CREATING LASER CUT PRODUCTS WITH GLOWFORGE
Have you heard of Glowforge? Maybe you’ve been in the market for a laser cutting machine for a while or you’re new to this whole concept…either way, you need to know about Glowforge! Adding this machine to my tool lineup has been an absolute game changer.
Read on to hear all about the machine and see how you can get
$500 off a Pro, $250 off a Plus or $100 off a Basic!
I have the Glowforge Pro which is the laser cutting printer that I use to engrave and cut out many of the items in my shop that you all love so much. From the Easter bunny tags to my cake toppers, this bad boy gets the job done - all from the comfort of my own home. Glowforge offers three different printer options: Pro, Plus and Basic. The main difference between these three options are the slight variance in power and speed of the machine but really what sold me on the Pro was the Passthrough Slot and the enhanced cooling system, so it can run pretty much all day long.
I run my business 99% out of my home - which is a one bedroom apartment. Needless to say, space is limited and my loft office is already a bit full. I love that the Glowforge is small enough to fit in our bedroom and not be a nuisance. The Glowforge needs to be ventilated out a window or dryer vent which is why we chose this spot, next to our sliding glass door. Lifting it on this storage rack from Target was another one of my engineer husband’s genius ideas and creates the perfect solution for storing all of my materials below it as well.
The bed of the machine itself holds a piece of material about 12x18” max. With the Pro, that Passthrough slot allows your piece to be much longer than 12”. More on that below!
The Glowforge uses a camera on the lid to help you navigate your print area on your computer. With their app, you bring in your designs as SVG files (I create my art in Adobe Illustrator first) and can adjust the settings depending on the materials you are engraving or cutting.
Proofgrade material contains a little QR code on the piece of material for the camera on the machine to scan. Once scanned, the machine knows exactly what it’s cutting and the perfect settings to do so. Pretty cool, right?!
Even though Proofgrade material is available to use and purchase through their website, you can also use your own materials. I source most of mine locally but it’s nice to have the option of ordering through Glowforge and knowing what they have will work!
The front of the machine has a little door that can be pulled down. This is super helpful for pulling my final pieces out of the machine or loading a piece just right. The door does need to be closed while running though.
And here is the Passthrough Slot in all her glory! This is a huge reason most people purchase the Pro version of the Glowforge. If you are interested in making pieces that are longer than about 18”, you’ll want to consider the Pro version. Your material goes through a little slot in that front door, meaning you can have pieces that are as long as you want! I will also say, this feature is nice to have even when you are cutting something smaller, but your piece of material is slightly bigger than the bed of the machine. This way I’m not limited or having to cut every piece of material down!
It’s important to remember that just because you have a laser cutting machine, that doesn’t mean that’s all you need to know. Yes, Glowforge makes the actual process of cutting and engraving very user-friendly, but you still need to have some knowledge of design and creating files for your products. If you have the knowledge or business in place though, maybe you’re outsourcing now or want to expand your offerings, I would definitely recommend Glowforge to you.
Do you have questions for me about my Glowforge? Ask away!
Photos by the amazing Megan Welker