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Before you start

  • The Glowforge was designed in Seattle, so it needs to be cold to work. In Aruba, this means you need to have it in air conditioning.
  • You'll need to set up an exhaust for it. We put it near a window, which we block off with a piece of cardboard with a hole for the exhaust duct. Then we tape everything in place and seal the seams.
  • To set it up with a new wifi network, turn it on and hold down the button until it starts glowing teal. Then go to and scroll to the very bottom and click the "Continue" button and follow the instructions there.

Basic Instructions

  1. Prepare your design file
    • SVG works well
    • Inkscape is great, free software to work with
    • Make all shapes solid fill, no outline
    • Convert any text to shapes (Path > Object to path)
  2. Create a new design in the Glowforge app
  3. Upload your design
  4. Set material settings
    • Click on the UNKNOWN button in the top left
    • Click the "use uncertified material" link at the top of the list
    • Type in the thickness of your material. If you want to change the units of the workspace to mm, the option is under the gear icon in the top menu.
    • For example, for 7 mil PET type 0.18mm
  5. Align your material
    • Place your material in the Glowforge so that everything you want to cut appears in the non-greyed section of the workspace in the app view
    • Select the biggest part of your design, the outline if possible
    • Set it to Cut, with power 1 and max speed
    • Put a piece of plain paper over your material, and tape it down, or pin it down with some washers or magnets
    • Click "Print" in the top right, then press the button on the Glowforge once it starts flashing
    • If the alignment isn't good, move your design in the app and repeat
    • Once the alignment is good, remove the paper and put pieces of tape on the crumb tray so that you can align the next piece the same (if you're planning to cut more than one)
  6. Cut your design
    • Hold your material in place with some washers or magnets
    • Change the settings of all parts of your design to what you want them to be
    • For example, to cut a single layer of 7 mil PET sheet, use power 50 at max speed, for two layers use power 84 at max speed
    • Click "Print" in the top right, then press the button on the Glowforge once it starts flashing
    • Once the exhaust fan stops, open the lid and switch out the material with the next piece if you want to make more