Request for various 'cardboards' in the materials in

Just received the GF yesterday. Love it. It’s awesome. But one weird thing. I thought cardboard was a pretty standard material to use in a lasercutter. In fact the GF marketing video from 2015 that prompted me to buy a GF has a giant cardboard globe shown. So imagine my surprise when the app shows me a search dialog with tons of materials, that somehow cardboard is omitted.

Before you reply with:
“But there is no proofgrade cardboard, and for unstandard materials, there is not even a single standard cardboard”.
Yes. Correct. BUT. You could offer up a few different common cardboards: like “0.01inch non-corrugated cardboard”, and perhaps a few Corrugated Cardboard options too… offer several different thicknesses (or let me type it in). For fun could include paper, tissue paper, different leaves… let’s make this database DIVERSE… :slight_smile:

"But you’ll always want to tweak the power setting"
ok… fine. so give me a starting point, and make it clear that it’s a starting point that I should experiment, and let me save a preset for it for next time.

What’s a crappy user experience is me getting nothing from the search dialog, then having to go to the GF forums, searching for cardboard, finding OLD speed/power settings (for an old version of the app), then finding the NEW speed/power settings. YUK. That’s a weird user experience - when everything else about the GF experience was AWESOME out of the box.

"But cardboard is flammable, and not recommended"
really. really? in your marketing video, there’s a globe made from cardboard. It’s common. Everyone who does lasercutting uses it. Let’s stop this attitude.
The way you deal with this, is you pop up a huge scary warning, with pictures of flames, and tell the person to watch carefully. Hell my draft board flared up when I cut on top of some places I previously scored - so fire’s gonna happen. :slight_smile:

"But we want to recommend people only buy proofgrade…"
Yes, the business model of selling ink cartridges for printers is a known one. It’s going to carry you far, GF people, But I think I’ll still be buying your proofgrade even if I’m doing little hobbies on cardboard and paper. Dont worry, you’ll get my money. :slight_smile: And moreover… hmmm. sell me some cardboard and other paper products in your proofgrade store. I’ll buy stacks of it! :slight_smile:

Just saying, for user experience. It was a strange one to see tons of materials in the list, and then the most basic common material just wasn’t in there. Would love to see various thicknesses of cardboards, papers, etc… for unsupported materials. As well as in the proofgrade store.


They can’t possibly include settings for every material in the known universe. Or even every material the machine is able to cut. So they include settings for the materials they do have the composition of… the materials they manufacture. I mean, you say “cardboard” like there’s only one type, thickness, and composition. There are countless variations… each requiring its own setting to be cut or engraved.

I hope you’ll conclude that what you’re asking for simply isn’t something a company can possibly ever accomplish.


Just my opinion but it defeats the purpose of the populated settings - in that those populated settings are designed to just work - no input, no worrying, no testing, etc. I can only imagine the mess if you include “starting points” for unknown, untested materials alongside proofgrade settings that are just expected to work.


Hopefully you read my entire post :slight_smile: I did address that:

sorry :slight_smile:

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I didn’t. But now that I’ve read that section, I think you’re not quite getting that even with the specs you defined there, there would still be differences in the composition based on manufacturer. And those differences are the key to dialing in the correct settings. If they included them as “working” and they don’t work, or burn the user’s house down, or anything else, they’d be responsible for the “error.” The settings for Proofgrade Maple Plywood will work on Proofgrade Maple Plywood. They will very likely not work well with Home Depot Maple Plywood of the same thickness. Might come close. Might even hit the mark sometimes. But go back for more next week and you’ll find last week’s settings don’t yield the same result.


I see that. But here’s one way I would approach solving that: put cardboard in the list, but when you choose it, it pops up an informative box with some advice, starting settings to try, etc. Maybe it doesn’t apply those settings to your job (it’s just an info-box, and makes you go type in the manual settings) - but at least it would tell you some starting point…

Cardboard is common enough that people are gonna search for it.


