Parametric models in the Design Catalog?

as an aside, I would think EVA foam would be great for this application

Everything I’ve done for myself in OpenSCAD has been parametric, including tabs. Presumably anything in the catalog would be up to the designer as to whether or not it’s parametric. Some things scale better than others. Personally, as a customer I want parametric designs, but as a seller I would not. If your design is not “parametric-proof” you can wind up with a support headache that isn’t worth the money.

Based on the number of gamers who actively post (and extrapolating the lurkers), and this apparently being a common problem, it would not surprise me if an informal economy in these designs developed.

One potential issue with the tabs is that to make them perfect the material has to be perfect.This is more likely in acrylic and other manufactured materials and less likely the more natural the material. So while my tabs are set to the material thickness, which is an input, I still expect to be doing some sanding if it’s a presentation box as opposed to a workshop box.


Thingiverse is the worst. Because any time you customize something with their parametric setup, it by default publishes your insanely minor adjustment.

So many people do not turn that off, flooding any search result with myriad copies of the same damn thing.


Based on nothing, I expect the designs to be listed with photographs of the finished products, rather than digital renderings, and a list of supplies or materials. And probably links to the appropriate proofgrade supplies. So, for example, a box might be listed as using 1/4 inch plywood. And the accompanying file would be appropriate for 1/4 inch plywood. Presumably, there would be nothing stopping the end user from tweaking the design to use, say, 1/8 inch acrylic, unless there’s no downloading a file at all and you “print” directly from catalogue to glowforge. Which I suppose is a definite possibility. But I would not expect material variations to be a built in feature of the catalogue. It’s just much easier for a beginner user experience to see project x made with supply y, and to use supply y and get an identical replica to project x.

But that’s all just guessing. I doubt glowforge is far enough in the catalogue process to have really tackled this yet. I bet the decision won’t actually be finalized until there’s a beta version of the catalogue with not-glowforge designers uploading projects.


I don’t understand the reasoning behind why size would matter with regards to the price of a design. Either glowforge will set prices (most likely), or the designer will. If glowforge is setting the price, I would expect maybe 2 or 3 tiers of pricing based on, perhaps, the intricacy of the file - like, a working Ferris wheel might cost more than a picture frame. But I wouldn’t say a 9 inch box is anymore intricate than a 5 inch box. And for sure, an attractive small box can be much harder to design than a utilitarian crate.

With regards to the test tubes, I would not expect that much customization from one design. At all. It’s not really great for the designer and it’s not great for sales. From my own experience, the vast, vast majority of people can’t see past the first thumbnail. You can explain possibilities and show multiple uses and all that, but they’re sold (or not) by the thumbnail. They don’t consider if a design might work with x changes and they don’t think through possibilities. They make a snap judgement based on the very first thing they see, and then they’ve moved on. I mean, most people can’t even see past color. I know that sounds nuts - they’re just buying a design, so they should realize they can make it in any color… But unfortunately it doesn’t work that way in practice.


Okay, just remembered more about the long ago conversation…

You are supposed to (eventually?) be able to specify certain parameters/measurements to be based on material thickness, and then the CAMERA registers the actual thickness of your material, and the cloud adjusts the design to be a spot on fit for the material actually loaded.

@dan should be beckoned to call me out on false memory at this point. Maybe it was just us crazy forum folk postulating what can be done with the camera that would blow away current laser users.

EDIT: The search is strong with me today:


Do we even know how designs are going to be sold? Obviously you can download an svg or a dxf or whatever, but since the glowforge is cloud-based and semi-closed, it could make sense that some designs will be one-shot purchases where only the driver waveforms reach the buyer’s machine. I’m thinking that this would open the door to designs that would be really cheap, but also to designs that could be uniquely parameterized, especially with proof-grade material.

No, I don’t think they have much locked down about the catalogue. Certainly not much they’ve released. I mean, makes sense. The catalogue, as cool as it is, is totally secondary to actually getting people working lasers. The loveliest catalogue won’t be of much use if no one can use it except beta testers :blush:

Simple things like adjusting a tab size based upon material thickness should be easy as pie at the web interface.

Parametric models built with AutoDesk Inventor or Pro/Engineer can be designed using Family Tables (Pro/E) or iParts (Inventor). These models would have user-adjustable parameters, selected by the designer (so a user can’t “break” the intent of the model). I’m sure Solidworks has a similar feature but Im not familiar enough to say.

This works because both Inventor and Pro/E can use XML data to drive part features, and a web interface can input that XML data, and spit out a model.


Solidworks has a similar thing. you can tabulate a collection of dimensions or equations that you want to be driven. this doesnt lock out the other dimensions, so you can still break it. But it lets you drive several dimensions and variations of the model with excel.


I don’t think it’s strictly morally justifiable, but part of the set price for any item is going to be how desirable it is. Sometimes a larger box will be more desirable than a smaller one and thus the price for the design could be higher. If I were to design a refrigerator accessory that holds eggs, and if I were able to set the price on a per-egg basis, I would probably drop the price for the 13-egg model through the 17-egg model and 6, 12, and 18 would probably have the highest price:capacity ratio.

Nice! Thanks for finding (and remembering) that! Glowforge is 2 steps ahead on this one. :slight_smile:

That’s what I’m afraid of. I agree that the additional upfront work of the designer can really streamline the experience for the customer though, and that is definitely what Glowforge is going for.

It’s all conjecture at this point, obviously, but I don’t think glowforge will set prices based on desirability, i.e. making more popular designs more expensive to get more money. It has nothing to do with being moral or ethical – it’s just not really a good move. And I don’t think the individual designers will have control over pricing. Except maybe indirectly through different licensing options.

But, that’s just my guess. They could be planning something entirely crazy for all we know. Like, a system where you can purchase credits to buy designs, or steal them from other glowforgers by beating them in a contest. Hopefully not something requiring balance or catching. Or chess. I would lose all the credits.


No details to announce but making catalog prints work well across some variability (customization, material thickness) is definitely on the todo list.


This describes every marketing department I’ve ever worked with - especially the color part.


I’m assuming the designers will set their own prices. I would bet my $50 of credit on it.

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I would second that bet :wink:

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I could see a world where the catalog either has several versions of a project for whatever thickness of material you want to use or have a few projects that can be adjusted by inserting values similar to the customizers on thingiverse!

I’m looking forward to seeing what the catalog actually contains

So I suppose that I probably missed something… and I should read rather than ask the question… but I’ll ask anyway.

The catalog is going to be user generated? Meaning if I have a design I can just submit it to the catalog and ask for $ for it? Or is it going to be curated by Glowforge staff? In which case I suppose it could still be user generated in the form of submissions that are then vetted by GF and added to the catalog or are rejected.

I always just assumed it would be 100% created by GF staff designers.

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There have been a few mentions, including by @dan about Glowforge users being able to submit designs for sale in the catalog along with staff-created designs.