Where can I find the user Manual

Maybe I missed it:

I did a search on the web site and the Forum, however I cant find the User Manual. I would assume it is ready as people are allready recieving the basic.

the forum search I saw were from 2016. Is it being called something else and I am using the wrong terms?


If I’m not mistaken, you get an electronic version when you get the golden email


It did surface for a day but was removed by Dan. The version I saw was just setting up and safety. Nothing about using it.

You would think so, but apparently not and I think you only get to see anything when you accept delivery.

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That is pretty much true. The manual, at least the one I got, is pretty much setup and safety. I got an e-mail like the night before my 'forge was to arrive that detailed some updated cut settings for :proofgrade: that haven’t made it to the cloud just yet as well as a “Your First Three Prints” document which guides you through printing a ruler, a plaque, and how to scan.

Take that for what it’s worth since any of what I just said was a snapshot in time and may have already changed or will change tomorrow.


That correct (as far as I know) I got a copy when I said I wanted mine. Look out for the email!

The manual is really only about safety and setting up the Glowforge. I’m hoping that there’s more in the webapp that explains how to use that. I would make sense to have two manuals, one for hardware and one online for software (just will have to wait and see until I get mine)

I think EU companies require the safety instructions in print in the native language included in the box.

My recommendation is that folks read some basic laser 101 stuff and the tutorials. Maybe a how to manual with detailed instructions for settings and designing may be in the works. I’d be happy with that. In the meanwhile, don’t plan on it and start reading and doing your homework. Just a very realistic assessment at this time. Things are still in flux with the shipping and rolling out features. Doubt if too much is going to be published for a while. I’ll be happy to be surprised.

It is very disappointing there isn’t a publicly available description of what it does for each file type and each mode. I.e.a user manual. There are lots of confusions in this forum, even people who have been using them for some time don’t always know some of the functions available or how files are interpreted, etc.

And it is not normal that user manuals for products in production are on a need to know basis. I often download manuals for things I am interested in buying to get a better idea of what they do. Obviously it will change over time, but as long as there is a version number and preferably a revision table, that is fine.


There are neither of these published into the manual itself at this time.

The manual contains NO operation instructions at this point. It is strictly safety information, the physical setup, getting it connected to the cloud, and cleaning the lens and interior of the unit. There is nothing about using the UI or loading files or running the machine.

There is no need for the manual to be widely public right now. There really is nothing in it that you can’t to see til it’s your turn to take delivery.


Yes I read the Glowforge Basic Manual Version 2.0 that was on the forums a while ago and have a copy of it. But there should also be a user manual for a device of this complexity. I can’t think of any other appliance, tool or device I have bought before than does not come with a user manual. Even cheap Chinese devices have a manual. It might not make sense but at least they try.



I’d rather they finish development of the actual product and get it to my door, than delay it by pulling resources to write instruction manuals for something that’s actively changing in development.

Writing manuals becomes an “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” type of situation. Any attempt to handle one thing sparks a list of unforeseen questions that drags the process down.

Manuals that try to “keep things simple” and ignore complexity, are only good for people that tend to figure out things on their own and dont need the manual in the first place. People that need a manual to get them going will also need a manual that handholds them.

Just my perspective from product development in a small company where I designed everything that went out the door, and not only wrote the manufacturing procedures, also wrote the training material for our own technicians and the instructions for customers.

If you’re going to put the info out there, you either feel like a fraud because you know it’s too simple to really be useful, or you put exhaustive effort into something comprehensive, delay, delay, drive yourself nuts, put in 24 hour days because you still have to keep other work going. Then get reprimanded for producing a detailed 300 page manual for a million dollar portable structure, that’s actually useful to the customer. Oh and still get a ton of questions on things you never ever thought imaginable :slight_smile:

It’s a No-Win either way.


“It seemed to me that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a packet of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane.”
-Douglas Adams as Wonko The Sane, So Long and Thanks for All the Fish


All it needs is a very simple description of what each mode does, how it interprets files and how focusing works. There is endless confusion in these forums about these, even from experienced users.

It only needs to be a few pages, not 300.


Maybe we’ll have to write our own manual.


love the self-portrait


Oh, you mean the workflow tutorials in the Tips and Tricks section of this forum? :slight_smile:


Thank you! I now know one person has read them. My life is complete! :smile:


In the May '17 update Dan did allude to ‘detailed instructions that will ship out with your Glowforge’. But haven’t seen any other reference since.


regrettably it seems like that ship has sailed

But, like the unfinished bits of software, I have no doubt it will appear in due time.