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LCC Library

Library Makerspace

The Library Makerspace is temporarily closed to walk-in use while the campus is closed due to Covid-19. We look forward to seeing you again when it is safe to do so.

About the Glowforge

The Glowforge is a laser cutter that produces 2D designs. You can do precise designs using a vector graphics programs like Inkscape (free!) or Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop (available on the library Media Creation Lab computers). Other compatible programs include CorelDraw, GIMP, Autodesk 360 & Sketchup.  You can import JPG, PNG, SVG, or PDF files to print, or even put your own pen and ink drawing into the Glowforge to be scanned and replicated. Glowforge also has a catalog of preset designs, and design kits for purchase.

Using the Glowforge

Glowforge Laser Cutter

The combination of high pressure and heat from the laser allows the Glowforge to cut through its materials and create designs that can lay flat or connect together to create 3D objects. 

 

Materials needed

  • For safety, the Glowforge Laser Cutter can only use materials approved by the manufacturer
  • Check available materials by visiting glowforge.com/materials or visit the Student Help Desk for more information.

Finding a design

Here are a few sites where you can find or create a design for the laser cutter:

Using the Glowforge

  • Come to the Student Help Desk to begin a project. Library Staff must assist you with the use of the Glowforge.
  • Use the computer beside the Glowforge to log in: https://accounts.glowforge.com/users/sign_in using the account provided by the Student Help Desk
  • Choose your design from the Design Library or click the Upload link and import an outside design
  • Turn on the Glowforge using the switch on the back
  • Place your material inside the machine
  • Double-check the correct material has been selected for your project by clicking the materials button in the top left corner
  • Drag your design to your preferred space on the material (Keep in mind that the more consolidated your design, the more usable material you have leftover).
  • Press Print
  • Follow all prompts
  • Turn on the exhaust fan beside the Glowforge to highest setting once the cutting process has begun
  • Turn on the air purifier to the high setting if it’s not already on
  • Stay beside the machine while it completes your project
  • Open the lid and remove your project once it has completed the printing and smoke has cleared

Glowforge video

Approved Materials

Approved materials for the Glowforge

Materials used in the glowforge must be CO2 laser compatible. Glowforge sells its own line of compatible materials; the Proofgrade line. Inventables.com is also a good resource for approved materials.

The Maker Space will only allow the use of approved materials in the Glowforge.

Cuts & Engraves Engraves Only
  • Wood
  • Glass
  • Fabric
  • Coated metal
  • Leather
  • Marble
  • Paper*
  • Anodized aluminum
  • Plexiglass (Acrylic)
  • Titanium
  • Delrin (Acetal)
  • Some phones, tablets and laptops. Some Items have presets available, others must be verified with the device manufacturer
  • Mylar
 
  • Rubber
 
  • Corian
 

 

* Makers with paper projects may want to consider using the Cricut instead.

Glowforge Safety

Glowforge safety

  • Do not put anything inside the Glowforge that is not laser compatible.
  • Do not stack materials.
  • Do not leave things on, or around the Glowforge.
  • Allow prints to cool before handling them.

While in use

  • Do not leave the Glowforge unattended.
  • Some amount of smoke and odor is normal when the Glowforge is operating, and shouldn't be a concern unless it is so strong that it causes irritation.
  • Look inside frequently; the flame should move with the laser. If the flame remains after the laser has passed:
  • Pull the plug on the back of the unit
  • If it is safe to do so, extinguish the flame with a wet towel- Locate the bucket with the wet towel before beginning print job.
  • If that is not an option, then if it safe to do so, extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher.- Locate the fire extinguisher before beginning the print job.
  • If the fire cannot be extinguished, or if it spreads outside the Glowforge, call emergency services and evacuate the building.
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