I wish this was a feature on the GF

A cool feature in Lightburn that would be awesome if it was implemented on the GF.

You could do this in any full-featured external editor using booleans. Inkscape/affinity/illustrator (and a few others) can easily do this, the GF UI editor is a toy by comparison.


The biggest difference is that you would have to have the layout right in Inkscape before porting it to the GF. Which is fine, with a new piece of material. But I frequently design my file then move it around in the GF UI to fit it on an already cut piece of material.

I guess I could go into inkscape, break apart the section I need to recut, port it over to the GF with the original cut file still loaded and manually try to line up the new section with the old. I wish I would have thought about that a month ago. Could have saved me a lot of non proof grade material, and possibly some time.

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If I have an oddly shaped piece of material, I will often take a photo of it, and trace it to scale in inkscape, to do my layout there. Any time it takes to do that is completely made up by inkscape’s better arrangement tools, especially when dealing with a design that is many small parts.

If I am working with a piece of non PG hardwood, I’ll just make a rectangle in inkscape that matches the size of the material and do my layout inside that. At the end I’ll either delete the outline, color code it so it can be ignored, or even remove a couple sides to make a corner jig if my fit is particularly precise. None if this is nearly as easy to do in the GF UI.

Then on importing to the UI if I spot an issue (like I meant to change a color of a path or something) I can go back to inkscape and alter it there, then re-upload to the UI.

Everyone’s got a different workflow, this one works for me and feels pretty effective and efficient.


this brings me back to one of my common lines of thought here. Often the amount of time and effort people put in to save literally pennies of material isn’t worth it. Take proofgrade plywood. At $22 per sheet and 240 square inches per sheet, you get a price of just $0.05/square inch. If you are worried about a 1" strip down the long side of your material, you’re talking about a dollar’s worth of material. To put that into perspective, your glowforge cost thousands on dollars, all of us have spent a great deal more than that on tools and tapes and external fans and whatnot, $1 shouldn’t be a make-it-or-break-it kind of amount. Besides, your hourly rate is hopefully high enough that the time it takes to stop the loss of 20 square inches of material is simply not worth it. Your time has great value.

Note, I chose this example so that would be intentionally huge, it’s so easy to get much more accurate than 1", so my example was overly generous. So, the next time you are fiddling with layout for 25 mins, ask if you’d pay a buck to have saved that time and frustration. My answer is almost always yes.


I didn’t even have to watch the video, the poster image gave me the idea of what was going on. It would indeed be great if the GFUI had some more features like that.

This is how I do it - except if you question your ability to line something up, then change the colour of the only part you want to re-do - upload your entire art and use the ruler in the lower corner to use math to line it up exactly, and then turn the parts you don’t want to re-cut to Ignore.

But yes, it would be cool if you could highlight an area within the GFUI and say “re-run everything in this spot”. Having to go back into Lightburn is (IMO) no better than having to go back into Inkscape. Honestly, the thing in that video that I’m envious of is being able to lift up the lid and mess with the material without losing the job! I feel like :glowforge: would have to put that under a (cell phone equivalent) Developer Options area.


GF has fallen into the trap of resting on past innovation.
Please offer an upgrade kit to the lid camera HW and/or bring the SW up to modern norms in terms of exposure balancing, and WYSIWYG

Deep cut. I fiddle far too long reorganizing in order to save a bit of cheap material.


I did the math once on spending an hour shopping for the best prices on resistors and capacitors and stuff. I agonized over 0.14 cents per resistor versus 0.19 cents. I think I saved like $2 on a $12 order.

It’s a lesson I have to relearn occasionally :slight_smile:


Not sure exactly what your issue is but :glowforge: is the farthest from “resting on past innovation” of any tool I work with.


There’s a weird psychological thing where people pay much more attention to small amounts of money than to large amounts. We more easily comprehend the small amount and feel in control.


I do obsess over a few cents in materials sometimes, but it is because I find it fun to optimize the process as well as make an item. “What if I needed to make 100 of these? How could I rescue a bad cut, or reduce the chance of a mishap?” is what I ask myself even though it’s hardly ever necessary!

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Possibly on the software side, but the hardware has stagnated. Carbide3D started about the same time (also with a Kickstarter/crowdfunding - but only an $11,000 one) and has come out with 6 different CNC machines in 3 different sizes. Oh, and 3 fully featured CAD/CAM software applications.

In the world of Silicon Valley hardware startups, GF is not a contender in terms of hardware innovation anymore.

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I’ve had a really good experience with my GF. Though there is plenty to complain about, if they released other products I would absolutely be willing to give them a fair evaluation. But there’s nothing. It seems like the vast majority of their effort is going into Premium features.

Operating my GF has been fun and it taught me a lot about what I want in my next laser. And there will be a next laser, eventually. I’m hooked on having this tool.

GF has the opportunity to sell me that laser… too bad they aren’t building it.


Subscription for everything is where it’s at. Ongoing revenue stream.

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to be fair, as tight-lipped as they are, we really have no idea if they’re building it.


Sure, fair enough.


I caught myself a few weeks ago thinking just how used to having a laser I am, and how life would be weird without a laser (all work things aside - just for making little personal things on a whim).


If it ever got out that they were, they would be inundated with questions and requests no end.

Glowforge is a fun device and there are folks on this forum who make truly beautiful and amazing things with it. Those people are the sole advantage that keeps glowforge in business.

The criticism regarding slow progress is well supported by facts.

Consider : Why are there no dates on the Latest Improvements page?

Compare : history

Glowforge finalized its HW in early 2018.
This included all products offered today (except perhaps the air filter?)
Has anything really changed since Tony left in 2017?
No new HW products in 4 years?
I can point at some competitors that are in same boat – Dremel for instance.
But… as pointed out in other replies …compared to many other companies in the larger maker space GF is stationary.

Software is not much better. GF puts 90% of software energy on the sales portal versus improving the machine. I get it … the community is their advantage. They are all about selling materials versus the actual device platform. (aka… Apple is a media company )

So … this is a business question.
Is Dan satisfied being a gateway product with all customers upgrading to other companies when they outgrow GF … or release new products that open new markets and grow the business.

GF is fun but it feels like just a transient stop along the way rather than a partner.
Really wish GF would be there for the journey .