Project Kits

This post expands upon a question I posted for the Q&A yesterday.

Seeing as how a material store is opening, it would be really cool if there were packages of materials that were sold in the correct quantities to complete specific projects that were available in the glowforge catalog, or uploaded by other users. For example, a quick ship kit containing all of the leather, cloth, and thread used in the leather bag @dan showed yesterday that @madebynick designed.

If a system is put into place where users can upload the material specifications of the designs they create, along with said designs (including step-by-step instructions), it could be a quick and easy way to help people who are new to the design process make things on their glowforges, and learn as they go along. Not only do you end up with an awesome product that you made yourself, you also get to see how they designed it and dont have to worry about sourcing all the materials.


Great idea…

I LOVE this idea.

Of course, since it’s me, I’d also want the kits to be accompanied by clear tutorials.


I think it depends on where these materials will be coming from (like, will there be a glowforge-leased warehouse somewhere that has every material before shipping, or will wood come from one place, leather another, etc, and it’ll get drop-shipped to your house?).

Over time, it would of course make sense to look at what people are ordering together and create easily shipped groupings. I think it makes more sense, however, to leave the supply side alone and make it appear like that to the end user. That is, you can go into the design catalog, pick the designs you want, and then have the GF software figure out how many pieces you need for your entire project lineup, and automatically put that in your cart (i’ll eat my hat if they’re not already working on this).

Similarly, you could go into the materials catalog and choose from some groups of projects, and approach it all from the other side. It would be a seamless feature for the end user, but much easier (in my largely inexperienced opinion) from the supply side since it doesn’t require any extra thought or work on their part.

But of course! I guess I should have spelled that out a little more clearly in the description, but I was implying they would be included in the designs users uploaded. I think it would make this process a lot easier, and more fun


Thats what I was getting at. Pick a project, say “I need all the materials for this”, and then have them put in your cart to check out. Im sure with leathers and woods there will be different color options to choose from etc.


This is a really good idea!

These kits should/could include the extra odds-and-ends that would be required too. Like, the “wallet kit” could come with whatever kind of thread that would be appropriate for leather (kevlar?), a needle, and two $100 bills. The Catan kit might come with some tung oil (or whatever would be appropriate).

This would allow Glowforge to sell some items beyond laserable materials (extra profit for them) and it would allow Glowsmiths to buy small quantities of things that they aren’t likely to use often (for a lower net-cost to them). Everybody wins!

On that note, Glowforge might not be interested in selling little bottles of oil and 2’ bundles of thread. Perhaps they could implement a system that would allow us to create bundles that could be sold through eBay or Etsy or whatever. I think the crucial feature that would be needed for this would be the ability for a user to create coupons for their designs.

So… say I’ve designed a little hook thing that lets you hang your razor blade on your bathroom mirror. Seems like a lil’ suction cup might be needed for something like that. I could bundle together a few pieces of acrylic, a little pouch of acetone, and a little suction cup. In addition to the physical pieces, I would include a little card with a one-time-use coupon (probably in QR or bar-code form) that the camera in the Glowforge could read and automatically retrieve the design.

Man, it could be taken one step further and the QR code could also tell the machine what shapes to look for and go straight to cutting. Ooh, and it could be limited to only cutting “Proofquality” (or whatever it’s called) materials, which would lock-in Glowforge’s revenue stream.

Of course, at this point, it would probably be more practical to just cut and assemble the kits myself, and ship the completed item. Hmmm…


Little addendum: “material-less” kits (which would only include the odds and ends) would probably need to be an option too. There! THAT’s how it makes more sense than just shipping the assembled item.

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exactly… I have so many spare materials around my house from things Ive made that arent likely to be used again for a long time, if ever. Include enough for the project and maybe some margin of error.

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Or maybe a team member from
Glowforge to help you… :wink:

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This reminds me of a felting site I like: Woolbuddies.

People can either purchase a completed Woolbuddy for around $80 (when available) or they can buy a $20 kit and make one themselves.


yes. so much more fun to make it yourself, except for that one time you screw up so royally you have to buy another kit lol. but in that case youd still only be paying half the cost… so still awesome!


how about a QR code that would populate an amazon shopping cart with the “material-less” kit items? is that a thing?
Hmm, that might be better suited to people’s personal webstores: a glowforge-ready design for sale, and a list of amazon-account-linked products, so you would get that micro click-through referral-bonus?


I probably should have made this idea my own business instead of telling glowforge land, I actually even registered a domain for it a while back, but the pursuit of money has always been a low priority for me for some reason, so hopefully it will work with what theyre doing, and maybe some other people will offer up some competition!

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Well, it’s one thing to have a great idea, but it’s another thing to act on it. Act on it, my guess is that few others (if any) will…

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always torn between wanting to share & help others with (thing), and needing to monetize so that I can continue doing (thing)… and do more (things)!

Sooo often (especially talking about art / concepts) I hear stuff along the lines of "that’s such a simple idea. How did that person become famous/wealthy from it? I could have done that."
and the answer is (nearly) always the same:
“Yes, but you didn’t”.

And that makes me want to re-watch Exit Through The Gift Shop, even though it still pisses me off that it wasn’t the true Banksy-actually-painting-stuff-documentary that I had really hoped for.


I generally tend to follow my passions instead of my wallet, I think its genetic. Ive worked for free on many projects because I liked them a lot, but really dont have much room for things that bore me. I feel like our time is limited on this planet, so I want to spend as much of it learning and growing as possible. Ive been lucky enough to find work in those areas that pay me enough to continue living this lifestyle. Not to mention its to much more fun to work on things you are passionate about


Seems like early on this was exactly something they said might happen. When I get some time, I’ll see if I can find it in early posts. I would LOVE this idea.

That is an awesome Idea. I would be interested in making the leather bag. That could be a good money maker for Glowforge too.


I herd @dan address your question yesterday in the live session and it sounded like he really liked your suggestion. Hopefully, this will be something that can be setup as another great way to help all of us be creative.


I hope so too! I feel like this is going to be the natural evolution of their efforts eventually, might as well bring it up