QOTD from Glowforge: First week with your Glowforge-- What does it look like?

Where it will live: In my office space, next to my 3D printer, die cutter and printers.

Who will use it: Just me, though I’m sure my kids will get a kick out of watching it work

What will get made the first week: I’ll be using the Glowforge to make many different things for my playing card business. I have a variety of designs for custom laser cut and engraved deck boxes, engraved display items from acrylic/wood and more. Years ago, I made a box like the one below for the custom card market and it basically friend people’s minds. It took nearly 4 years for someone else to try making a laser cut box, and once I get the GF I will be able to experiment freely and make a lot more stuff like this, which I CANNOT wait for. I have a deep backlog of products that I could be working on already, so visiting this forum everyday is basically pure torture. :blush:


I think add a fourth question: And what will get you through the long days and nights until your Glowforge arrives?


well I can tell you one thing: all the glowforge videos on youtube are going to have significantly higher view counts. hahaha


@toddloveswendy would you say more (or provide any online sources) about the safety of non-veg-tanned leather in lasers? I’ve been looking online and haven’t found any comments besides yours, and I have a LOT of non-veg leather that I’ve been hoarding for the day when I had a laser. I had thought the dye and other chems wouldn’t be any more concerning than paint on metal that will be etched, but I’d REALLY like to hear any other information before I screw up my GF or lungs. THANKS!

@dan, do you have a perspective on this–the safety of chrome-tanned, aldehyde-tanned, alum-tawed, synthetic-tanned, etc.? I’d really like to know this and pass it to the group. Most upcycled and essentially all colorful fashion leathers will be in one of these categories, especially chrome-tanned.

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I contacted a leather supplier who was emphatic that chrome tanned leather was just not something you want to put into a laser cutter. That is aside from the fact that the oils that are then used to soften the leather create issues with the laser and seem to make it difficult. I have no personal experience with a laser, but these are the things I keep reading in the different forums. Then there is the question of what kind of dyes are used in the leather and how they would react to vaporization. The same goes for paints. One wouldn’t want to put some old piece of wood that has an unknown paint on it that could be lead based. And as to etching metal, that is a to-be-continued discussion to ensure that what gets vaporized isn’t a health hazard nor compromises the Glowforge innards. I am going to take the cautious side too when it comes to different fabrics or other materials that are artificially colored. I would want to investigate all the chemical properties before I start putting them in the Glowforge. So the different glues in different cardboards and plywoods call for attention. From what I gather in the posts from Glowforge about the materials catalog, a big part of the catalog is ensuring the materials are safe and have the desired qualities for a lasering. Kind of preachy here, but reading some of the leather threads on the forum give one caution.


Sulfer dichromate releases poisonous sulfur gas when burned- “chromium tanned leather” I got this information from shilpikachodhury.com

Where it will live: In my craft room. I might travel with it to local schools for the kids.

Who will use it: Me. My nephew is very envious…but, he lives almost 1500 miles away.

What will get made the first week: Haven’t figured that out yet. The list is long, I am waiting to get the shipping notice to prioritize. Of course, I am madly researching materials!

I am lucky to have two studios in my home. And a basement filling up in anticipation of the Glowforge arrival. It will live in the studio closest to the garage (there is better proximity to venting there in case the filter is not sufficient) but further away from the basement access.
At first, I will likely be the only user. I hope to rectify this by sending it out into the world as we develop the Maker space plans.
As far as what is going to be made the first week depends on its arrival. I am designing ‘quilt inspired’ products for the upcoming pilgrimage to the National Quilt Museum showing. Several stores in the area will be carrying any products I produce for the show and I expect to sell out of anything I am able to create. In other words the Glowforge will have to earn its place from go.
In the meantime I have been madly watching Jimmy Diresta and can’t contain myself when I see discards. Just yesterday I was driving through town and saw a very clean looking but broken leather recliner sitting on the curb. I just wanted to stop the car and ‘skin’ said chair and believe me if I had had a tool and it was not 20 degrees outside I probably would have at least went back and saved some of it from a landfill. It’s going to be a ‘clear my schedule and don’t call me’ week when it arrives.


Where it will live: On a cupboard in my new shed…

Who will use it: Me, all other will be banned from the shed.

What will get made the first week: Depends on what materials i can get hold of, but will have a go at the tea light, then the Millenium Falcon or wooden clock.

Where it will live: On a 37" X 67" laminate topped drawings table next to a small window in my basement shop within the reach of the 10MB+ wifi connection. The perfect location.

Who will use it: I’m sure my son the mechanical design engineer when he comes to visit old dad, but primarily just me. :smiley:

What will get made the first week: Forbon guitar pickup flatwork. Doing a little on my Shapeoko 3 currently, but the GF is much better suited to the task. Also, bone nut blanks from larger pieces of bone.

Ya, I know, boring, boring, boring. . . But, what can I say, that’s just what I do. Maybe a beer coaster that first week too. The stuff like all the “cool kids” make will come later. :wink:

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Where it will live: In a makerspace. Location yet to be determined.

