Teaching students to glowforge

So, our school has a glowforge that we have had for a few months. I’m the one kind of “in charge” of it and I’ve learned a whole lot thanks to this forum. Our school is an alternative school for students who haven’t been very successful in traditional school and I like to introduce them to as much technology as I can to help them develop some real world experience. We have a 3d printer that they can use, recording software, green screen, etc.

I don’t teach students directly but I do train their teachers on technology and will often let them know what we have available and suggest some ways they can incorporate its use into their curriculum. To do this, I usually have a session where they get some hands on time with the tech and leave with a “thing” that they made.

So, what is a good first project that’s pretty easy to figure out and for me to show them that they could make in order to let them have some experience with it? I’m thinking like keychain, maybe an ornament or something like that. Just looking for some ideas that don’t require a lot of design work because A) I’m not that great at it yet and B) I definitely can’t teach anyone how to do it well.

So, any links to thing generators or any other ideas would be great. Thanks for any input.


Hey, glad you posted after lurking so long.

Check out posts by theroar84. This is kind of their thing.


There are other teachers doing the same thing. It may take them a while, but they usually find these posts and reply. You can also try searching the forum for school, student or classroom to find their posts.

My guess is that the key is to get the students interested. Once they catch the bug they’ll figure out the design software, Inkscape and Gimp most likely unless your school has an Adobe subscription for AI and Photoshop. Just allowing them to browse the Made on Glowforge category, or pulling some highlights from it, could do the trick.

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There’s always the gift of good measure…the little ruler that should be on your dashboard. Wouldn’t have to do much designing…they could put their names on them.


This is ambitious but for older students it gets all the tech skills put together. I have a cheap source of acrylic. If you were in Missouri I would get you a load. I don’t know what the budget is for materials but these are great. They students can do whatever image they want on them.

Heck. Just get a bunch of pencils and make a jig. They can put their name and slogan on them.

But it is a good question. I realize I am out of touch after five years without teaching.


I think it is fun to make your own box. There are several web sites let let you put in the sizes for the box then you can download the SVG file. They can then add art or text to personalize the box.



There are also free designs with instructions on https://www.instructables.com/ and https://makezine.com/category/home/


One of the first things I had my kids do was to take the box from the “first three prints” and add their own images to the sides. It was simple in that they didn’t have to create the box, and then we pulled black and white images from Google to add to the sides. If you can find coloring pages on Google images, they work really nicely.


Thanks for the replies everyone. I will definitely be putting them to use. Probably the biggest challenge is my own lack of design skill. I’ve improved a lot just by taking on projects that force me to learn but I still have a long way to go. Thankfully, this community is a great source of help!

Does the school have an arts department? Perhaps one of the faculty has design skills. You might even team up?

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