Since you asked, I’d probably leave the Free Designs category as it is here in the forum, but I’d also get a free designs section of the Catalog set up ASAP, and duplicate them there. (If it can be set up that way and sectioned out.)
The Free Designs section in the forum is a bit limited in use…it’s hard to find things due to the nature of the forum. (Timeline as opposed to Gallery. Timeline is good for chatty, Gallery is good for shopping.)
Eventually having a large pool of designs created by the customers visible to all but only available for download via access to the catalog (ie: you own a Glowforge) gives another incentive to future customers to choose a Glowforge over any other laser. It becomes a selling point. It will bring in more customers with more shared designs. So everybody benefits. (Wishblade/Thingiverse model.). Maintaining control of it will keep GF viable through the upcoming competitive scramble to take customers away. And it makes sure that other laser users don’t have the ability to just download the shared files from the forum.
For those who don’t have a problem with that, they can keep sharing files on the forum though, so having that option available for the competition is a nice gesture.
Beginning customers are going to be proud of their creations and want to show them off, if they have easy access to a gallery style format, they’ll be able to do it. And a “free samples” Gallery section would give the pros a venue to showcase their work for their own sales. It builds the pool of available resources for everyone. People who have already purchased will have a continual feed of new files and inspiration. Some might go on to design their own and sell them. And it gives Glowforge first shot at converting the best of what they see into paid designers selling through the catalog. Capture enough of them and you’ll take the field, and keep it. (Silhouette model.)
And the appetite for free files, and inexpensive easy to personalize files is going to be insatiable.
(Chuckle! There you go…my very amateur opinion on how to build a craft related business in two short paragraphs.)
Other than that, the categories seem to be working pretty well. (Sorry for the slight detour.)