New to GlowForge! Need software advice/reccomendations

Hello Eveeryone! My name is Johnny and i am new to Glowforge! My Plus arrives on Friday and i could not be anymore pumped! I had a few questions regarding what software would be best suited for me and i apologize if this isn’t the correct forum to be posting in. I have a background in machining (Aerospace/Waterjet machining) so i am pretty comfortable with designing on my machines software(DXF based) but as far as something that would be readily available for me at home i am still debating on. From a CAD standpoint what is the most user/design friendly software? I’d like my wife to be able to learn it as well, she is already a great artist and has great vision on paper but some of the things GF peeps create just have me puzzled as to how you even come up with this stuff, its truly amazing! Any information is greatly appreciated and i thank you in advance!

P.S i am running a new Macbook if that matters at all. I’ll probably end up buying a desktop for the office to design soecifically for the GF. Thanks again!

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Hey welcome to the forum! While I’m not the guy to ask about dxf based workflow, I think you’ll find this post really helpful to answer the other 100 questions you’re about to have :slight_smile:

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Welcome ! you are in for quite a ride! I did Autocad for many years, but for curvy lines and squishy stuff it is not real flexible.
On the other hand Inkscape is not much good for turning out working detail drawings for machine shop or architecture either. However the right tool for what we do is Inkscape and Gimp for raster work if one is not familiar with those type of programs like the Adobe stuff.

You do not need to wait to download Inkscape and start playing with it, and Gimp too for that matter

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Wow thats awesome info! Truly appreciate it. Are both of these softwares free for download or is there a monthly subscription we can use for this? IOS compatible, Windows? Thanks again for the information!!

Welcome! With your backkground I’d take a look at Fusion 360. You can still get the free hobbyist license.

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The only cost of Inkscape and Gimp is the effort to learn them,. And as they are 100% Open-Source they will always be that way.

Thank you! I have heard great things about Fusion 360 however i am not too familiar with actual design in 360 software. I mainly do a lot of 2D cutting and programming .Really trying to just get a feel for a good software that will allow me to be about 10% as creative as everyone on here is lol. its a little overwhelming seeing all the amazing designs on the forums but its also amazing that everyone is so friendly and open with their designs even as far as sharing files. Truly an awesome community.

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Awesome to know! I will download these as soon as i get home! Thank you for the informatiron! You guys are all awesome!!

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If you have a choice, traditional pc-based workflows are more flexible and widely used than ios-based stuff.

This will come into play if/when you have questions down the road, most of us are in the inkscape/gimp or illustrator/photoshop camps, with a smaller contingent using affinity products. After that, there are lots of smaller splinter groups using things like F360 or traditional cad-based workflows.

There are lots of other less-common ways to get things done, but these are the majority camps, someone correct me if I forgot some major user base.

Traditional seems more my route for sure as i dont really like the IOS system and grew up with Windows my entire life. I dont currently have a computer running windows all we have is my wifes Macbook Pro so ill have to use that for now but im sure i can make it work for the time being. :slight_smile: Thank you Evansd2!

I just bought a new Macbook, too! Please take a good look at Affinity Designer in the app store. You can download a trial from the website and it’s only about $50 to purchase with no subscription fees. I’ve had my Glowforge for 3 years and decided early on to us Affinity. I mainly use an iMac to do my design work, but there’s also a AD available for iPad. It’s been said that AD is giving Illustrator a run for the money.

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Whaaaat!? That’s awesome! I do have an IPad as well however it is an older version but I’ll have to check it out either way! I have heard great things as well about that software so I will definetely give that a click and try it out! Thank you very much for your reply @Xabbess!!

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You’re very welcome…and welcome to the forum!

Thank you so much!! Perhaps you can answer a quick question for me. So my Wife and I operate a small scale American Bully Kennel (Hence my profile pic and username) and we had our logo designed by a great artist who sent us all the vector files as well as other format files of the logo. How easy would it be to throw this file into the GF and run it? I’m trying to get an idea for how easy/user friendly this machine truly is. I haven’t had time to really look at videos but I was wondering if the GF comes with any software of its own and if so how capable would one be to drawing/editing/importing files into it that’s ready to run. Thank you!

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Glowforge has no software of it’s own…strictly the UI where your projects are uploaded and gotten ready to cut/engrave, etc. There are some rather simple things you can do in the interface like add simple icons, text, shapes…which was a recently added feature…but, for the most part everything works better if you prepare it first in your design app of choice. You can use either an SVG or a PDF format when you upload. If it were me and if the files I got were in either of those formats, I would first take a good look at the logo files in my design app to see if they were ‘clean’ and ready to be used. If they did a good job designing, you should be able to just use their designs as they were presented.

Awesome! Ive had banners printed etc from the vector files that came out great so hopefully they will suffice! I’ll get Inkscape and Affinity downloaded today and go from there! Thank you!!

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(Inkscape rules, affinity drools. Had to be said :wink: )

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SHOTS FIRED!!! SHOTS FIRED!!! :laughing:

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Welcome to the neighborhood. I use a MBP and personally will never go back to Windows (the dark side :rofl:). I used Adobe’s suite of products for years, but now rely on CorelDraw 2020 and PhotoPaint because I don’t like the Adobe subscription. This forum is the best tool you have for learning the GF. Use it often. Read, make connections with others and participate. Then rinse and repeat.

My wife and I have a small kennel too, we raise Neapolitan, English and French Mastiffs in southwest Missouri.

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