What is a group of GF :glowforge: called?

I just had to see where that was and what it was about, it’s really cool! and there’s more pictures of the pod of 'forges: https://www.geekwire.com/2017/need-know-gix-new-uw-china-tech-school-promotes-entrepreneurship/

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A blazer of :glowforge:s


looks like a bench of Glowforges.


UPDATE: OK, I can confirm, that those are NOT carrots, as a matter of fact, they are REAL unicorns! Yes, I have my GF, and I LOVE it.

The beta UI is crappy and kinda takes a while to get going, plus it is SO finicky about displaying or not displaying the cut or engrave lines, it is a Pro that feels like a Basic, because maybe we are still learning on this beauty, but there is still a lot to do to get it going. Wish basic operations were solid, but eh. You WILL be teaching yourselves, filling in the blanks, conjunctions, not all the instructions on this site is fluent or fluid, lol.

GF needs to put 2 people in a room with a forge and a PC and see how long it takes them to get their first other than ruler print going following their instructions provided smh

Be warned, you better learn your Gimp and whatever other proggies you will use because
you WILL need them, otherwise, your forge is gonna sit pretty in the corner collecting dust.

This is not like the commercial, not yet anyhow :slight_smile:

Consolation for all of you waiting, you can have the knowledge and peace of mind that the quality of the forges going out is getting better. We had some smudges on ours but we cleaned it off.
I can attest my forge arrived in great condition, and but for the first day of start up ( it would not come out of cool down ), my little Vivi has been a champ every since.

I am not having the GF drama others have been having, but we are still new with it.

I THANK GOD, we don’t have to do the hokey pokey before we fire it up.
Move this, then do that, then do this, than do that, and then you can use your forge to make it work.

  • every time you start up, noooooooo.

We have no alignment or calibration issues, no having to be moving the lens under the camera each time we start, our is doing well. There will be a little drama, so keep those hankies near!!!
( but for trying to work the UI that does not respond :scream::crying_cat_face::alien::roll_eyes: )

LOTS of WORK for a job, then the settings, the materials.
What does what. We plan our first year to be GF college at home.

There is a lot of good info here but check out the other GF forums where the people who respond are more respectful and are nicer than here, they don’t have that mentality that you will see on these forums, hence there are a lot of lurkers, lol. JMHO. brushes off shoulders

The documentation for help and what not on this site leave a LOT to be desired.

They were not very helpful while me and tech hubby were trying to navigate our first test prints.

You would think they would make them idiot friendly but no, lol, you better be technically inclined :wink:
-or have someone who is so, who will put in the time for this, because, you gonna spend a lot of it!

That is my update and review of my GF.
Not gonna start a new thread for it, or add to anything else, I felt like after my scathing comment, there was no better place to update my review.

For those waiting, it is SOOOO worth it!.
If you are not technical, and you have no one technical to help you, please get your refund :frowning: This is not a CRICUT or any of those VERY user friendly simple machine applications.
THIS is technical stuff!

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I believe that there are many folks here who would refute that conclusion/recommendation.

I expect it’s very dependent on individual point of view, so I’m not disputing your experience or your assessment relative to yourselves but I didn’t want this to sit out there without suggesting that folks look at other people’s experience & backgrounds and see if they provide an alternative result that might conflict with your blanket statement based on your experience.

I always tell my students that the laser or CNC they want to use can do all sorts of cool stuff they never could do before but it will require learning new skills and new techniques - it can be as simple as “Place artwork, hit trace, move trace to material, push print” or as complex as 3D rendered models with face projections exported to DXF or SVG for translation to the laser. Everyone’s mileage varies.


You might not have seen it, but there is a TON of information put together by the folks who have been hanging around for the last year or so to help the newbies get started…a little bit of reading and watching a vid or two goes a long way. Here’s the link:


Yes, James. This was simply my review from my own personal experience.
Everyone else’s MMV.

I just want people who saw the commercial not to think this was going to be plug and play like a Cricut, this is serious stuff.
No one will be seeing GF’s on late night TV or QVC.
This is professional technology for the home, this is always going to need some technical aptitude.

@Jules some of those pages were failing to even load, while trying to find out how to set engrave and cut lines, we could not find it, so we finally figured out to do it on GIMP I think it was, and when we put in on the UI, it would not show the cut lines or engraves, so we took a chance and it worked.

The instructions skipped over that somewhere, there was a disconnect.
We were trying to read the forums, use search, the instructions were, I am sorry, had a disconnect somewhere. I am sure you are ALWAYS updating things, I am just saying, it is better if GF did R & D with general people, not site geeks, too easy to miss minutia.


Call them a NOVA


Yeah, I know, I discovered that yesterday and fixed the link. They had gotten corrupted. (If you want to try again it should work now.)

You bring up an excellent point for others still waiting - there’s a learning curve on every new tool.

This one is actually pretty short, but unless you are buying all of your designs pre-made, it ain’t no Cricut. :smile:

The design process is what folks can start to get familiar with before they get their machines, and speed up the learning process somewhat. (That’s why all the tutorials are there. We tried to find links to vids or write up little “How-Tos” for as many of the 2D vector and 3D modeling programs as we could. In addition the little “Getting Started” tutorial listed below does an overview of How to Design for the Glowforge Laser, and there’s a whole section for it in the Matrix )


We were looking for video’s, we were trying to use the SEARCH, and it was all a fail.

No where could we find info on how to make the CUT and ENGRAVE lines like we saw on rulers,
No where did it say This is how to engrave it, this is how you add cut lines No where was that in your instructions. No where did it say, after you do this, you should clearly see the engrave and the cut lines.

Only after we found others were having issues even seeing it, I think it was @PrintToLaser , that is when we said what the heck, just draftboard, let’s see if our print works and it did.

