Tips for buying materials at Lowe's / Amazon

Hi everyone,

Just got my Pro, excited! Unfortunately the box with the proofgrade materials will only arrive on Monday and I really want to get going already…

Any tips on materials I can buy at Lowe’s or Amazon Prime Now to get started with cutting / engraving jobs while waiting for the proofgrade stuff?

Thanks a bunch!

Just has a discussion along these lines, with a different question though.

Thanks, definitely helpful!

I still feel quite lost though, this thing is great but somewhat scary! Eg: people say on your thread that they buy “Cast Acrylic” from Amazon. I have no idea what exact thing to buy there and fear damaging the Glowforge or ending up with bad fumes if I get the wrong one.

Also have no idea what kind of stuff can be cut vs engraved. Really looking fwd to doing some cutting jobs but I guess that makes the search for non-proofgrade materials that are suitable even harder!

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I don’t think any acrylic will be a problem for the GF as long as it is real acrylic and not polycarbonate. Some will smell more than others.

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Here is the Baltic Birch from Amazon that I’ve been using: 3 mm 1/8" X 12" X 12" Premium Baltic Birch Plywood – B/BB Grade - 16 Flat Sheets By Woodpeckers

I use the Proofgrade settings for Medium Draftboard and that works pretty well.


If you do get acrylic from Amazon and it has the plastic protective covering as opposed to the paper masking that Proofgrade comes with, be sure to remove the covering before using.


Thanks a bunch Cynd, just got a box of that Plywood!!

As for the acrylic, do you pls know of any suitable product on Amazon that the Glowforge should be able to cut? Eager to cut some acrylic typefaces :))

The one most similar to what I have from a local source (which works great, very similar to Proofgrade) is this one: 5 Sheets - 1/8" Clear Cell Cast Acrylic Plexiglass Sheet 12" x 12"

But there are many other cheaper cast acrylics listed that I’m sure would also be good.

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I bought this one and it was just fine:

Cast Acrylic Sheet, Clear, 12" x 12" x 0.118" Size (Pack of 8)

Of course, with Amazon sometimes you don’t get the same exact thing every time because they do that commingling thing. But what I received was nice paper-backed Chemcast. I set it to proofgrade and had no problems.

… In fact, I just ordered some more because it’s almost the same price I pay locally, without the trouble of having to lug it home on the train from Canal Plastics.

12x12x8 = 1152 sq in for $33.21 from Amazon

vs. $32 for 12x24x4 from Canal Plastics

vs. $47.50 for 12x20x5 for Proofgrade


Vs $25.40 for 12x24x4 from estreetplastics

$43.32 with the cheapest shipping option (to me). I forgot to include that in the Glowforge price, but it’s already the most expensive.


Never forget that one of the best materials for prototyping that you can get from Amazon is the box they ship the other stuff in, because: “free”. Good quality cardboard comes in VERY handy. (just watch for flareups due to the multi-layer corrugation)

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Yeah, good call, shipping put me just over 40$ as well. That amazon deal is maybe the best if you’re a prime member, and 20% off for subscribe and save really sinks the price.


I got curious for a sec, Ebay frequently has good deals on stuff like this:

EDIT: lol I can’t do math.

The hunt continues for deals.


I realize this is becoming a rathole, but one more on the subject of Amazon. I looked at my last order and it was $39, so this is fairly variable. There may be people who don’t know about camelcamelcamel, the weirdly named price watch service that’s been around forever. It may be well worth setting up a price alert and stocking up if it it dips into the mid 20s again.


I’ve used camelcamelcamel for stuff for years, although not yet for laserable items.


One thing to note about estreetplastics is that the acrylic has paper masking on it that works very well. No need to mask. Saves time and money vs masking yourself.

I think all of the options we’ve been talking about have paper masking.

Anyway, it’s wonderful to have choices.

Bought a box of that - Good stuff. Of the 5 or so sheets I’ve used thus far, it’s void free and cuts really well. I’ve also been using 1/8" birch plywood gotten from Home Depot then cut down on my table saw to fit in the bed. That stuff works awesome and I’ll probably just keep using it.


i’ve ordered the woodpeckers 12x12x3mm twice. once for me at home and once for work. the box i got at home was fairly flat. the box i got at work has a lot of warp to it. i’ve seen since people here have both experiences.

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