What essentials am I going to need?

Glowforge is on its way arriving Monday! Looking for recommendations for essential materials or items I will need. Thanks!

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The machine comes with a good starter pack to get you going. I’d say essentials depends on what you want to do. For me, alcohol and a good lens cleaner are pretty essential for cleaning. And I use a lot of cardboard for testing, but I have my settings dialed in for that so I don’t cause fires. But it all depends on what you wanted to do to start. I would say having good files to cut are essential.

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A lot depends on what you want to do. The thing to understand is that the Glowforge cuts very well even very intricately but it stops there. Everything else is up to you. If you are going to make stuff in wood you will need a lot of wood working tools, for sanding and shaping, no end to the need for clamps of all sizes, a scroll saw is what the Glowforge mostly replaces but cutting apart scraps or other impromptu simple cuts will come up all the time. Sandpaper glued to a scrap of wood works for many things but a belt sander works better on large flat areas,

The laser cuts straight down so anything on an angle is other work, then for the laser itself I find that the thicker Purell hand sanitizer cleans the gunk off most areas and materials, but for the lenses you need the Zeiss lens wipes or similar to make sure you do not damage lenses, and I have various sorts of wire and stiff bristle brushes for reaching areas needed to be cleaned.

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This post has you covered:

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nice… I might have read that post before.

@rbtdanforth You’re right, I have an electric sander, wood glue, clamps. But because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I also have a box of tiles, magnets, jewelry findings, a gazillion different materials I want to use, then I bought a printer, a vinyl cutter, a heat press, a new computer…Glowforge essentials I swear…

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If I could buy the tools etc that I want to use I would also need to buy an air conditioned barn to hold it all

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Here’s a video I put together a long time ago with some recommendations that seem to help a lot of people in the past:

I’ve done a few other helpful tips and tutorial videos that you may want to check out while your there. The one about an external fan is highly recommended too.

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Same, I’ve actually been looking for a portable AC since the wall ac next to the glowforge isn’t doing it’s job. Also…my barn would have so many other tools that I’ll wonder why I ever bought a glowforge…and when it’s this hot and I can’t concentrate on my next project, I find myself internet window shopping for another project tool…today I spent half the morning looking at bage presses…I think I have a problem…but…at least I found ways to use most of this stuff :rofl:

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I forgot about duct tape. It was definitely an essential trying to get the masking off. But now that I mask my own stuff, I haven’t had to use the tape.

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I’d say your most needed essentials are desire, willingness to learn and patience. The tools and supplies are easy to come by and easy to replenish but when frustration hits ( and it will)… press on. BTW- Welcome. You have already discovered the last essential in my book and that is this forum. Use it, get to know the other users. Read every post, past and closed. Make notes and use the book mark. And always feel free to ask questions.

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WOW! Thanks so much for all the replies I haven’t had a chance to read them all but what a great response!

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Lots of Zeiss wipes and plastic razor blades.

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You’ll need these or something like them because no material stays perfectly flat forever:

Become familiar with this data for your project’s cutting/engraving/etc settings.

Also, pick up a collection of any material you can afford (cardboard, paper, veg leather, etc) and do some experiments just to see what it can do. Don’t plan to far with these experiments because you don’t want to get bogged down with the details. Have fun and just crank out a few things to see what the results are like. Engrave a picture, cut out a box, make a popup card, etc.
There are a lot of examples in the forums here.

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I’m going to be the contrarian here and say don’t buy anything until you have the machine and have some prints on the sample materials they provide under your belt.

Spend time learning a good design app and understanding how the machine works, then you can focus on the types of projects you plan to work on, and the additional supplies you might need.

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Got the zeiss wipes my Walmart finally got some in!

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Yea I figure it will be a little bit before we find software we really like and then become familiar and comfortable with it.

At my job I can get unlimited cardboard so that will come in handy!

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Thanks so much!!!

Software that is easy to start with will become annoying once you know it. The reverse is also true. Gimp and Inkscape are a bit harder to learn at first, but are amazing once you get to know them.

I have found that playing with the programs you can familiarize yourself with most of the commands, and then when you have a specific outcome in mind you will be able to plan how to do it. If you set a specific goal each step will be a mountain to research how each step could be done, while if you are aware of the commands they are molehills.

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One more suggestion: Be sure to install your 'forge on a sturdy, flat and level table or bench of some sort – preferably one you can move around if you have a model with a pass-through – and take the time to make a good venting system.

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