Is Premium worth the price?

My question is to the GlowForge users.

After spending the first month struggling with error messages, flame ups, and learning how to use the machine in limited time on weekends and after work, I did not get any time to try anything from Premium. The one thing I did use was Text and I found that useful but not worth $50/month.

I’m interested in hearing from the users that find Premium useful and for what reasons and how it is helping your bottom line. For me, I would only want to pay the $50 if it assists me enough to save time, and increase profit.

Also, if you’d like to suggest alternatives to Premium functionality that you use to avoid the hefty Premium price, I’d be interested in hearing from that angle as well.

I likely wouldn’t give it another try until I have become more proficient using the machine and other software (Inkscape).

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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This has been discussed soooo much, that many of us have moved on. You don’t need the premium package to successfully use your Glowforge. If you like the shapes element, there is a file of templates in the Free Design you can use. If you like the images, they are from the Noun Project and you can subscribe there or get some for free. The text tool is handy, but you can create text in Word, Powerpoint, Google Doc etc. save as pdf and drag onto the interface. All of the elements of the premium package can be accomplished in Inkscape or Illustrator - outline, flip etc.

It all comes down to how proficient you are in your design software, the value of your time and the projects you want to complete.


You still have a couple of days to lock in the 50% off price on the Premium subscription…so that would be $24.99/mo. for as long as you keep the subscription…if you haven’t decided yet, sign up for a couple of months and give yourself time to test it further. You can cancel at any time to stop the subscription if you decide you don’t want it.


If you sign up for noun project they actually give you more results to a search than you get with premium. I signed up for the 50% off price myself because I was running out of time to use it. I justified it with the faster servers but I don’t actually know how much faster it is. Am I paying to save 30 seconds to 1 minute per file? Or is it saving me 5-10 minutes a file? I’m sure someone knows.

The font package is nice but most of my design work is done outside of the GF app. You can always go to Google fonts for more free options too.

Basically I signed up for premium myself and just want to pass along my own thoughts on if it is worth it. I don’t even know for sure yet but like @Jules said. Sign up now for the 50% off so if you decide to keep it it’ll be a ton cheaper!

Hope this helps.


Yeah, it’s not exactly fair…I signed up for it, but I’ve got an idea of what’s coming, which we can’t really discuss in case it doesn’t come to pass. (Anything can happen.)

But if you can get it at a nice discount, that makes it a little less risky. The outline and mirroring functions are mainly what I use now. I’m sure I’ll get more involved with it next year.
(So I dove in at the discount…my mama didn’t raise no dummies.) :smile:

But it still needs a lot of work…it’s extremely basic at this point. (Not worth the full $50 a month yet.)


If you’re not going to use the free files, learning how to use a good editing program is your best alternative. Inkscape is free. Affinity Designer is relatively cheap. There were deeper discounts available, so I subscribed to Premium, but I personally would not pay $25 for it right now. That is obviously up to you and whether or not you use the features.


Just to clarify… this is basically the time it takes to go from you pressing the “Print” button and the print button starting to glow. I think you can answer this one yourself. :slight_smile:

As for the Noun project, if you’re using the GF for business, you need to pay per image used for full commercial (physical product rights). I have a Pro account with them for commercial use on digital/print content, but you can’t use that for physical items. GF comes with commercial rights appropriate for the GF. That could easily add up if you use their images regularly.


I had a free trial when my GF arrived only a few weeks ago. That trial ended and I signed up for Premium right away so I haven’t been able to see what the time difference is without premium.

I was able to pay a monthly fee for full commercial use rights. I use it for things beyond GF so this more than pays for itself.


If you quadruple the the time it takes now, how long is that? (In other words, unless you have a crazy complex file, you’re saving seconds on each print).

Nope. It’s incredibly misleading, but you’re paying for full commercial rights on certain types of use. Products for resale always seem to have their own commercial rights terms in outfits like this one, Here’s more info:

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I do have some very complex designs created in Inkscape that take about an hour and 10 minutes to cut. When I was having troubles the other day with error messages all day long, it took 3-5 minutes for these designs to load and then just error out with generic error message, so yes a faster load time would be valuable in those situations. Now that I’m not getting the error messages the load time is not so frustrating, but it is still food for thought.

