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.