Oh. My. Word. I am beyond excited about this. I knew it was coming, but man… I’m pumped. Admittedly, my only concern will be the cost of the material. As someone who plans to go through a LOT of material I hope the costs can resemble what I can get locally or online. Either way… Stinking cool!
WOOO HOOO ! That is awesome! Have to start seeing how many vacation days I have … Hopefully will get to use em !
My guess is the Proofgrade will be sold at a premium. The value of that will be up to each user. I am excited to get the free pack with the laser so we can find out first hand if it’s worth the additional cost or not for each of us. Also the fact that things like plywood will cut and cut right the first time might be worth a bit extra. Especially for those not equipped or have no desire to source and size their own materials. 10% off for a year is nice too. Excited either way!
I know, I figured they had something in the works, but to actually hear the name of it is beautiful. Such a good name. You know, the guys and gals at GF have a lot of irons in the fire. I actually believe that their desire to fulfill so many of our desires (especially for us laser neophytes) is why they needed the extra months to get in order.
I’m really excited for this! I don’t want to have a project need to be redone simply because of poor materials. Time is important!
I am excited to get the free samples. It will let me compare to other sourced materials. I’m also a fan of the 10% discount, though I will have to see the prices for the mats before I get too excited.
Am I reading this correctly, that only proofgrade material will work with the draw and cut method? I really hope this is not the case.
In the crowd funding campaign video it looked like any material could be drawn on they cut out. I want to be able to run down to my local art store and pick up card stock or card and be able to draw on it and cut it out.
That’s not the case. The Proofgrade materials have a pre-mask already on them. On 3rd party materials you can apply your own pre-mask and then draw on that.
From what we have seen you can draw on anything, but you should have a mask on it so that the glowforge can see it.
Otherwise you may have a hard time picking between the art and the woodgrain.
The advantage with proofgrade materials is that the glowforge will know the proper settings for cutting and engraving. It will also be a higher quality.
You can use your own material but you may have to do some test cutting and you should mask it for good results.
I expect that the Proofgrade is being sourced from other people, with stringent quality requirements. If so, there is no chance of the following:
If GlowForge has their own materials people who are producing the Proofgrade series, then there will be considerable quantities of “cast off” material, those things which did not make the quality check for the Proofgrade. I hope that is sold at a cheaper rate. Material that is known to have defects, but can be purchased on the cheap has some appeal for anyone making lots of small things (can work around the defects), or people who have the artistic flair required to turn a defect into a feature.
Thanks for the reply. Good to know that I can buy my own materials.
I still think it’s going to be easier and cheaper to buy large sheets locally lumber yard or art supply and dialing in the settings. If you are going to be cutting a lot I can’t see proofgrade materials being competive on price. But I’ll use what I get and make a final decision after.
Just a quick question on Proofgrade (and this may be the best place for it since the shipping thread is filling up at a rapid rate).
I am speculating that the initial batch of free Proofgrade materials will be for both Pro and Basic machines as that seems to make sense logistically and because it looks like Dan just mentioned it will be included in the packaging. With the Pro machine, i have an idea for a table top that I would like to try that consists of passing some 1/4" thick x 20" wide x 8’ or longer boards into the pass-thru.
I would be curious to know if Proofgrade materials will also be available in longer lengths at some point. I know they mentioned very little on materials a while back as they wanted to focus on getting the machine together but perhaps some size info and options list will be nice to see in the coming months.
The best thing about getting Proofgrade samples that will automate the settings like this is that for us laser newbies, we can make note of the settings from the Proofgrade plywood for example, and use them as a starting point for a bracketed set of tests to dial in the settings for the similar but cheaper stuff we buy locally and cut up ourselves, rather than needing to start completely from scratch! And their settings for the more consistent kinds of materials (like acrylic) might just work straight up on alternately sourced material of the same type.
I’ve done minor wargaming on the validity of Proofgrade materials before in the forums.
There are use cases where it is going to be worth it at almost any price. Like making an 8 foot long plywood intricate cut. Plywood is fairly likely to have some knots in it. If you are doing small pieces, you just re-cut the things which ran afoul of knots on a new piece. If you are doing large pieces with minimal detail, you are likely to miss the knots. Re-cut where needed, or refine with some non-laser tools. Worst case, you try it on a second or even third piece of lumber.
Working in large quantities, you can approximate your losses if you always just re-cut when you hit a knot. It would likely work out to under 30% for low detail cuts.
But, if you are doing an intricate cut over a large length, chances of hitting knots will get up around the guaranteed rate. And of course if you are working in some degree of bulk then the loss of time is also a problem.
For most people, Proofgrade will be worth getting if it costs anything less than twice as much. For some people, it won’t be worth it if it costs EQUAL to normal materials, since there will also be shipping costs and time to consider.
I am excited about Proofgrade (and the design catalog) for many reasons – one being that I can probably make something right after setting up the Glowforge!
Welcome @tim.m to the forum. I think in some cases it might be fine. But I have been looking three major home improvement stores around and have yet to find birch plywood that is finish grade AND void free. Not that I would need it for everything I would throw in the Glowforge. I still have lots to learn about materials having no previous laser experience.
that and keep in mind depending on what you use to draw with the material (if unmasked) may bleed over and possibly become part of the etching.
We still have a stack of our old 1/8" plywood with some internal knots. I was making picture frames for the family last Laser Thursday and it was driving me nuts. I wasted half the plywood and half my time on it. We’re going to make all that a thing of the past.
This is mostly semantics but we plan to give you actual meaningful quantities of materials that you can work with, not just samples. The goal is for you to be up and running and printing a bunch of stuff that you’re going to be proud of.
No. You can do any of the following:
- Use Proofgrade material, which has the white surface.
- Put your own white adhesive surface coating on your own material.
- Use material that’s naturally white, like card stock.
- Draw on a sheet of paper, scan it, remove it, and replace it with the material you want.
- Put the picture on your phone, put the phone in the bed, and scan it, then replace it with material you want to print on. Don’t forget the last step.
That last one isn’t technically supported but I can vouch that it does work.
There are definitely some folks who are going to want to use other materials - for example, we won’t be able to carry every kind of esoteric material (shagreen anyone?). But we want you to have the option of a perfect, reliable experience that works every time.
Great suggestion; we haven’t announced anything yet.
You’re welcome to, but anecdotally, the difference between Proofgrade 1/4" plywood and what we get from our local Home Depot is a factor of two, so be prepared for a lot of brackets.
That’s our goal. Plug and have your first print, successfully, in less than an hour. Actually, @Tony, how about 15 minutes?
Really appreciate you taking time to answer and reassure people today! You are a man with true class!!!