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Thank you for all of the suggestions. I may go ahead and sign up at the reduced price now so I can see what I’m living without right now and then I can switch over gradually to some of the other suggestions (Noun Project).

I was unaware that you could drag files onto the interface, so I’ll have to test that out. Thank you for that tip.

One question I do have about the Shapes. I think I tried to use the shapes to create a rectangle in GlowForge interface and it would only create a square. I found that rather useless. Did I miss something? Are you able to create rectangles of different proportions in the Premium?

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You have to click the chain link thing in the measuring tool, it will unlock it. Then you can make it into a rectangle.


If I were to sign up for premium, will the machine actually cut faster, or does it just upload your files faster?

Premium does not change the actual cut or engrave times.


The only time difference on Premium is the processing time from when you click “print” in the web app until the light on the machine starts flashing white.

In my experience I save 5–30 seconds. (With most of my files being closer to 10 seconds saved.) If you do a lot of huge engrave operations though you may save a lot more time, perhaps a few minutes per job. But I think for most people the time savings are negligible and not a good reason to pay for Premium. The free designs and the design tools are better reasons to go Premium.


There has been a lot of discussion on this, and to be honest it usually devolves into something of a headache. So I’ll give you my honest opinion and hope that it gives you some of my perspective. Whether it is worth it or not is entirely a personal thing.

If you are asking should you pay 50 for features you may or may not use, then the answer is no. If you can create your own files, then there really isn’t anything more than convenience tools for you.

I create my own files. But I also bought the premium. I bought it because I was able to get it at the intro rate rather than the 50 dollars. I make a lot of random things, but to me, the commercial rights on some of the cool things in the library was worth it on it’s own. I haven’t sold anything yet, but I can’t tell you how many pairs of kumiko earrings I have printed off for gifts this year. One of my good friends is an actress and she was wearing them in a photo shoot. It was nice to see.

I’m also paying for the convenience of it. The outline feature has been so useful. Yes, I can create an outline in Inkscape, but it requires so much clean up. A few weeks ago I tried to make a quick secret santa gift for my daughter’s friend. I cleaned up an image in my drawing software and put it into Inkscape to make an outline. It was a headache.

I decided to try to outline tool in the interface…it was like magic. There was no duplicating and deleting nodes and cleaning anything up. It seriously took the shape of the image that showed up and I adjusted the outline from there, and then I used to shape tool to make a circle to cut it out.

I’ve also conveniently used those same tools and the graphics library to create a bunch of quick products for other people, and the relief of not having to worry about commercial rights to those graphics was worth the price for me.

Would I pay 50 dollars for the same service? No. But I didn’t have to. Because I was able to use a coupon code. The price I pay is well worth the convenience to ME. But again, if you aren’t using ANY of it, like you create everything in your own design software and never use the features, then you can get away with never purchasing it. It won’t have a major impact on what you are already doing.

As far as faster processing speeds, I haven’t made anything that took much time to process anyways. I have noticed the button glowing before my computer has even processed how long the cut will take. That doesn’t help me much, because I never start a project until I’ve written down how long each cut takes.

The following links are random projects I used the premium features to create.


Wow you’re not wrong, that is incredibly misleading. I need to go back and pay for some artwork now. Thanks for the info!

As far as the speed, some of my projects that don’t even seem too complex do take 2-3 minutes to process through premium. I run a lot of small one-offs so for me this would add up to a pretty decent time savings.

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I just canceled my premium membership. I wasn’t really using it, and I feel it’s high time I stand on my own two feet and start designing things on my own, no matter how much kicking and screaming I do. :wink:


I think one of the most useful tools with premium is the outline. It’s a quick way to cut an outline of a design on the fly. That alone is not worth the $50 by any means, however, I have hope for more stuff to come!!


The processing speed isn’t useful for me at all at this point, but because of the discount, I just hopped on board to lock in future features. I don’t need the onboard design features, but I agree with others… they’re handy to have in a pinch.