QOTD from Glowforge: Tell us about the computer(s) + touch devices you want to use with your Glowforge

Happy Holidays, folks!

We want to be sure we build software that works with as much hardware and software as possible (Macs, PCs, touch devices of various kinds, etc). We’d love to understand more about the machine(s) you want to use with your Glowforge. Ideally, be as specific as possible. I’ll start:

For hardware:

A MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) running El Capitan
1.7 GHz Intel Core i7 w/ 8gb RAM
graphics card: Intel HD Graphics 5000 1536 MB

I also have an iPad Air and (soon) an iPhone. I haven’t done any design work on touch devices (if I was a better pen artist, a stylus might have more allure), but I think it might be nice to print stuff from the Glowforge Catalog via touch. I’m not sure if I’ll need that given that my computer is right next to where my Glowforge will live. Big question to you-- how excited would you be to use your Glowforge via touch devices?

For software:
I’ll be using Adobe Illustrator, AutoDesk 123D Make, Photoshop and the Glowforge Catalog to make laserstuff! A lot of my fellow designers have ben telling me I need to start using Sketch for vector work, so I might explore that. I haven’t used much 3D software other than a little SketchUp.

On touch devices, I don’t use any design software (do you?).

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Mac Mini (2012) 10.10.3 (beta)
2.3 GHz Intel Core i7
16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740 4095 MB

iPad Mini (9.2) /w 53 Pencil (Mine) (used with AstroPad)
iPad Mini (9.2) /w Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus (Spouse) (used with AstroPad)

Adobe Illustrator, Fusion 360 & AutoCAD 2015

The game plan was to leave one of the older tablets iOS devices or a RPi /w a touch screen next to the Glowforge for quick ops and status.

PC Windows 7pro
CPU Intel i7 4790k @ 4 GHz Quad
32 GB Ram
Nvvdia GTX 770
1G network CAT6

Gearotic Motion

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Ipad version 2
Macbook Pro 13 inch
Ipad Mini

Software- Just learning 123DMake

For hardware:
Dell Inspiron 15.6” Laptop, Touchscreen, Windows 10 - 32” external monitor
2.4 GHz Intel Core i7 w/ 8gb RAM

Toshiba Satellite 15.4” Laptop, Windows 7
2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 w/ 8gb RAM

Samsung Tab S 10” Android tablet.
For software:
Currently use Photoshop, Inkscape, Sketchup. Familiar with a bunch of other Windows and Mac based 2D and 3D packages and will likely tune my design resources to the Glowforge rather than worrying whether the GF supports what I have.

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I use a Hackintosh. I don’t know the specs - my Husband built it. I run OS 10.9. He will use one (or more) of 8 other devices. He makes broken computers work, so he’ll rotate through his favorites.

Kids will initially design on HP thin clients running linux. Slow; but they will do the job. Kids will also get recycled cardboard as their materials unless they have a prototype worthy of spending actual money on… but I want them to design, learn, experiment, and create. Then I will oversee (i.e. do) any cutting with their brilliant design work.

I also have a 7" Galaxy Tab 2.0 - but I haven’t found an app for drawing that comes anywhere near the app on my husband’s iPad. No Wacoms, no styluses, nothing fancy yet. I expect that will change with time.

Software: reliably I can use sketchup. I’m learning Inkscape and openSCAD.

I have pens and sharpies. We’ll do that a lot.

I have been too cheap to get a current license of Adobe anything - the last time I looked at prices it just wasn’t viable. Then again, I didn’t have a GlowForge. I have gimp. I pretty much hate it; but free is free, and I can make it do stuff.

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HP Z210 workstation w/ Windows 7 Professional (may upgrade to Windows 10), Xeon processor, 32 GB RAM, NVIDIA card
HP Envy notebook w/ Windows 8.1, i7 processor, 12 GB RAM

I have a 7" Android tablet but I don’t envision using this for the Glowforge.

