Where does everyone get there supplies? Like Hardwood and Acrylic? Glowforge never seems to have anything instock an I’m a little afraid to just go out and use random materials that aren’t proofgrade. I can’t run a business with no materials and the machine is almost useless with nothing to use in it lol. I have gone to Inventables site but there wood isn’t Proofgrade. What does everyone do???

A lot of material is available. I buy mdf at Lowes, Home Depot and several local businesses. I go to specialty lumber suppliers and buy Baltic Birch. I use hobby wood (oak, poplar, pine, balsa…) from the major hobby stores, Lowes, Walmart and HD. I don’t buy plywood from the box stores other than for backer boards or to practice. HD sells a premium plywood online that is on par with Proof Grade.

I buy very little online.

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I start by searching the forum, because this is a really common topic.

Try searching for “acrylic source”, and you’ll be amazed at how many times it’s come up. The forum is a treasure trove, just waiting for you to open it up.


Glowforge is the only one who sells proof grade material. There are a lot of sources of material (others have posted links so I won’t) that work fine on the GF. But if you want proof grade then you have to purchase it from Glowforge (or one of about a half dozen Joann Fabrics in the US that carry proof grade material supplied by Glowforge).


There’s a coating on the stuff you buy from Glowforge that you supposedly need to have on it to print in the Glowforge so what do you do when you by stuff from HD or other places?

I know that just about everything you buy on Glowforge is about on 1/8 inch is that because that’s the only thickness you can use?

Proofgrade means it’s safe for GF right? They make it sound like if it’s not Proofgrade it will damage the machine.

Proofgrade is manufactured for use in the Glowforge. Glowforge has settings for each of these materials which come into the machine automatically when the label is read by the machine or the proof grade material is selected from a dropdown list. Proofgrade material is guaranteed to work so If you have issues with it contact Glowforge and they will replace the material. Non proofgrade material does not come with any guarantee and you have to manually enter the settings. Glowforge has no control over non proof grade material so they will not discuss settings or make any guarantee on how it will process. Some non proof grade materials can damage the machine (such as anything that contains vinyl). There are a lot of non proof grade material that can be processed in the GF as you will find linked to in these forums. With ANY material never leave the GF unattended since lots of material (even proof grade) can catch on fire. About your other statement about 1/8" material. Any proof grade material listed as medium is going to be 1/8" while anything listed as thick is going to be 1/4" (with the exception of leather).


When you say “coating”, are you referring to the masking that you remove when your project has been lasered? Or are you referring to the finish on the woods? If you are asking about the masking, it is widely available, look for medium tack masking–the 12 inch wide rolls are a useful size. If you are referring to the finish on the wood itself, there are lots of varnishes available from lots of sources.

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No, I think you’re reading into things or someone’s given you bad info because I’ve never seen GF claim material other than PG (proofgrade) will damage the machine or can’t be used. (And if you search the forum, you’ll even see their own employees have posted projects on non-PG material.) But making sure whatever you use is laser safe is extremely important because you can really hurt yourself and destroy your machine if you put the wrong stuff in there.

PG is just convenient because the settings are provided and it’s nice stuff. But any laser safe wood is fine in the GF and there are dozens of sources. Not all plywood is laser friendly though because they can have different glues and substrates that don’t cut well, and they can be filled with voids. Home Depot is a cheap and easy supplier, but they sell an awful lot of crap plywood that’s not optimum for laser work. It’s great for some projects, but if you’re making high-end, quality products, you have to buy quality materials. And if you buy wood from other sources pay attention to if it’s masked or not because if you want it masked, you might have to buy that as well. (Masking is the paper tape on top that you remove when done. If you search for it, you’ll find a bunch of sources and info about it.)

Here’s a good list of suppliers and info


Other than masking I’m not aware of any coating. After sanding smooth, I apply 12" wide masking to all of my material but before lasering.

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