Help make shapes without Premium Subscription

Hey Everyone,

Is there any way to use the glowforge shapes without having to get the premium subscription?? I literally only use the circle to create a cutting path around leather patches. I’m new to all this but I was kinda bummed when all of a sudden I couldn’t add a shape without paying for it.


Before they had Premium (& in fact I still do this) I had a set of shapes - square, circle & lines in a file. I’d just use the add artwork button and grab the file and overlay it on the project I was doing so I could add a quick circle or something.


Welcome to the forum.

There are plenty of ways to get the shapes without the premium subscription. The easiest way is to use this file from the Free Files Section. Cut Shapes Template


You’re going to have a ball figuring all this stuff out… I did. It’s a treasure hunt in understanding.


Sorry, don’t think you can.
But you’ll really will help yourself by getting Inkscape (free) and learning how to create the basic shapes there (as svg files)–as it gets you on the learning curve for more complicated designs.

And once you’re used to loading from your own directory, it can be faster to load the shape from your file than open the Shapes, select circle, then change the size to what you want…

And you can Import any image for etching and combine with the shape and save the file, and then load into the GFUI–really does save a lot of time and also means you can save & reload & reprint that image as often as you want when it’s your own file.

And I often Ignore a shape I won’t be using for a while and then activate it again when needed instead of deleting and loading again later…

And much easier to set up multiple copies or versions in an Inkscape file to load to the GFUI than multiple copy & paste or different file uploads (which I first did before I realized there was a better way). At times I’ve done many of the same cut shape and optimize packing in my Inkscape file and with images i think I’ll use more than once, import and save a file for them, as well as a file of just the shapes…

Using the GF shapes can seem faster at times, but you can’t really save those images for later use, so if doing the same shape routinely, having a saved file you can edit and control is best.


Thank you, I found this shortly after my post. But do you know how you can do a 4 point adjustment instead of just 2? Right now I’m only able to make the shapes bigger and smaller and it would be great to be able to manipulate them a little more. Thanks for the help!

I think your best bet, as others have suggested, is to learn to use Inkscape or some other program. I am not exactly sure what adjustments you are trying to make in the Glowforge interface that you find limiting, but perhaps this information will be helpful: Scale Designs Precisely – Glowforge


I don’t really know what this means. I am not a graphics person. But I do know that when you add a shape (either with Premium, or with the “+” button) that you can resize/reshape it with the ruler icon. Most people think you can only make a circle and then change the size, but all you have to do is make sure the little “link” icon between H and W is unchecked. The you can change each individually, making ellipses possible. (or rectangles instead of squares, and whatnot)

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You can click the link icon when scaling if you don’t want to scale proportionally. Definitely click on the link @dklgood provided – that should be very helpful.

Treasure hunt is the perfect description. Every single time I read something new here at the community it is like discovering a treasure.

Many years ago, before the Internet I wanted to learn how to refinish furniture. My dear mother said “read a book.”

This is the reason why I own over 1000 hardback books that are dedicated to my hobbies.

The Glowforge forums is like one big book.


Thank you for this! I have saved it to my computer!

Thanks for the contributions, everyone. You make the Forum the treasure trove it is!

If you haven’t tried Inkscape yet, our Learn by Doing tutorials have a few projects to introduce you. You may find “Cut out a Shape” and “Make a Gift Tag from Scratch using Inkscape” most useful for what you’re asking here.

I’m going to close this thread. If you have further questions go ahead and post a new topic.

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