metal frame. (That makes the magnets strong in one direction, and weak in the other direction.)
  • Read the forums and find some fun projects – collect SVG files.
  • The first project is a glowforge founders ruler. Definitely DO that project. You’ll learn a lot just from that one project.
  • This forum is friendly – ask for help and suggestions (like you just did).

Un-filled strokes can be cuts or scores.

Un-stroked fills are engraved.

Use colors instead of layers to break your design up into different operations.

Commit to burning up some materials, experiment, and have fun.


well, i might say use colors and layers. you can color each layer, but layers are integral to working in design programs. but the colors are what you’ll use when you get into the GFUI.

  1. Patience. Both waiting for it to arrive, and then once it arrives waiting for the cloud app.
  2. You will go through materials much faster than you expect. Prepare accordingly.
  3. Plan the location if you haven’t already. Storage of materials is a big deal, as is ventilation. It will smell a little anyway, even with the best ventilation, but without good ventilation, it’s borderline hazardous. Lots of good threads on how to prepare for this.
  4. Work on your work flow. Learn Illustrator, Inkscape, and/or Fusion 360. Read the articles here on how to customize and use these apps best with GF.
  5. It will be a ton of fun. More fun than you’re probably thinking.

Good calipers are a must have.


My personal advice it to get it’s new “home” ready as fast as possible. I thought I had it all planned, but realized my garage-shop wasn’t viable (new house, still discovering how things are gonna work) and am now scrambling to get the basement-shop ready (clearing it out, struggles with venting, etc). Having received it already, this is a frustrating situation.


I am nowhere ready lol. The ventilation seems like it’s gonna be an issue until I get the air filter.

Join the club! :slight_smile:

Yea, give serious thought to your ventilation. So far the only thing that I’ve read on the boards that smells good is Fruit Leather. Everything else: you want OUT.

I am planning to locate mine in a large corner room with windows on both exterior walls. I’ll grab a window-mounted fan to ensure air is being drawn out as desired, unless the vent situation works out to be simple.

I was wondering - should I connect it thru a UPS?

I got it. Made the ruler. So much fun so far.


A post today from staff said UPS is not recommended.

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Agreed: No UPS. A UPS typically doesn’t work well with high-draw electronics (e.g., laser printers typically say “no UPS”).

But, personally, I would recommend a surge protector. Particularly if it isn’t the only device on the circuit.

I had a whole house surge protector installed at the breaker box, since the electrician was already there wiring up the new furnace. It was like $40.

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