Laser Designs are Hard

A bit of a rant here, but I have found that my years of owning a laser has overexposed me to the style of laser engraved products. I’ve seen some truly amazing things created with lasers, made some cool stuff myself here and there. But whenever I go looking for inspiration I find oodles of designs I can only describe as ‘who would pay for this easily recreated design’ and ‘this would be better without the laser’.

If you’re doing this as a business, I get the mundane nature of slapping fonts on things and calling it a design. Whatever pays those bills. But man, if I see one more generic geometric pattern slapped onto a wine box…

Does the community have any resources yall use to look for laser projects? Where do you guys search when you want to come up with something to do? Any really wowzer techniques you’ve come across? I am looking for something to do and coming up snake eyes.


Those wow techniques take much more time - which is why you see far fewer people utilizing them, but they’re definitely out there.

Honestly, spending time digging through any and all of @evansd2’s post will give you more inspiration than you can likely handle!


Take a look at this: Engraved dome puzzle


First of all, @deirdrebeth is too kind, but I’ll take it, thanks so much! That being said I am one of many people who have posted so much good stuff here.

I (and others) have been doing something for a while where I comment on older projects with “necrogame”, to bring some older projects back from the dead. It’s amazing how many great things are on here, it can be hard to find the older ones in particular. Luckily at this point there are a bunch for you to look at, you can find them with a search:

Likewise, you can also use the built in “top” lists. or search by date and number of likes. You’re sure to find so much.

You can look at the top stuff from the week, month, quarter, year, or all time. The best of the best.


Kerf cuts over living hinge looks very nice. Necro game has some great stuff in it too.


“this would be better without the laser” — I’m surprised we don’t see more inlay/marquetry projects here, as that’s one of the few areas where a laser cutter really shines. Another is complex fretwork.

“style of laser engraved products” — One of the curses is ubiquitous flatness. I’m learning to always incorporate a third dimension. When I did these ornaments, the flat version looked very laser-cut and boring (not to mention easily replaceable by a printed picture). By simply making it more layered, it became very elegant and not at all reminiscent of laser-cutting.

Look for ways to combine crafts. Lots of examples here. This clock was mostly laser-cut, but the traditional woodworking in the edge trim saved it from looking like a laser project. Or remember the artwork made from fabric.

Get inspiration from AI image generators. Once in a while they produce something that can be tweaked into a usable design, like these Halloween decorations.

Sometimes the AIs go crazy and give you something you think is impossible … then you start wondering if you can do it. I asked for a simple flat pinecone laser-cut Christmas ornament, and I got this instead, which I’m going to attempt… I have some ideas…


+1 for @Purplie ’s suggestion here.

I think of the Glowforge as a tool. I love what it can do and, I am always eager to learn new ways to use it.

I don’t think about “laser projects,” though. I think about projects.


That looks very similar to the famous spore lamp shade?


I hadn’t seen that before, thanks! Yes it does indeed, though my idea for construction is different.


A variation of what I have seen many times but every time awesome.

Or this commercial variant

There are many variants I can recall but cannot find.

I spent a lot of time on variants of these;


I was inspired by the hanging spore lamp to create my own as desktop lamp shades. I plan on doing a larger version of the hanging style to go over my kitchen island, someday… I like trying to figure out how something is made and then prototype, iterate, and create.


Those desktop lamp shades are super nice!


This forum has been the best source of amazing people doing amazing stuff. I like to think I’m a fairly creative person, but I’m not artistic. A lot of the things I’ve made have been inspired or outright copied (with permission) from what the talented artists here have invented. I’ve honed a lot of my skills using the software and hardware by seeing something and thinking “how would I make that?”

I know what you mean… many years back when I got my Silhouette Cameo, I opened their design store and I just like… seriously? You just typed the word “love” in a script font and slapped a price tag on it.


I saw those early on before getting to know you but only remembered the look of the piece, so when I went looking for the piece and saw it was you I am going “but of course!”


I guess I’ll need to be less predictable and step up my game! Thanks!!!


That has already happened, which makes it more predictable.


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