Who will use it: I am a teacher who works with adults with disabilities and I am wanting to establish a makerspace for people with disabilities. The GF will be the anchor of this space because of the ease of use. I work with lots of individuals with artistic ability, yet lack the skills to work technically difficult equipment. The trace ability of the GF is the single most enabling technology for people with disabilities. We have established a non profit to raise money and advocacy and awareness. Art and making gives people with disabilities a sense of self esteem and a chance to show their artistic abilities to the general public and possible make money to enhance their self esteem and self advocacy.

What will get made the first week: First chance, we will have simple drawings either cut out or engraved using the trace feature to show possibilities to our students and clients. We can not wait for the chance to use such exiting technology in our community!


Either in my basement man cave which is slowly morphing into a shop, or in a den, which is also another man cave of mine, or next to our regular paper printer in the little cubby “office” lol; I haven’t really decided yet…

Wife and I will both use it; me for all kinds of crafts including wood, acrylic, leather, glass, metal (engraving, cutting, etc etc), maybe stencils, and my wife probably for fancy invitations & party crafts.

First week will probably be for learning just what the heck I am doing, and then engraving photos.

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Where it will live: In our retail boutique of awesome, Feather & Fox, near a display of independent artists’ creations for the inspiration of all that walk in. It will reside just downstairs from our design and printing studio, Fine Balance Imaging Studios, where we work with fine artists, designers, photographers, small business owners and non-profit organizers to bring their ideas and creations into the world.

Who will use it: Initially the co-owners of the design/printing studio and the retail shop will learn to use it in-house, teach our part-time employee how to use it, and then offer up shared use over time to the community of artists and other clients, as well as walk-in customers to the retail shop. The intention is to offer training and design services for the Glowforge, but also to empower the many artists and consumers that walk into see their ideas made real - and then turn around and have a place to actively promote and sell their creations!

**What will get made the first week:**We have a huge slate of design ideas already percolating; some have already been turned into printed product in various forms (paper, apparel, metal prints, home decor, jewelry), but many are intended to utilize the capabilities of the Glowforge, and we’ve been holding back by just making them flat/printed images…whereas our real desire is to have them be dimensional.
The first saleable product to be made, hopefully the first week of ownership, will be a line of custom wood jewelry - earrings, pendant necklaces, perhaps some leather and wood bracelets. Additionally, we want to turn a number of our printed designs into intricate paper-cut cards and small posters. After that, I’m totally going to start in on making a topographic/bathymetric relief map of Whidbey Island the the surrounding waters of Puget Sound out of 1/8 or 1/4" plywood to sell in the shop. Maybe not in the first week though (too ambitious?!)…
We’ve come up with a line of wedding designs and decor items for our design business, and depending on the timing of the delivery of the Glowforge, will immediately start ramping up prototyping so we can get those product ideas in front of wedding planners for the coming season.
Whew! Lots of awesome stuff…

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Where will it live? In my office
Who will use it? Founder/Owner of MTI Photography, and Managing Partners of Modern Moth Media.
What will get made the first week?: I’m already taking clients on for a machine I do not have, nor do I know how to use. This is how much confidence I have in this product.


Where it will live: at home initially, though I may eventually take it to the distillery I’m starting, to personalize gifts.

Who will use it: mostly me and my wife.

What will get made the first week:
I already have plans for a Catan game set, and I want to create oak business cards, burning my info into the wood.

My wife wants to make toys for our toddler. Puzzles, doll house parts/accessories, etc.

Can’t wait!

Where it will live: In my home studio workshop with all of my other production printers, plotters, and tools.
Who will use it: Myself and my girlfriend, who helps with production on a side project.
What will get made the first week: You mean “What WON’T get made?!” I have a series of product designs I’ve been waiting to fabricate; a very simple, but very needed pocket earbud holder. Illustrated puzzle (photo below). Holiday cards. Signage. Stamp. Realistically that’s the first week. Also enjoying digging through the library of good others have designed, which I’ll personalize.

My ‘intricadoodle’ puzzle:


Where it will live: In the garden level of my Brooklyn apartment. Good light, ventilation if needed, and a place I can noodle with things even when someone upstairs needs quiet.

Who will use it: Me, the rest of my family, and friends (time permitting).

What will get made the first week: I suspect I’ll start out with the basics of paper and cardboard while learning the ins and outs. My hope is to quickly graduate to woods of all kinds, including veneer, which I’ve worked with very little in the past, but I’m super excited to get started!

that’s a pretty darn awesome puzzle @kylekesterson!

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@chaniilove19 @FeliaJ Hey thanks! This doodle style is something I’ve done since about 2001 and have always seen it as a puzzle, so last year when I finally had access to a laser was able to experiment and bring it to life. It took quite a bit of playing to get the varying intensities correct so the shading looked good, but I’m pretty happy with the final result. Can’t wait to make more with various materials. :relaxed: