Mechanical prints

I am new to this forum. Received my glowforge pro the other day. Going to set it up today. I am planning on setting it up today.
Can I design & print a mechanical drawing with it?

Welcome Bob. The short answer is yes, but we’ll need more info. What program are you using to create the drawings, and what formats can you export them? SVG? PNG?

Thanks for your quick reply. I’m really green at this. I was thinking the glowforge pro would have designing software?
Embarrassed lol

I use inkscape which is free. I also use a simple cad package from time to time and export dxf files from there. I can open them in inkscape for conversion ingo svg format for easy consumption by the forge. There are a host of other options as well fusion 360 is popular.


You can use whatever 2D or 3D design application you are familiar with, as long as it can produce SVG or PDF output.

Inkscape (free), Affinity Designer ($), Adobe Illustrator ($$$) are the most common graphic design apps, but a few people use other tools, including 3D apps.

Thanks great info.
Is Inkscape hard to learn?

How long is a piece of string?

There’s no one answer. Are you familiar with graphic design? Have you used image editing apps like Photoshop in the past?

I’ve got over 30 years experience in computer-based design software. For me, it was a breeze, and very intuitive. Some people find it difficult.

You might get some idea of which works best for you by watching some tutorial videos - although the presenter will likely influence how well you “get” each application.

If you want to make “mechanical prints” (I assume blueprint-style drawings?) you might be better served using an application designed to create them. Fusion 360 is one option, but the learning curve is steep (I prefer Sketchup, but it is not a professional quality app.)


Something to remember is that PDF can carry both vector and raster data. You should first learn the difference between the two and how the GF treats each, and then determine the best format to use.
Short answer, yes, you can do it. Long answer is you have some exploring to do to find the way that works best for the results you want.

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All of this high level info is great and exactly correct. Here’s some practical info for you:

Read until you can’t read anymore. Then read some more! :slight_smile:

There’s so much good information, studying a lot now will pay you back later.

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