Waiting on my Glowforge Pro

I’ve never used a laser cutter. Hoping that the directions are clear. I currently make a few things in my garage like book shelves, tables, small boxes etc. I recently made a wood flag for my son that turned out nice. I’d like to incorporate some laser cut inlays into some of my work. Also very interested in some of the items I’ve seen like the candle holder. I will be purchasing a few templates but would be grateful for any information on free templates I could try out. Looking forward to seeing what I can do and create with the GF and hoping I’m not too old to learn how to use it :wink:


Just check out the Free Laser Designs category of this forum!


A whole section of free designs here in the forum. :slight_smile:



You might find some useful info in this thread:

EDIT: Also, if you’re into inlays, definitely research the forum for “kerf adjustment”. You’ll need to know about it to get really tight fits.

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Never too old to learn something new, you’ll have a blast! :grinning:
(And I think I know your girlfriend Lois.)


Feel kind of silly, Guess I didn’t look around enough to see there were some free designs on here. I will definitely check them out.

I appreciate the responses.

Thanks, I will check them out.


There is a user guide that is important to read. There is a tutorial that is a learn by doing that takes you from a design process in Inkscape to a finished print. The general consensus is that the manual needs some additional info for rolling your own designs. There is a matrix that gives links to lots of tutorials and how tos:

There are lots of gems scattered throughout the history of this forum, so the search tool is your best friend.

And you can always ask questions in a new topic.

Some things that folks have run into when first starting out:

  1. Making sure you start at the right spot that walks you through connecting the Glowforge to the mothership and understanding the wifi connection process.
  2. Understanding that it is a web app that works best on Chrome that you use to control the Glowforge.
  3. Knowing the difference between the design space where the files for prints are kept and the operations space where you choose the settings for a cut, a score (light vector line marking) and engrave (raster fill of objects).
  4. Understanding the SVG file format of paths, objects, strokes and fills.
  5. Understanding raster/bitmap images as another format.
  6. Knowing the materials that work well in the Glowforge and getting the thickness dimension measured for your own materials.
  7. How the bed image matches up, more or less, to your design.
  8. Venting your Glowforge
  9. Operating environment temperatures (Basic is different from Pro but both will stop to cool off if the room is too hot.)
  10. The startup, calibration routine. Sometimes there are updates that get installed after turning on the machine. Knowing what is happening is a bit esoteric.

Lots more to it, but those are some crucial issues that are part of understanding.


Thanks, good info.

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At 62 I had never touched a laser or any kind of CNC device.
You are in the right place. The community here greatly eased my journey into the unknown - your best resource! :+1:

From our (old school) perspective, this is an amazing tool. The journey to me has felt like a treasure hunt, and the rewards are plentiful.
Welcome to the forum! :sunglasses: you have a wonderful adventure ahead of you.


You need to learn some vector software package if you don’t already know one of the packages. Lots of options, free and otherwise. Check out The Matrix for tutorials and suggestions.

That is really the only way you’ll be able to do inlays, etc. in an efficient manner.


I’ve used Corel for years. I’m assuming it will do the job.


Yay! Another Corel user :slightly_smiling_face:


We’re gonna have to isolate you two. :wink:


jamesdhatch :smile: I think I’ve used it in its different forms since around 98’ or 99’. Current version is 17’. It’s been helpful over the years. I started using it to help with my wood working a couple years ago.

Yep I started using it back then. It came on like 20 CDs because of all the clip art & other graphic files. And a book about an inch & half thick because they printed all 10,000 images so you could browse the book & find what you wanted and get the CD it was on.


I still have my version 3.0 CD and all the clipart and the book and I get some fonts from time to time from it.