QOTD from Glowforge: Before Glowforge, what tools have you used for making things and how do you feel about them?


Never thought of a Maker kitchen. The gastronomy societies in Spain kind of do this. I would gladly participate in something like that. Can’t afford a steam injection oven for my bread and every once and a while need to do bigger quantities. I do have a small immersion circulator that is the best for patés.



I will let you know how it goes. As a Heritage city (relatively small town in KY), we have a huge farmers market that draw crowds from three and sometimes four states and between the major grocery chains, we have peppered in there several mom and pop groceries and even a mercantile. I have access to two separate CSA programs and more and more organic mills and farms just keep popping up all the time. Many food ‘makers’ here are getting special exceptions for producing food stuffs in their homes but the rules are tightening. Just so happens I know someone with an inside track on a kitchen originally built for, of all investors you could imagine, Merv Griffin. It is at a horse racing track that no longer has live racing (telecast bets only). The GM is looking to monetize that space. I’ll pencil you onto that list :wink:


QOTD: Who competes with us for your affection?

I make and sell handcrafted pens. http://pensbylarry.com/
I presently use - Gasp! Decals for special theme pens and am looking forward to using the Glowforge to enhance my pens. At 84 years old I have run the gauntlet from the Trash 80 computer to my present 27" iMac and have learned a lot along the way. Want my Glowforge so bad I can taste it!



I don’t agree with the phrase jack of all trades, master of none! I’ve done vinyl cutting for 6 years, starting with cricut/silhouette and most recently upgrading to a us cutter plotter that greatly expanded my scale possibilities. I use inkscape, photoshop, make-the-cut and sure cuts a lot applications most often (very excited about the future inkscape plugins) but I also know how to use numerous other application, even if they aren’t my top choices to use. Make-the-cut is a program I use to trace all sorts of images to break it into a cuttable set of layers and I can export as svg. It’s the best program I’ve used for converting images. I do finer node editing in inkscape when necessary.
I’ve also worked with an air compressor and drill with dental bits to carve egg shells, including chicken, goose, ostrich, and emu, scrimshaw on egg shells (an ostrich egg polished smooth and then scrimshawed),acid etching, stiska art, paper quilling, paper tolling, decoupage and a number of other paper crafts; crochet, quilting, embroidery, etc. You name it, I’ve done it. I’ve loved every tool I’ve worked with and I can make any tool work for me!

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oooh, I can’t think of any reason that eggshells wouldn’t be laserable; many of the smaller ones would fit in the 'Forge, and its continuous autofocus capabilities might allow it to follow the curve, potentially enabling some pretty intricate laser carving!



They are! In fact, many of the astounding work of my eggshell carving mentor, Gary LeMaster of theeggshellsculptor.com, are often shared across the internet as being the work of lasers. He is indeed just THAT talented, but there are many actual laser carved shells that I have seen as well. However, with the max 1.5 inch height, other than smallish chicken shells and smaller varieties, I don’t think many shells would fit in the forge whole. However, my mother has many projects where she was making jewelry boxes from ostrich egg shells and has cut the face off to make into doors…I’ve carved them for her in the past, but we could almost surely laser engrave/carve the door section and reattach to the egg on hinges for the doors as well. Lovely idea @B_and_D_T!



I have a 20w laser cutter / engraver in the shop that I have been running for several years now. Along side that I have a machining lathe, blacksmith (coal) forge, and a epoxy model shop. Upstairs I work on leather & sewing / rigging.

I have worked with digital imaging software (photoshop, corel draw) for probably the last 14 years.

The Glowforge will provide a great relief in machine setup and indexing when it comes to the laser side of operations. The wifi shouldn’t be an issue, and will actually free up some space since I don’t have to slave a big PC to the laser.

Looking forward to putting it to the test.



I’ve been using several different tools to create prototype parts, but mainly my Form 1 3D printer. Otherwise I have also used: Objet 3D printer, Form Labs From 1/1+ 3D printer, typical manual shop tools ranging from drill presses, sanders, cutting tools. Alignment cuts on materials, work holding, part orientation have all been a long learning curve over the years. I do OK, but then there’s the occasional and frustrating repeated fail that occurs. Eventually I learn more about the complexity of making things using the tools I have, but then Glowforge is nearly here. With Glowforge I will be able to create precise boxes for molding parts that originate from a master model (3D printed), and making fixtures for my CNC to improve work holding that don’t require using my CNC to make. I run a small Industrial Design service out of my home office & garage, and am on contract with local firms too to assist them from time to time.



In my line of work I use a variety of tools. My most used tool is a router and generally use it to copy templates that I have made from various materials ( plastic, wood , acrilyc ) . As a custom fabricator in the car industry I have many skills that transfer to other things in the world. I have built houses. Built cars. Done electrical played with computer programing , designed and fabricated audio systems, machined and welded metals pretty much everything under the sun. I see this as another tool to add to my line up and further streamline the production of things I design.