@Jules We saw those. Please don’t be upset. I am sorry we had problems with the instructions.
R & D, they call it that for a reason. :smiley: See, we were the first guinea pigs with a hiccup, hubby was getting kinda frustrated too with the pages either not loading or lack of info we could seek out.

From seeing things that people have made (and they claim no special technical/computer skills), I would disagree heartily about this statement.

Artistic skills are helpful, but like learning to ride a bike/motorcycle or learning to drive, learning anything new (CRICUT or Glowforge or sewing machine or leather working or ???) will take time and effort.

The beauty of Glowforge is that you get a new tool that allows you to use Thingiverse patterns and files, image/picture engraving (on multiple materials) and ever expanding laser techniques without first getting a mini-laser to build your skill set, then attempting a K40 (and all the TWEAKING required with that) and then moving up to a good size hobby laser.

Is it inexpensive? Not really. Is it usable by everyone in the family or friends? ABSOLUTELY! (But a car, once driving skills are developed and a license is obtained, can be driven by friends and family. The Glowforge thankfully doesn’t require a license or insurance, just respect and proper treatment.)


I’m not even a little bit upset, it is really hard to find things in Discourse. (That’s a problem with the forum structure though…it’s a chat forum not a technical one.)

Anyway, if you want to know something, just ask, and folks can help you to find what you need or suggest something to try. Initial encounters with new software can be frustrating. :slightly_smiling_face:

I agree, but I am just want to remind people what this is. I had one perception of it, and I JUST want to make sure anyone else has had time to REALLY look at it and know.

When it first turned on, It was like looking into the face…of GOD!
ok…not God…
more like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction. You just can’t explain it. It is awes and grinning!

We can’t complain too much tho, because software in beta, and it is what it is, we DID want it, well, we did agree to deal with it, and we are, but OMG the time, the work…I CANNOT wait for GF to complete that but I will be excited when it does. It’s like moving around in concrete.

I wish it would at least show us the cut/engrave lines :confounded:

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Yes, it is that experience.

Working in the IT field, I have just resigned myself to the fact ALL software seems beta. Otherwise, there would not be any updates to fix it.

I am missing what it is that you are referring to. Could you expand on that statement?


I guess I’m a little confused. Went back to the marketing video and other than the continuous autofocus and object recognition not yet working I didn’t see anything that claims something other than what it is. The second line in the video says start with a design that you download or create. You can download a design from the catalog or create one with S/W of your choosing. Of course GF could give us better documentation on the user interface but it’s not on them to teach us design. No where does it say that creating a design is non technical. The GF is certainly easier and quicker for simple things compared to the other laser cutter I have used. The thing that many people have a problem with is that it is not techie enough. It’s dumbed down a lot for the less than technically proficient.

The marketing video is the same as a tool manufacturer claiming their table saw or nail gun design makes building a house easier. I love my table saw and nail gun. They give me capability to do so, but I’m not ready to build a house on my own.


We were going to make coasters, so first we wanted to see how images printed, we chose an image, cleaned it up, added the ant trail lines We had the border in red for cut and the rest of the image in BLUE for engrave. Got to the GF to load the image and the image shows but but does not show any special designation, not like when you see the ruler in the bay ready for processing, with the two colors. Ours is just plain ( black and white ) Nothing special that shows what will happen when forge starts up for job.

It shows your image, but it does not show the cut lines. When you make a square around the image to designate it like the TESTED guys did, it does not work., Nothing happens when you do that box.

We just guessed our way through it, the interface buttons do nothing, there are drop down menu’s and there ya go.

@positiveforward - you need to read that first tutorial before you try to create something - it will help you to understand what you are seeing in the interface and how it interprets parts of a design

It will save you a tremendous amount of trial and error and time figuring things out.
(And miles of frustration.) :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes, and then it all got discombobulated somewhere.
I have things to do, I was just posting my update and I do not have time to play troll PositiveForward with the rest of you.

I have that PDF already, we BOTH read it again yesterday. I already told you this.
Not a big deal, R & D is my suggestion, that is all.

I’m so glad you are enjoying your laser. I agree, the information deficit for designing for the Glowforge is tough to master if you have no experience with lasers or with design software. And even with some experience with both, there are specific issues to learn.

Did you go through the tutorial on the support page of the app, Learn by Doing: The First Three Prints and then go through the gift tag from scratch? It does a pretty good job of isolating the steps for designing vectors and rasters. This step-by-step is good.

Updated and recent videos are needed.

What design software are you using? You mentioned GIMP above. Unless you are serious about retouching photos and bitmaps for engraving and want to use the Glowforge exclusively for this except for cutting simple outlines, this is not the first software to learn. A 2D vector program is essential. If you did your file only in GIMP, say, it would have saved it as a raster to engrave and you would not get any vector lines to call forth cut/score operations in the GFUI, much less the ability to tweak individual settings for the engrave, bitmap part of the design.

And you are welcome always to post a design file for help. It really makes a difference getting different eyes on it.


Everyone’s perception will be different, how could it be otherwise?
I have been taking things apart for 55 years since I could hold a tool, so I have a pretty good idea how things work - but I had zero experience with lasers or CNC and was able to use the glowforge within minutes of plugging it in.
Designing for files to use? No. In retrospect whenever I had an issue I thought was the machine’s, it turned out to be an issue with my file. I quickly realized the shortcomings were mine, not the machine’s.

Anytime I hit a wall, there has always been someone here who helped me or pointed me to the answer. Even though I never used a laser before, over two years of videos and reviews I did get a pretty good idea of the ins and outs of what was required to use a traditional laser, enough to know this machine was meant for people like me. Compared to anything else, this machine is simple to use - IMO. :sunglasses:

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