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Glowforge Laser Cutter

How to design, create, and safely use the Glowforge at the Erie County Blasco Library Idea Lab.

Part 1 Introduction to the Glowforge

Welcome to the Learn to Laser Cut and Engrave class!

This class has around 20 minutes of videos to teach you about the Glowforge and how to safely use the one available at the library. 

Anyone can take this class, but in order to use the Glowforge you need to have a library card and register with the Idea Lab. If you don't have a library card, you can get one by visiting any branch with ID or by filling out the online card application below. 

 

With your library card number, please fill out the Idea Lab agreement below.

 

Thank you!

Now that that's out of the way, click the “Videos” tab above to start the class. For each part of the class, watch all the videos under the “Videos” tab to complete your certification. If you would like to follow along with the presentation we use for the in-person version of this class, print out the PDF below.

Once you begin, multiple videos will play one after the other. You can see what number video you’re on and how many are left in the playlist by putting your mouse over the video screen and looking at the numbers in the top right. Feel free to pause, go back, and rewatch any parts as you go. Enjoy!

The following are approved materials.

 

The following materials are prohibited

 

Glowforge Proofgrade vs. Uncertified Materials 

Part 2 Designs for the Glowforge

In part 2 we will learn the following:

  • What raster and vector files are and how they work in the Glowforge.
  • Where to find laser cut designs
  • What software is available to make your own designs.

When you're ready, click over to the videos tab and start watching.

For a list of Glowforge design resources, including websites for finding designs and software for making your own designs, visit the "Designing for the Glowforge" section in the main menu of this guide.

Once you begin, multiple videos will play one after the other. You can see what number video you’re on and how many are left in the playlist by putting your mouse over the video screen and looking at the numbers in the top right. Feel free to pause, go back, and rewatch any parts as you go. Enjoy!

Raster Files

Raster files are made up of tiny boxes called pixels. When these files are enlarged they can sometimes get blurry or distorted.

            

 

Common file extensions for raster files are .jpeg and .png. The Glowforge can only ENGRAVE raster files.

Vector Files

Vector files are made using mathematical equations. Vector files remain clear when resized - they do not distort, pixelate, or lose any detail.

                   

 

One common file extension for vector files is .svg. The Glowforge can CUT, SCORE & ENGRAVE vector files.

Part 3 Glowforge Safety

In part 3 we will learn the following:

  • How to use the Glowforge safely
  • What to do in case of a fire

When you're ready, click over to the videos tab and start watching.

Part 4 Glowforge App

In part 4 we will learn the following:

  • How to upload designs to the Glowforge App
  • How to select material settings
  • How to start your project on the Glowforge

When you're ready, click over to the videos tab and start watching.

Once you begin, multiple videos will play one after the other. You can see what number video you’re on and how many are left in the playlist by putting your mouse over the video screen and looking at the numbers in the top right. Feel free to pause, go back, and rewatch any parts as you go. Enjoy!

Getting Certified

You did it! You made it through our online certification class. Please fill out the form at the link below so we know you completed the online class!

When you come to the Idea Lab, you can finish the certification process by completing a safety check. The in-person check takes less than ten minutes to complete. Reserve the Glowforge for a ten minute time slot for a safety check. 

You will also have the option to make a small keychain once you have completed the safety check. This is the project we offer during our in-person Glowforge classes and is optional. Reserve the Glowforge for a hour time slot for a safety check plus a keychain making session. 

Reserve the Glowforge Here

After the safety check, you will be certified to use the Glowforge.

Any comments or feedback on the class? Was there something missing or something else you think we should include? Let us know at the link below.