Pro vs Plus models for material settings?

For anyone who happens to have both or have used both, can you answer if the Pro and the Plus have interchangeable material settings?

Obviously the Basic has different settings (at least the Full power mode does) because of the 40 watt tube.

I know they both have a 45 watt tubes but wanted to verify for a teacher that was wondering if she should get 2 Plus models or a Pro and a Plus. I was worried that each machine might have different settings, adding a layer of confusion for the students. Comments?

In theory, they [pro and plus] should be the same. I’d email support to be 100% sure.

The big difference will be in the passthrough slot and cooling abilities of the pro.

As always, power settings 1-100 should be consistent between all models – it’s only “full” that differs.


No official verification, but I suspect that the PRU unit that I was testing was juiced. (It was listed as a Basic but it had the Pro model power tweaking.)

In other words, it initially charred the hell out of everything it touched while they worked out the official settings.

Like @evansd2 said, all three models use the exact same settings for 0 through 100% power. The kick comes in at Full Power, and that is the same for the Plus and the Pro models.

If she needs a Passthrough, or if she needs a higher operating temperature range, she would want a Pro. Otherwise the Plus has the same ability power-wise. (I’d watch the operating temperature range…it seems to whack a lot of folks.)


And we’re about to swing the other way. I expect a bunch of “is my glowforge too cold?” posts this winter, just like last winter. (Go here if you want to see those posts.)


I’ll shoot Support an official question, but that is good to know. She is in a cold classroom on the 5th floor, so we are thinking that the personal a/c hooked up to 2 Plus and out the window will likely be the best/$ working solution (vs one Pro with filter (someday)). A pass-through is nice but not necessary. Think of it as an extra design exercise ;p

The thing really throwing me for a loop is having to design curriculum for Illustrator when I have been using Inkscape for the last 3 years :joy:


They both do the same things, the same way. It’s just a question of relearning where everything is hidden. (I hate switching back and forth between design programs, but once you learn one, the next one is a lot easier to adapt to.)


I will also say that Illustrator seems to have slightly more quirks in terms of getting your designs to work with GF. I think adobe’s SVG output is a little “off”, and that the GF UI is more comfortable with the svgs that Inkscape throws out.

Nobody’s hit anything that can’t be resolved (as far as I know), but it just feels like AI has slightly more edge cases. Am I imagining this?

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I think they both have some quirks.

The biggest one for Inkscape, I think, is saving as an Inkscape SVG versus Plain SVG (the Inkscape SVG can throw a ton of junk into the SVG code that is proprietary to Inkscape).

And also being on an older version (before the native DPI change).

The biggest one for Illustrator seems to be having the Responsive box checked causing resizing.

After those two/three are addressed, they basically have the same functionality as far as what they can and can’t handle.

Inkscape probably has a broader plug-in base, especially on the free side. But some of the plug-ins leave the files a mess from a design perspective (imo).

That said, I’ve examined many files here that are a mess from both Illustrator and Inkscape.

I think the number one thing that people should learn for either program is how to set up a clean file, before trying to go wild designing. Form following function.

A beginner needs to understand how the components of a design are constructed before making them pretty.


I agree about switching back and forth. I tried Affinity designer for about 30 minutes before giving it up as time sink I’m not ready for. I had been proficient in Illustrator as a student, but not student = no free access Adobe. Inkscape it is;p

It has taken me about 7 hours to translate my 3-section Inkscape mini-guide to Illustrator. I vaguely remember having a hard time initially switching to Inkscape since they don’t quite map to each other. Like having to select a tool to skew or get to node view instead of just multi-clicking the object. Or that everything has a different name (node/anchor point, Boolean vs shape modes :roll_eyes: ).

It isn’t all bad though, since it puts me in the place of the newbie and I can hopefully avoid glossing over anything because of expert blind spot :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

And @jbmanning5, I totally got bit by the dpi change on my 100 day project! I went to laser out more cat tiles after doing a clean install on my computer and every time they were way too big. Surprising what switching from 90 to 96 dpi will do.

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i don’t believe i’ve had any real issues with illustrator files that weren’t user error (like overlapping shapes). i didn’t use SVG, i used PDF and i think i once had a file problem that i exported to SVG and worked fine. it may have been a user error as well.

i haven’t had any issues they implemented copy/paste into the GFUI. only time i had a problem was when i forgot to convert text to outlines and it wouldn’t paste in.

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It’s better for some things and worse for others. Same with Inkscape.

None of these programs was created for laser work, they are drawing programs, and they each have issues we have to work around to get files to work with the Glowforge. Understanding whichever program you are using is the key to creating the files you need. (Basically, stick with the one you are most comfortable designing in.)

I’ve used Illustrator a lot longer than any other, so I tend to use that one for most design. (Along with some F360 for 3D modeling now…but I still prefer to design in AI. It’s just more natural.)


I have never done this, and it has caused me no trouble. I wonder if I just don’t use some feature of inkscape that causes problems?


Possibly. And also possible that Glowforge has implemented additional capabilities in being able to interpret those files that wouldn’t be noticeable to us.

I think the premise behind Inkscape SVG (which is SodiPodi based [a long since discontinued vector drawing tool]) is that the file should be able to be rendered properly by any viewer outside of Inkscape - but, with the large number of plugins available that can alter the file construct in non-compliant ways, that might be the issue. Or maybe it’s the plugins themselves, whether it’s Inkscape or Plain SVG.

I know Inkscape SVGs caused numerous issues in the past - so maybe it’s one of those things that I’ve seen so much of, that even if the handling of them has improved, I still don’t trust them.

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I believe the GFUI can handle either kind, but if someone trying to help interpret a problem with an Inkscape SVG file brings it into AI for analysis…that’s where the person trying to help runs into issues. AI and Inkscape are not completely compatible. (My version of AI imports at 72 DPI, various Inkscape versions import at 90 or 96 dpi…there’s not a one-to-one comparison. Other issues occur with CorelDraw and Affinity. Even newer versions of AI import with garbage in my old version.) It’s really a big mess. We ought to let Inkscape experts help with Inkscape related issues, and CD experts help with CD issues, but there’s no way for anyone to know what software created the SVG being used. It’s why I won’t touch anything from the internet without breaking it down for analysis and rebuilding before trying to cut it.

I’m glad I don’t have to try to design an interface for Glowforge that will accept and interpret anything from anywhere…it’s a freaking monumental task that keeps changing as the dozens of drawing programs make changes to their software.

That’s why I’m so impressed with what that team has done with the GFUI.


This is a two-way street. If I get my hands on a SVG exported from AI, Inkscape often does crazy [read: unpredictable] things with it. Alignment of nodes is really weird, everything is just a little off. I haven’t been able to sit down and try to find out if it can be reproduced, but its happened enough times that I don’t feel like I can trust svgs that are sourced from AI without redrawing them.

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all the SVG drama still leaves me confused as to why people don’t just use PDFs.


That’s exactly what I do when I need to take an AI file into inkscape. I go via pdf. I almost never send PDFs to the GFUI though. Just not my normal workflow.

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The Glowforge team gets some kind of information from the SVGs that helps them to complete their development for all the various software, so we use those. (Basically they have asked us to during this initial development stage.)


Because that would be rewarding Adobe.


I reward them with $50 every month and still don’t use PDFs for the Glowforge. In fact, I’ve never even uploaded a PDF. Maybe it’s because I’ve never had an issue with the Illustrator > SVG > GF workflow, but I haven’t seen the need for a PDF.