CorelDraw x7
Vectric Aspire 8.0
Probably Fusion 360 & 123D Make

I5 laptop
2-3 gig of ram
On board video

Dual or quad core desktop
1 gig video
2gig ram

Both run software up till about 2012 just fine
Both running Windows 7 might go to ten

iPad mini. Not sure where it falls in terms of use with GF

Solidworks 2012
Maybe Sketchup (free) , depending on the communities use
Artcam pro 2008(probably won’t , unless the 3D relief stuff pans out, more for STL)
Make 123d looks really good

Well…I’ve got a 2003

Apple Power Macintosh G4 with the Cinema Display(yes these are the cool acrylic ones. check them out)

I think it’s running Panther. Found it being tossed by a company. I was running cable through their space.

My real work horse:
2009 iMac
Processor Name: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 8 MB
Memory: 16 GB
Processor Interconnect Speed: 4.8 GT/s
El Capitan(10.11.2)
(got 123D make and Blender to try and learn)

1st Gen iPad iOS 5.0.1

iPhone 5s 9.0.2

Also have a Dell Precision T3500 w/ Win 10 on it.

Macbook Pro 17" quad i7 2.3ghz with 2TB SSD, 16gb RAM, el-capitan
Mac Pro 2008, Dual Quad Xeon 2.8ghz, 16gb Ram 18tb RAID, el-capitan
iPad 3 64gb

Illustrator CC (entire CC suite)
Fusion 360

Happy holidays to the Glowforge team as well!

For hardware:

My wife is currently using a 17" Asus laptop dual screen setup. i5 quad core with 8gb RAM, dual SSDs (love SSDs!) and Win 10 x64. I suspect that will be upgraded to a i7 Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book sometime in 2016.

My workstation is a Dell T7610. Dual Xeon E5-2697 processors with 12 physical cores each (48 total threads), 128gb RAM, three SSDs, NVidia GTX 780 Ti running three monitors (4k primary with two wings) and Win 10 64x. This is a computer for 3D rendering/animation and post production in my home office, its not an overcompensation :grinning:

We have two Note 4 phones with the included wacom stylus and two Note 10.1 tablets also with included stylus. Not sure that these will get much Glowforge action, but if there is some cool software or a great way to interface with them all the better.

For software:

My wife will likely be in the Adobe suite. She has picked up Photoshop and Premiere and I intend to get her going with Illustrator as well. I might take a peek at Inkscape and see if the interface is significantly easier than Illustrator as I feel Adobe products have a rather steep learning curve for people that don’t have a background in it. This is not a knock on Adobe, just that the software is so capable that it can often be overwhelming to newcomers.

I plan to use AutoCAD or 3D Studio Max for designing things more mechanical/structural in nature and Illustrator and Photoshop for the more artistic and raster based stuff. I suspect some of the Autodesk 123 applications will get some playtime as well.

The kids have gotten quite good with TinkerCAD designing for our 3D Printer. I plan to see what we can do about having them design in that even if I have to make some adjustments to their STL files in AutoCAD/Max prior to sending to the Glowforge. Its a wonderful (simple) interface with a very low intimidation factor. If that proves not to be a good workflow, I will likely move them up to Sketchup and just get them going with the basics until they need more.

2011 15" MacbookPro OSX 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, 2.53 Ghz Intel Core Duo, 4gb ram 256mb video + wacom intuosPro3
Running most of the Adobe CS5.5 suite, Studio Artist

2015 27" 5k iMac OSX 10.11 El Capitan 4Ghz i7, 32gb ram 4gb video + wacom cintiq 27QHD (not touch)
Running most of the Adobe CC suite, SketchUp

iPhone5 iOS 9.2, running Adobe Capture, Adobe Draw. *being able to send from directly from Capture to Glowforge Engrave would be wonderful.

