New to GlowForge! Need software advice/reccomendations

I’ve said it repeatedly, the best software is what you are good with.
If that works for you just output the DXF and then use Inkscape to convert it to a SVG.


There in lies the problem. I only have the software available to me while I am at work, even still I downloaded a few DXF files off the Internet and I tried importing them into inkscape but they won’t open. I go to import,select the file and it won’t even show me a preview of it. :frowning: noob problems :frowning:

Sorry I can’t help further but I’m not a Mac user. Once Inkscape is running right most of use can help with workflow.
Coming from cad, art programs are quite an adjustment. Not really harder just different ways of doing things.

If you use the search function, you’ll find there are existing discussions on converting DXF to SVG or PDF, particularly from the Fusion 360 crowd, I believe. Inkscape is not designed for that.

Thank you for your help @markevans36301!! Greatly appreciate it!!

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Thank you @eflyguy!! :slight_smile: much appreciated!

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I heavily recommend skillshare. It’s boosted my creativity tremendously. It also has lots of great courses to help you familiarize yourself with design software. Search for skillshare 2 month free trial. Skillshare offers more than 25,000 online classes for a $99-per-year membership fee. My favorite courses on skillshare were for Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator.

I also recommend this udemy course on Fusion 360:

Check out this link to get started with Fusion 360:

Don’t buy the udemy course right away unless it’s on sale- normally it’s $120 but when it’s on sale it’s about $15. Udemy sales come and go but they are really frequent (happening about once a month + on holidays). There was a sale last week for back to school but it has ended.


I agree completely!

I picked it up originally because Shapr3D was built for iPad Pro, and I love the portability of it, but I let my subscription lapse due to the cost.

Fusion 360 now has an iOS app, though it’s not a full version: . I’ve yet to try it.

Other than Shapr3D, I really haven’t much experience with CAD, so Fusion seemed a bit intimidating. With your recommendation, however, I’ll give it another go! Thanks so much!

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I came from many years of cad and though perhaps a bit of time in 3d Max and Blender softened the blow but when I first opened Inkscape after I had purchased the Glowforge I did not have much of those problems.

Cad is very machine like in what it does, and indeed one uses it to make mechanical things, and if that is what you want it works well. Inkscape and Blender are more often used to make organic or squishy things and that software is best for that, trying to define a leaf, or tree by simple geometry is very hard but defined as Inkscape or Blender does is much easier, but those are not as good at mechanical stuff with the definitions you need for a machine.

Having skills in many things, and using the best tool for the job is the best path to design freedom.

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Thank you so much! Udemy courses are on sale today and I never would’ve known to wait without your recommendation. I’ll be starting the course today and I also got the 2-month trial of Skillshare.


This is really helpful! Thank you!

I suspect this follow up question is truly a remedial one and perhaps it’s in the part of the training I haven’t yet completed… does the Glowforge software automatically convert a 3D model made in Inkscape or Fusion 360 into layered cuts or is that something handled manually or with another software?

Thanks for helping me get started!

It is indeed. You should definitely go through all the stuff that’s been recommended, there are lots of fine points that you will pick up.

The short answer is “no”. The longer answer is “no, and with a little more reading of the forum you’ll see why not, and a lot more stuff you don’t even know to ask yet” :slight_smile:

I think the temptation to want to jump right into the more complicated projects is a natural thing, and it’s mostly a good thing. The tricky aspect to it is that without the fundamentals, there are lots of little gotchas that can sink the complex projects, and it can lead to frustration. Building up with some simple projects first will really pay you back later.

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Perfect. Thank you!

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You’re welcome!

Inkscape is 2D there are some 3d aspects But I think they will read as 2d also. I have not tried Fusion but from results it pulls planes as well.

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Inkscape just didn’t work with my brain at all. Illustrator I was able to pick up in no time but as you likely know, is not free. We all have different styles.

Fusion 360 is free for most and from what you are describing maybe would be a good solution for you. Since it is free why don’t you give it a try?

Honestly I just couldn’t imagine designing on an iPad, although I know there are some that do. I want as big a screen as possible (although I prefer to not sit at my desk for my desktop), and I like to be able to use a trackpad, mouse or a drawing tablet. To me an iPad is mainly to watch movies while traveling :slight_smile:


Yay Missouri. I’m at the Lake.

Inkscape and OnShape with Kiri:Moto are my two designs choices. DXF is can be a challenge to save and convert right to SVG.

And a large format CNC for a good price, if you have a 3D printer and are handy with electornics and building stuff, I’d go for a LowRider from V1 Engineering. I did the MPCNC and I’m so happy with it for an entry level machine.

Just keep posting on the forum and asking for help. It’s all here.

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Thanks for the heads up.

No, GF software handles strictly 2D files, even for the vary power 3D engraves. Converting a 3D model into layered cuts is called slicing and there are various programs and plugins that can handle that. For Fusion360 there’s a great add on app/plugin called Slicer that can cut up your model in all sorts of interesting ways.

Inkscape can make 3D looking graphics but it doesn’t create actual 3D model geometry.

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