I chose a simple card case for my first project. I’ve made this piece many times by hand, cutting each piece individually, marking the positions for the holes, and hammering the lacing holes with chisels. The Glowforge did all that work in less than 10 minutes - pretty flawlessly.
I used Adobe Illustrator to create my SVG files. I used a line weight of .001 for the cut lines and set my stitching holes as 1.5mm circles, then set the type in Futura Medium and set it to expand.
On the first test I used the Glowforge Proof-grade Medium Natural Leather. The proof-grade leather was a little soft for the engraved type. In some places the type lost its sharp edges. I decided from the first test that 1.5mm is slightly too large for a stitching hole, so I changed the file to 1mm circles for the second test.
For the second test I wanted to use leather that I already had. I used this leather:
and to mask it I used this low tack masking tape:
Expressions Vinyl - 12in. x 100ft. Paper Transfer Tape Roll for Craft Cutters and Vinyl Application
I used the Glowforge’s “Thin Natural Leather” material setting, which almost worked perfectly. The first three pieces cut perfectly; the last did not. I think the slight curl in my leather might have caused that.
A couple things I learned:
I store my leather rolled up. To use it on the Glowforge I will need to cut it down and weight it flat so that it will be perfectly flat for cutting. The areas in the leather that wanted to curl did not cut perfectly.
I think I’m going to invest in some calipers to measure the thickness of the leather I’m using, so that I can manually set the material thickness for my cuts.