I need a real basic PRO training manual

Hello there how would I get a REAL basic easy to understand PRO learning material? I have a lot of brain problems and have a lot of problems learning and understanding hard material. I wanted to downgrade to get two none PRO units but cant afford it. My husband is worried I might hurt myself or my special needs kids might mess with it and hurt themselves. I might have to make a locking box to keep it in. I really am worried about the training material when I get it and wont understand it. Please any input would be great. THANKS!!


When you login to app.glowforge.com the Support tab has some training/tips.

If you have reviewed them, what else might be helpful?


And besides the Glowforge support folks, there are many owners in this forum who would be glad to help you. You won’t be left hanging!


Don’t worry yourself with the difficulty of the user interface or the technical aspects of the machine. The whole idea of the glowforge is to make it easy, and it does.
With the pro unit the main thing is to understand the safety requirements. Simple stuff like using a knife in the kitchen, don’t cut yourself. Don’t put something flammable on the stove and leave.

Understand the consequences of ignoring the hazard and you are fine. The user interface isn’t hard, and you will have that down in no time. The people here and support are there for you if you have questions.

I was completely ignorant of any of this, and had zero problems using the laser. So don’t worry, it really is simple.


I’ll just echo all the good responses already given. After you read the manual (which they made as simple to read and as user friendly and the Friendly Neighborhood Lawyer would let them) feel free to ask for clarifications and advice here on the forum. If you ask in this Support thread you will usually get both some immediate feedback from other owners, and even better, official feedback from one of the support staff. If you wanting to do something and it wasn’t covered in the manual that you could tell then you can ask a question in the “beyond the manual” part of the forum. I’ve found there’s always a lot of friendly, knowledgeable folks here willing to help whenever someone asks :smile:. And while these are powerful machines, and like any machine need to be treated with care and safety in mind, Glowforge intended for them to be used in the home and built in a lot of safeguards for that very reason.


I wouldn’t worry about the difference between a Basic and a Pro. The only material one is the pass-through slot and you can keep those closed.

After that, the Glowforge application user interface (GFUI) is the same for both, the way it operates is the same and the results will generally be the same (the Pro can cut a bit more and run longer without a pause than the Basic).


It’s very easy to use, and there are very good instructions in the manual to walk you through making your first cuts and engraves.

The things that you can get from the catalog will be just as easy to cut, since all of the design work is done for you. The instructions are provided in each file, and literally show you where to put the glue. They are very clear.

When you decide to start designing your own files for it, you can take your time and go at your own pace. It doesn’t take long, because it really is a simple process. If you’re already familiar with some kind of design software like Illustrator or Inkscape, you can do even more, but if not, there are tutorials and experts running around here to help you get started with designing too.

As far as your special needs children, Ive done a little work with them as well, and I’d recommend installing a lock on the door if you think they might be injured in any way during unsupervised activity.

The machine doesn’t operate without a specific sequence of events being performed, and it shuts itself off when the lid is opened for any reason, but it is a powerful tool and a Class 4 laser because of the pass through. It is unlikely that they would initiate it and hurt themselves with the laser part if the guards are in place, but the unit is heavy, and if one were to stumble into it on a lightweight cart, or if they cannot reach up high enough to open the lid and insert the material, it might fall. If they are unsupervised during use, a fire could start in some materials. Use your normal precautions depending on their needs, understanding, and motor control levels.

Special needs covers a lot of ground these days, if you think one of the kids might hurt themselves, don’t buy it. It’s as simple as that. :neutral_face:


The manual is super easy to understand and very clear – very matter of fact and straightforward, very step by step. I found the Pro info the same, and you can always have it available as you work.


We’ve done our best to create easy-to-understand and helpful training materials.

If you’re concerned, however, you can downgrade to a Basic any time before you receive the email saying your unit is ready. We’ll refund the difference between the price of the Pro and the price of a Basic. If you’d like to do that, just send an email to support@glowforge.com.