Which computer program do folks recommend?

I’m new to the Glowforge and wondering if there was a particular design program that more experienced user would recommend. I have some experience with Coreldraw. Any suggestions or advice? Thanks for your help!!

The 3 main design programs I have heard people using are: Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape and Affinity Design. Many people are also using Silhouette, CorelDraw, Vectric Vcarve/Aspire, photoshop.


Inkscape (2D) is free and a powerful vector program
Fusion 360 (3D) is free if you’re a hobbyist and not a store
I use Paint . net (2D) for my raster stuff

Affinity Designer gets a lot of love on these forums :slight_smile: Honestly, I’d go check out some of the tutorials on the individual programs and see if some make more sense than others. So much of finding the right program is finding the one that was designed by people whose brains work like yours! I, for instance, was never able to use GIMP successfully despite it being a great program :man_shrugging:


In that case it’s probably easiest to just stick with CorelDraw. It works great with the Glowforge so if you already know it and own it, you might as well use it. :slight_smile:


CorelDraw will be fine. There are a bunch of us here.

(We do tend to be bilingual though because they’re are a lot of monoproduct people we interact with :grin:)


like 3 of you now, right? LOL :smiley:


Inkscape is very powerful, and free, but in some ways it is aggressively weird compared to popular commercial offerings. I found it to be incredibly aggravating because I was already familiar with other software that worked differently. Others love it. YMMV.

Affinity Designer, on the other hand, was similar enough to the stuff I already knew that I was able to become productive very quickly… Almost like they are trying to steal market share from a certain big company that begins with the letter “Adobe.” :wink:

If you already own and like Corel, stick with it.

If you don’t own anything, try Inkscape. If you like it, great. If you hate it, then you can consider the commercial options. But I have to say, for about $50 Affinity Designer is pretty dope.

Whatever you decide, pencil in some time to learn Fusion, because it’s powerful and free.


You’re just jealous of our lack of a need to do text-to-path all the time :grin:


When you’re right you’re right! :smiley:

Corel is typically the choice of highly intelligent, creative people, so if the shoe fits… :woman_shrugging: :wink:

Here’s a good comparison. But seriously, Corel works fine. The only other one I’ve worked with was Adobe and I find Corel much more intuitive and easier.


I use Affinity, Inkscape and Silhouette Studio ( I have a vinyl cutter) All have their relative plus and minus’s. Try them and see what works for you :slight_smile:


I can’t claim intelligent or creative, but us Inkscape users are drop-dead gorgeous.


You guys haven’t left anything for us Illustrator users to be…(maybe helpful.) :wink:


Rich? Or you were anyway, before Adobe started charging you for the subscription :wink:


True dat! :smile:

AutoCAD here. It’s plain and simple to me, although when working with text / fonts I’m going into Illustrator and creating that there, converting to paths then adding the artwork in the GF interface.

Everything I do is saved out or printed to a PDF. Seems to work fine all in all. I’m lucky in that I have AutoCAD and Illustrator from my job or I don’t know what I’d do other than use free tools.

Thanks for the replies and all the great info!!! :grinning:

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