May 2022 Update

Before there were 3D laser printers – way, way before – humans still needed to make things. I love learning about ancient tools. Stone axes and knapped flint blades and early wheels. It’s all fascinating.

When I look at a Clovis point arrowhead, I think about someone’s great-great-really-great grandparent who spent hours making it, flake by flake. The only thing separating us is a measly 13,000 years.

Our ancient ancestors were pretty darn creative.

They were on my mind a lot this past week while I went camping with my family. We camped in the same hills as people have for millenia, but… we took some shortcuts.

Up at Dry Falls State Park, we set up our tent right text to the minivan. (I don’t think I would have made a very good hunter-gatherer.)

When people camped out in these woods thousands of years ago, they had to spend a whole lot of time worrying about problems like “where can I get clean water?” and “what’s for dinner?” and “how do I stay warm?”

(We did too, but the answers were all in plastic bins in the minivan.)

Our ancestors had to solve those problems by making things for themselves.

With 13,000 years of extra prep time, I got to worry less about food and water, and more about keeping the danged paper towel roll from falling into the dirt.

(I told you we cheated.)

I can’t show you an arrowhead I knapped myself. But here’s my design for a campsite paper towel holder that fits in a quart-size ziploc bag for storage - sketched while I was in the tent, now about to be printed on my Glowforge.

While you’re shaking your head in dismay, saying “Dan, Dan, Dan. That’s laser glamping, not camping,” I have a few more Glowforge updates to share:


  • Millennial themed keychains: May’s design of the month
  • Easier way to get your discounts…adds to cart
  • Educators take charge on sharing Glowforge with the next generation

Keychains that made our creative team feel seen

Kristy Edgar (@frompentopaperstudio) had some fun with May’s design of the month, creating little characters with big personalities. Meet Ryon the Rabbit, Tobias the Fox, Diantha the Bear, and Maxton the Pigeon. Can you tell they’re poking the tiniest bit of fun at millennials? I think it’s the fashionable glasses. Check ‘em out and learn each character’s backstory too. Of course, these are available to everyone, and free with your Glowforge Premium subscription.

20% Off Proofgrade for Premium members (easier than ever)

We’ve made the Premium program even better! Instead of having coupons for Proofgrade each month, your 20% off Premium Member perk will be automatically applied to your cart any time you shop. That makes it easier than ever to stock up on materials for your next big idea (or paper towel holder).

Meet the Glowforge Education Ambassadors

Over 3,600 schools have Glowforge 3d laser printers already, but we’re not done until every kid has the chance to experience the power of creation. To make that happen, we’ve partnered with a handful of amazing teachers - chosen from over 100 applicants - to show just what a Glowforge can do in the hands of our next generation. Meet some of the incredible teachers here!

Back from the wilds

Now that I’ve returned from the wilderness (with the help of a trusty minivan), I can’t shake the feeling of connection to ancient creation. It’s in every person’s soul, I think. It might also be in the campfire smoke that’s still stuck to my jacket.

Bear Grylls I ain’t, but I still managed to make plenty around the campfire. For starters, I made the fire!

With some tin foil and a pocket knife, we had vegetable packets for cooking in the embers. With a few green branches and a hatchet, we had stands for our s’mores.

It was funny seeing the twins running around in the woods – they instantly transitioned to being little wildlings, thinking up ideas for stick and leaf constructions instead of iPad contraptions.

Creativity comes naturally, it seems.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who will spend time in national and state parks this summer, you know what I mean. We may have better tools nowadays, but we’re doing the same thing humans always have.

We make things. Lasers just make it easier.

  • dan

BTW: if you take your Glowforge camping this year, please please please let me know.

PS: You can discuss the latest announcement here. And I’ll post the paper towel laser glamping accessory there too!