Watch Brad Feld & Dan Shapiro print something

This isn’t dramatic or exciting, and the camera work leaves a lot to be desired. Frankly watching a venture capitalist wrestle with Adobe Illustrator while I cheer him on with “over there! up and to the left!” is not going to stack up to The Martian for entertainment this weekend.

But a bunch of folks asked to see the print process from end-to-end, so I shot this. Brad’s in Boulder, CO, printing to a Glowforge at our HQ in Seattle. He hasn’t used Illustrator before but I walk him through taking a bitmap (his logo), drawing a circle around it, and printing it.

What if we did something like this with some of you all? : )


That… would be awesome.

Would be amazing to see you doing similar with other people. Where “similar” means approaching them to just ask “Will you print something remotely with us? Something that you currently want/need?”

Then let the other person select tools to use and what to print. Advise them where needed (like, “That tool won’t work, how about this one instead?”).

If only your camera work was as precise as your lasers :sweat_smile: ! Thanks for sharing Dan, its pretty awesome to get to see the Glowforge in action. Even though y’all only made a coaster, you made a coaster 1,300+ miles away that someone just slapped into Illustrator and clicked a button.

I volunteer! Would love to see the grey-scale etching in action!

@padeason We just got a nice camera with image stabilization… 12 hours too late!


Awesome, thanks so much for sharing this Dan!

Can’t wait to see more!

That’s awesome! I wouldn’t mind getting a demonstration like that!
Keep up the great work, I’m definitely looking forward to getting a Glowforge of my own to play with.

Great demo @dan !
Thank you for posting this.
It illustrates so many interesting aspects of the process, and it is great to see that you are at a point where you feel comfortable showing it off.
I would love to learn more about the way the plugin(s) will interact with Illustrator or the other software you will be supporting. In this example it seems to just select to outer most circle to cut on, and I am curious as to what kind of control we will have over the cut line(s). For instance what if we want to do multiple internal cuts? Is there a way to designate the cut lines manually?

I think brad did this, but it may not have been clear - on the left side of the UI, it lets you map colors to actions (engrave, cut, etc).

Can we engrave multiple speed and power settings on a single pass?

That was great. Nothing drives home just how easy this thing is to use like seeing someone walk through the whole process for the first time, and getting beautiful results out of it.

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@dan What are the chances that you guys will sell just the protective adhesive paper that you have on the wood from the hardware store in this video, or could you at least point us in the direction of where you acquired it?


Great question. I’ve been using 4" blue painters tape for this purpose, which is very over priced! I’ve been wanting to find a better solution and if Gloforge offered what they are using I’m sure I’d go for it.


Can you use the tape they use for vinyl decals? I had used it when I had used a vinyl cutter (from the 90’s) to cut decals for truck doors. I know they sell it in all widths including some that are about 12"

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If the tape is vinyl based, then no. Anything containing chlorine ( ) can release chlorine gas when being cut on a laser. This is bad for you, and not great for the machine.

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Not exciting or dramatic?! Just when I thought I couldn’t be more excited. I could just pop. ahhh!

Although this tape is used in the vinyl decal business, it isn’t vinyl. It is “transfer tape” used to place vinyl in place before final application. The substrate is either paper or “plastic” (poly ethylene?) The one paper-based data sheet I found listed a “rubber-based” adhesive in addition to the paper substrate.
This would seem to be a great protective covering for laser cutting, assuming rubber doesn’t cause an problem in a laser. Comes in various levels of tack, in sheets and rolls.


A few thoughts and questions for Dan after watching the video:

  1. Wow! Hot Damn! and other assorted superlatives!
    It’s one thing to watch a slick marketing video and have faith that the product will (eventually) actually work, but to see it perform in a real-world situation will make someone a true believer!
  2. Re: point #1, now you’ve got everyone wanting to see even more of Glowforge in action and coming up with an unlimited amount of new questions/comments/suggestions. Be prepared for us to pester you until the Glowforge shows up at the door. Then brace for a whole new round.
  3. I was glad to hear in the video that your goal was $4m (rather than the $100,000). I was concerned that you were not even in the same zip code of expectations. At least I know now you’re wildly overachieving by (only) a factor of 2 or 3.
  4. I know Glowforge will sell “pre-defined” materials and I think you mentioned Inventables as another possible source. Being first on the street to use a camera to read a material barcode for laser settings should mean you can define the standard. Will you publish the barcode process/parameters and make them openly available to any vendor? I can see this as an entire cottage industry in itself. (by the way, hoping LaserBits would be a player)
  5. Thanks again for taking the time to answer question in the forum. Probably scares the legal folks, but it is great to get an insight into the process of bringing Glowforge onto the market.

That’s what I was talking about!