Why can’t I use fonts, art work or shapes in glowforge app?

Before this whole upgrade to premium thing happened I was able to use art work, fonts and shapes in the glowforge app. I didn’t want to upgrade to premium because this machine is already pricey so I don’t want to spend on something every month. Do I need to upgrade in order for me to use the artwork, font and shapes?

Yes. Some of the in-app design tools are a part of the Premium package.

The Insert Shapes, Insert Text, as well as the free commercial license graphics art are all Premium.

I’m not sure about the Create Outline, Flip Tools and Measurement tools…those might be Print as well.

You had been using a free preview of Premium before. The free preview period is over, so you’ve lost access to the Premium tools.


You can use a program like inkscape to create your designs, thats what i have always done.


Can you share a list with me of the different programs that will work the Glowforge I really can’t afford $50.00 a month after spending $6000.00 on this toy.
Thank you,

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Any vector art drawing program, and there are many free ones. Inkscape is probably the one most commonly used. There is also a “free for personal use” license for Fusion 360. And some inexpensive alternatives like Affinity Designer, Silhouette Studio and probably half a dozen others that I don’t know about.

Then there is Adobe Illustrator, but that has a monthly subscription fee now, so you probably wouldn’t be interested . (Definitely the most powerful IMO, if not the most convenient.) AutoCAD. Any program that exports or saves a PDF or SVG.

For raster work…GIMP, Photoshop, Corel, etc. There are too many to list, and it really just comes down to “pick one and learn to use it to create files”. They all pretty much do the same thing, so you can use whichever one you want for designing.

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Thank you so much this is great information!!!

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Just to give perspective. Everything done before this year and shown on the forum as Free Laser Designs or Made on the Glowforge was made with design programs like Inkscape, Illustrator, or Affinity Design before the Premium Demo trial came out.

I use Inkscape. It’s very powerful and its free. Yes, it is handy to have the design tools in the interface for sure, but for ultimate control over your designs, it’s best to use a design program.

Lots of good tutorials in the Tips and Tricks section.


As several others here have shared, the features you mention are part of the Premium tools.

We launched Premium early due to COVID, and so all our customers have been, essentially, part of an extended free trial for the past couple months.

Here are some of the benefits Glowforge Premium members enjoy!

  • Unlimited free designs
    Get unlimited access to scores of beautiful and useful designs that print at the click of a button. Make as many as you want - for yourself, for gifts, or even to sell. Take a look at what you can print!

  • Fast Lane processing
    Your prints are processed on upgraded, ultra-high-performance servers in the cloud, exclusively reserved for Premium members.

  • Creative Tools suite

However, it’s also definitely true that you don’t need Premium to make amazing things with your Glowforge. As others on this thread have mentioned, all the tools and benefits offered with Premium are new, launched this year—everyone who doesn’t subscribe will be getting the same great Glowforge experience as before.

I do want to mention that as a customer who purchased their Glowforge before we launched Premium, you likely qualify for some amazing discounts. You can write in to support@glowforge.com to find out what monthly price you qualify for!