So we bought a new basic Glowforge for Christmas and we’re having trouble choosing an SVG making program. We have very little experience in this department and we are looking for some ideas on a good program and HOPEFULLY some help!!
Most people who don’t want to pay for Adobe Illustrator choose to learn to use Inkscape. It’s a good program that will get everything done that you want to do, and it’s completely free. It’s also one of the programs supported by Glowforge, and there are many people here on the forum who know how to use it and can answer questions.
Best place to start with it is here:
I have no problem recommending Inkscape for all your SVG needs. It’s free, powerful, and comes with a lot of ready made tutorials and guides specifically for a Glowforge in the Tips and Tricks section and there are quite a few forum folks who use it and some are experts at using it efficiently.
Only drawback is if you use a Mac. I’m not sure where the state of the union is on this, but sometimes upgrades of either cause issues.
1.0 (in beta) has direct Mac support. I’m using the beta regularly now on Windows and Linux. Just save frequently or turn on autosave, there are still a few bugs left.
I’d also suggest downloading the 30 day trial of Affinity Designer, if you like it, then you can buy a license for $50, which covers personal use on as many either Windows PCs or Mac computers (licensed by platform). They also have an iPad version for $20, I believe.
I’ve converted to using it for 98% of my work.
Hope that helps.
I am very happy with Inkscape on Mac, although I do not use the 1.0 beta - did briefly, had too many issues. I’m on the last 0.9xxxx release and have never had a single issue.
There are many tutorials out there, including their own official support & documentation site. If you like visual/video, “Logos by Nick” has a complete series, I think over 60 videos, for Inkscape.
GIMP also, for raster editing.
I did my first entirely-Inkscape design for the Glowforge using the 1.0 beta on MacOS (10.14 Mojave) over the weekend (a pretty idiosyncratic tool tray). No issues apart from finding where things were that I already know how to do rapidly in Corel Draw.
I had never touched Inkscape until I purchased my Glowforge and now I am reasonably handy with it. You can apply raster images and even trace them in Inkscape, but to manipulate raster images to will need Gimp which is only idiosyncratic if you are used to something else,
I am also an inkscape user on mac (0.9xxx version). I think it has everything you could want when starting out. When it comes to GF needs, I haven’t come across anything that Inkscape couldn’t provide. I have gimp, too, but I actually prefer Photoshop Elements. I just go the 2020 version and it is powerful enough without the big subscription price. In terms of mentors, you have thousands in the forum! Of course, I, as I am sure many others, are happy to help through PM and email. Unless you wanted face to face. Check to see if there are other GF’ers in your area. I can’t help but think that they would love a meet up.
If you let us know where you are there may well be folks here living nearby.
It’s not perfect but I’ve had a lot of luck with it on Mac. The XQuartz window is a little wonky (it does not like multi-screen as much as I wish it did) but otherwise it’s great.
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