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I signed up for a laser cutting class last year at my school (it was in the fine woodworking department). I had never had any previous interaction with laser cutters and being in the graphic design program I met a whole new group of people. Everyone was using Rhino to create their projects while I used Illustrator. It was a little awkward at first but I was the only one who had a background using Illustrator and I even taught the teacher a few tricks. He said he didn’t hate illustrator as much now lol. From the very first thing that I cut out, I was hooked. My teacher said, “I had caught the laser bug”

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I’m almost completely new to the whole game… I became interested in CAD a few years ago, downloaded some software, took a few classes and finally got a job as the drafter for an HVAC design/build contracting company. I’ve worked a little bit with CNC milling machines and now know a decent bit about CAD, Revit, Sketchup, Microstation, and Vectorworks. Once you get the hang of how to think two and three dimensionally, each system is much like the rest with varying strengths and weaknesses.
My favorite tools are my mind, my hands, and a bridgport (though I haven’t been able to get my hands on one yet). I can do pretty much anything with a circular saw and a drill, though I have had to use handsaws and screwdrivers to make do. I just bought the pro in the hopes of jumping into the maker market I’ve been interested in since I can remember.

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I design and manufacture fiber art kits and weaving supplies on an Epilogic laser. My best seller is a portable weaving loom and they come in birch wood or acrylic. We also make accessories. We market to independent yarn, quilting and fabric stores across U.S., Canada and Australia and we are heading to London next week to hopefully break into the UK market. I have mixed feelings about my Epilogic experience. It was a great way to get started and we currently rent time every week on the machine to make our products. But, we are required to use Corel and Corel is not affordably compatible with Mac. It makes the mechanics of designing and making changes challenging to say the least. Our Glowforge will change everything about our business and that is frightening and exciting at the same time. Demand just equals our capacity today but demand continues to grow. Adding this machine to our business means moving our business and changing our approach. It is going to be an exciting ride.



Portable loom sounds pretty awesome. Is there a link to your kits?



I am mainly a woodworker (lathe stuff, boxes, furniture and sculptural things). I do a lot of work with hand tools which is very satisfying for me (the physical connection with what you are crafting). I am also a giant nerd so the computerized aspect of making certainly appeals to me. The goal would be to combine the two sides.

With the glowforge, I really want to play with making intricate segments for wooden spheres - a more complex version of something like this.

Pretty much anything with wood is going to be fun for me. Adding in the possibility of other materials is even more fascinating. I can’t wait.



Interesting. I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to make the segments, which have mitres on two sides with a 2D laser cutter.



I have used a 3D printer for the past year or so. Honestly I wasn’t as impressed with it as I had hoped. It certainly wasn’t as plug & play as they advertised it as being, so I got fairly frustrated from time to time. The Glowforge is supposed to deliver that ease of use as well, but I feel that they are much more open about the fact that the machine has settings that will have to be adjusted based on the material that you use, and based on my experience with the 3D printer, I go into owning a Glowforge with the foreknowledge that I may run into some issues, failed prints, etc… I have been an AutoCAD user for about eleven years now, but never delved into the 3D aspects of AutoCAD. For my 3D printer I taught myself how to use AutoCAD in three dimensions, and I only printed things that I designed myself (with the exception of part of one bracket that I obtained from someone else, and one chess piece that a friend requested). I am looking forward to using AutoCAD for the Glowforge and I am also excited about learning Illustrator! (It’s on my computer but I’ve never used it!!!)



We have a pretty good wood shop with a full size table saw, router table, drill press, band saw, plainer, multiple sized routers for different jobs, multiple sizes of sanders, and other tools. We also have a four color screen printer built from plans I found online that we utilize to screen print wood signs. We utilize a silluette machine to cut vinyl for the images to be burned to the screens as well as for glass etching. We utilize adobe illustrator for creating some of the images as well as the silhouette design studio to create others. We will be learning as much as possible over the next few months to be able to utilize the 3D engraving function of the glowforge as well as the cutting functions.



I work with a vinyl cutter on a regular basis. It works basically the exact same as a laser cutter (not engraver) except for the materials/thicknesses. That is to say that any file that can be cut on a laser cutter, could be cut on a vinyl cutter, and vice versa. Though results will very due to the differences in materials.



When I first heard about 3D printers years ago I was super excited and couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. My wife bought me the M3D 3d printer last year and my experience has been mixed. It’s an entry level printer (around 4-5 hundred dollars) so that means that it is good at easily printing simple things with little to no knowhow. When it comes to accuracy and speed it kind of falls flat. I love experimenting with it but the prints often fail or just don’t print as accurately as I would like and the fact that it takes so long between prints makes it hard to dial in because it can easily take multiple days to get something to print the way you want it.

I wanted to upgrade to either a higher end 3D print or a CNC machine. I almost pulled the trigger on the X-carve from instructables but then my wife found the Glowforge online and the price point was right. I have always wanted to have a laser cutter but they are often far outside my budget. They have a laser cutter at my local maker space but I really wanted one at home because I don’t have a tonne of free time to be driving back and forth to a maker space just to experiment. I am really excited to be able to make stuff with a high degree of accuracy out of really robust materials.



I avoided the whole 3D-Printer explosion of the last few years, even though a certain part of me was DYING to get involved. The number of things I wanted to make was great, but the idea of making them in plastic was just not appealing.

I have a pretty extensive woodshop, with routers, a thickness planer, scroll saw, jointer, drill press, etc., and have been a woodworker all my life. The idea of being able to finally join the Maker revolution, but using materials that I know and love is what’s most exciting to me about GlowForge.