May pick up a SurfacePro4 to have a windows machine around, but I am personally more interested in the pen interface than touch. It would run the Adobe CC suite as well.

edit- forgot to mention an important piece of software, that I am not currently running but will be in the near future, possibly before the glowforge arrives, which is SAI Flexi12. It is a design/cut/rip program for signmakers that drives plotters and large-/grand- format printers. I have not seen it mentioned yet, but I am certain that other future glowforge owners will be running some version of Flexi… something silly like 3 out of 4 sign shops use it as their main design software.

Late 2014 iMac Retina 5k, 27"
Processor; 4 GHz Intel Core i7
El Capitan 10.11.1
Memory; 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Graphics: AMD Radeon R9 M290X 2048 MB
3.12 TB Fusion Drive

Like wesleyjames, I have a first gen.iPad running 5.1.1. I’m relatively certain that the original iPad will be unable to do much of anything with the Glowforge. Plus I have no design software on it, either. In February I am planning on buying a new iPad pro with the cool stylus. It will be cool to find out how much more it may relate to the Glowforge and to designing on a touch device. And yes, Tony…I will be very excited to be able to use a touch device with the Glowforge!

iPhone 6 plus

I have a Wacom tablet but have not used it in several years.

I am as new to the various software as I will be to owning a laser, but am beginning to learn Sketchup and may be trying to learn others down the line. I will also be relying heavily on hand drawn things and using the Glowforge catalog.

Wishing you and all of those on the Glowforge team a wonderful holiday season. The New Year is going to be terribly exciting for all of us here!

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Morgan’s Laptop 1
Mid-2015 Macbook Pro 15" with Retina, running Yosemite
Processor: 2.5 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory: 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3
Graphics: Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

This machine is also partitioned with Parallels to run Windows 7 Pro.

Morgan’s Laptop 2
2009-ish HP Probook 17", running Windows 7 Home
Processor etc.: [unknown, will update when I pull it out]

Jerome’s Laptop 1
2013-ish Dell Precision M4700

Jerome’s Laptop 2
2010-ish Macbook Pro, 13"

Morgan’s: 2013 Samsung Galaxy Tab running Android 4.4.2
Jerome’s: 2014 Samsung Galaxy Tab running?

Morgan’s Phone: LG G2 running Android 5.0.2
2007-ish Bamboo Fun Tablet
Samsung B2330 22" monitor

Adobe CS4 for Windows (heavy use of Illustrator, Photoshop, and Indesign)
Sure Cuts A Lot, if absolutely necessary

Solidworks, 2015 version

As for use of touch devices, that would be fine with me, but I’m not yearning for it or anything.

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  • PC - AMD Phenom II X6 3.61ghz w/ 16GB RAM and ATI Radeon 290x Graphics card
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 3
  • Nokia Lumia Ikon
  • Various Android tablets

My primary device will most likely be my PC, however, my game plan is to leave my old Android tablet near the device (maybe with a stand?) for quick access. though I would like to be able to access it from all of the devices above.


  • Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
  • SketchUp
  • 123D Make

Most of my work will be in Illustrator and SketchUp.

I have others, but these 3 will be my primary workstations.
2010 Macbook Pro OS 10.11
2013 Mac Pro OS 10.11
Mid 2011 Mac Mini OS 10.11

IPad 32GB 3G 3rd Gen

Fusion 360
Sketchup (If I have to)
123D Make
If my forge makes enough money, I’ll spring for the Adobe products.

PC - Intel Core i7 3.60GHz w/16GB DDR3 and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650

Windows 10
Sketchup Pro 2016
AutoDesk Fusion 360
AutoDesk 123D Make
Google Chrome

Not sure if you know this or not, but Adobe has put everything in there cloud service now. Prices range depending on what you want to use but you can get a single app (like illustrator) for $20 per month, or for access to all of their apps for $50 per month. Depending on budget it may be worth it.


Computer : Toshiba Core I7
15.6" touch screen
"basic" graphics card

Phone/ Touch screen device : Samsung Galaxy Phone

Software : AutoCAD, VectorWorks, Sketch up

Back to the original question: a 2014 Macbook Air will drive my Glowforge Pro… eventually.