The legal talent retained by glowforge are very conservative from a liability perspective. Paper products and particularly corrugated cardboard are the most likely to ignite.
From that, I am surprised the lawyers didn’t freak out over the featured demo of a large flammable light fixture. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


The approach I would use is to allow you to add “Cardboard” to the list with the settings that you’ve found works well with you’re particular cardboard.

Again, Glowforge cannot possibly advise you on something they’re not intimately familiar with (i.e. something they’ve produced). You’re asking them to do all of the work for you. They just can’t. I don’t think you’re fully understanding what you’re asking for here.

As we’re seemingly at an impasse here, I’ll bow out now and allow Support to gracefully say “Thank your for the request. I’ll make sure it gets to the right people.” :slight_smile:


I’m just talking about user experience. Something the product designers care about. In my first hour of ownership, I had a great experience, except this one thing. Because of that, I think it’s worth addressing. I do think cardboard is common enough, most people have it laying around. So It’s worth having something in the UI for it, is all I’m saying.

“All the work for me”, is the definition of user experience. It’s what the glowforge was founded on, why so many people bought it. I thought it could be worth to the GF team to know about bumps in the Ux their customers have had - is all I’m trying to surface here.


Very well worded argument for your feature request. It looks like you already know why you won’t get what you’re asking for since you attempted to preempt the arguments, but I don’t think it’ll work. I hope we’ll still get the ability to save our own settings someday.


Here’s an odd thing. When I first started using this pre-release unit there was a cardboard (1/50" I believe) listed in the dropdown menu for materials. It has since disappeared. I wonder if the plan was and/or is to include Proofgrade cardboard at some point.


Happy 2nd anniversary!


Yes. The disconnect between the front and center cardboard globe in the initial—and still prominent marketing video—and the absolute lack of assistance in making it at this point is huge.

At least we do have the forum to work it out. At the moment, any time someone departs from the narrow road of Proofgrade, default settings, and Glowforge catalog designs it requires a good deal of knowledge, either from experience or from slogging through various sources of information and trying it out. And when starting out, even doing all the Glowforge way stuff requires some work and understanding.

Definitely good to point out that the initial marketing has promises that we have no idea when/if the will be fulfilled.


It’s just a material people use a lot. IDK why you wouldn’t want to help make your machine more useful, even if it’s not a guaranteed preset but instead just gives some tips. but of course let us not forget it is early days… we are lucky to receive these machines so early, but the software is barely been out in the wild - i’m happy it works as well as it does!

Letting us save presets is a no brianer. But it is beta software. I expect in the future it will allow me to save my own material presets - probably when they’re done working hard on functionality and bug fixes… :slight_smile: proofgrade should give a revenue stream which keeps the programmers employed long term to make it all better for us. early days here.


I will sometimes edit the name of the file on the home page to include the settings.


…and also getting machines out to people that don’t have to be returned right after receiving.


I think that while the GF is incredibly easy to use, it still is a laser and requires thought and some cautious exploration. We have to be willing to explore some things on our own – and this forum is an awesome place to do just that. With the non-proofgrade materials I have used so far including various cardboards, this forum has provided me with starting points for all of them.


If you listen closely, the commercial never says that “you” can choose cardboard and then have the laser cut or engrave a design. They only say that a ewe can choose cardboard.

It’s an easy mistake to make.


Okay Glowforge - Here is my great idea… I ordered a bunch of PG materials. When they arrived and I removed them from the box… I was thinking how cool would it be if the cardboard my PG materials shipped in was proof grade itself. Yea - Make it an option to pay just a little extra to have my proof grade material ship in a proof grade box!! What do you think??


They could have a non-proofgrade section of materials with a different user interface, and allow it to be populated by crowdsourcing.

It could have a UI similar to a wizard that shows a range of settings that others have used and have warnings saying that these are not guaranteed or even recommended settings–just what others have submitted for similar materials.

But that would be something that would take engineering time away from getting other features built.