Upload improvements... ¯\(ツ)/¯

Paste Instead of Upload

Inkscape users, rejoice! You never need to save your files again. (Note: while technically true this is not actually recommended). Instead of saving SVGs and uploading them, you can simply copy your design with the copy command, go to app.glowforge.com, and hit paste. Boom! Ready to print.

Editing images? No problem. Copy-pasting JPGs and PNGs works too.

Adobe Illustrator? Well… it works in AI 2015, but we’re still working on later versions.

There one catch, though: you'll need to paste into the file upload page, not the workspace that shows the bed image.

Speaking of not being able to add things to the workspace...

Now you can add things to the workspace

You asked for it, and here it is, fresh from the hopper: You can add all supported file types to the workspace with the “Add Artwork” button.

What’s this mean for you? Previously, if you wanted to dress up a design by adding some more files to the print, you were stuck - you could add an engraving, but not more SVG or PDF files. Now, you can load up multiple designs and lay them out on one sheet of material, or throw a cutline onto a trace.

To add your files, you can either drag and drop them directly into the workspace, or click “Add Artwork” and then “Upload.” We’ll work on adding copy-paste to this, too.

Extended Characters support (✿◠‿◠)

Your Glowforge naming options have grown exponentially with the addition of extended characters! This will let our international customers name their Glowforge however they see fit...and give our US customers some amusing options (up to 15 characters). How will you ever decide?!

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Some like it hot, and a change just for you fans

Farewell, hot stop

We recently rolled out a series of improvements to prepare for the wild summer heat wave we’ve seen sweeping the nation. Instead of cancelling your print, your Glowforge can pause and fan itself in a civilized manner until it’s ready to continue. You told us that was a big improvement - but you helped us find a bug, too! Your Glowforge would sometimes prevent you from printing when it was warm. Problem solved. You can always start your Glowforge printing, and if it’s too warm, it’ll just pause during the print to chill as needed to get the job done. Of course, for the fastest and best results in environments that are consistently over 72F/22C, we recommend the advanced cooling found in the Glowforge Pro.

Not a “fan” of mystery faults? Us, either.

It’s important to keep your Glowforge ventilation system in tip-top shape. Your Glowforge will always stop if it detects a problem, but we heard from you that it would be easier to troubleshoot if we could be a little more specific. Starting now, if your Glowforge detects a ventilation-related problem, you’ll see a message letting you know and telling you if the problem is in your intake (right side), exhaust (left rear), or air assist (under the head). Mystery solved!

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Forge with Friends

Your Glowforge (and all the superpowers it gives you) is probably something you want to share. With your friends, family, neighbors, or someone you met at the hardware store and bonded with over ceramic tile. But your Glowforge account is also private and for just YOU to use.

So imagine, if you will:

  • Your friend from across the country heard about your Glowforge arrival, is just as stoked as you are, and wants to print something without the cost of a plane ticket.
  • You want to share your Glowforge with your family, but you remember what happened when you shared your Amazon account with them....
  • Your friend is thinking about buying a new Glowforge and just wants to check it out when they come over for dinner next week.

We’ve got you covered: there’s a brand new “Add user” button on the top right of app.glowforge.com. Click it and you’ll find a page where you can invite people to use your Glowforge - simply type in their email address, send the invite, and your friend will get an email. Lots of friends? You can enter a list of emails, separated by commas, of all the people who now owe you favors.

Your friend, once invited, will have access to a page where they can set up their account and pick their username. When they push the “create account” button, they’ll be taken to the dashboard with ten designs to get them started (including the luggage tag and puzzle you might have seen at Maker Faire).

They’ll have their own Glowforge account that’s not tied to your credit card and won’t mix up your print history with their print history. They can post questions to the forum so they don’t have to bug you about the latest 3D engraving developments. And soon (but not quite yet) they'll be able to visit shop.glowforge.com to buy you some thank-you Proofgrade materials, and the forthcoming Design Catalog to print you something awesome as a token of their affection.

Sounds like a good excuse to have a party.

user invite 3

This part is really important: only give access to people you trust. Of course, to actually start a print, someone has to push that big glowing button. But, please be aware that anyone you invite to use your Glowforge will have “Full Access” to it, meaning they can:

  • View the materials in the bed of your Glowforge, anytime
  • See when a print is active on your Glowforge, and who sent the print
  • Cancel ongoing prints
  • See who else has access to use the printer, and add and remove other users

See a list of people who can use your Glowforge

Speaking of adding or removing users, the new Glowforge Printers page (found under Settings) will show you a list of all the printers you have access to (your own, and any printers that other people have given you access to).

From the Users settings tab, you can also invite and remove others from any the printers you have access to.

You can also see who the “Owner” is - this is the account that was used to first set up your Glowforge. Other users can’t remove the “Owner” from accessing it.

user invite 2


New Settings page (Don’t miss the chance to pick your own username!)

When you’re logged into the Glowforge app, click your name to see the printer(s) you have access to, and a link to your settings page. Here’s the fun part: now you can pick out your own username for the software (note: not linked to the community forum). Choose wisely.

user invite 1

First time getting started?

When your Glowforge arrives, we know your number one priority is to start printing beautiful things ASAP. New Owners will now have access to a carefully constructed, step-by-step guide to get their Glowforge named and ready to print in no time flat.

On Time

The print timer just got even more accurate. We’ve made some improvements to help it check in with your Glowforge more often to give you the most accurate time estimate.

Itty bitty UI fixes

Thanks for the great feedback on the cut/engrave settings! We’ve swapped the order of power and speed on the workspace steps to match what you see in the Manual Tab itself. We also fixed our spelling mistake (sorry, Steinberg!). Please keep sharing your feedback on the forum!

Troubleshooting

Stuck? There's a link at the top of the Glowforge App for Support. Click it to find troubleshooters for everything from Wi-Fi setup to upload problems, with more to come.

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Print in warmer rooms; dramatic lights

We’ve been collecting tons of feedback from you about the performance of the Glowforge Basic under warm weather conditions. As we investigated, we found a problem that was preventing prints from starting in warm rooms; this update fixes the problem. Since there is a firmware component, it won’t take effect until after your machine is switched off and on again.

We’ve also made a small but neat improvement to the lights: you’ll see them change as you open and close the lid. This helps optimize camera performance and means you won’t be blinded when you open the lid. And we think it looks pretty good, too!

We’ve also made assorted bug fixes, including a significant one that will reduce errors when your network connection is intermittent.

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Precision/Full Power Rollout, Part II

We’re finishing the rollout of Precision & Full Power that we announced last month.

We engineered Precision Power to help unlock never-before-seen engraving abilities on materials like wood, acrylic, and even delicate paper. Different settings allow for different shades, giving you power to create intricate and richly detailed engraves right at your fingertips.

Full Power, on the other hand, is just like it sounds; it uses maximum power on the material, which is useful for cuts and scores. Pro users have even more power at their disposal, meaning that full power on Pro will cut through materials, including Proofgrade, at an accelerated speed.

The combination allows your Glowforge to print beautifully on a tremendous array of materials, from carving through thick hardwoods to delicately engraving a single sheet of notebook paper.

Materials come from a huge variety of sources, so we made this easy with Proofgrade settings. When you use Proofgrade material, we automatically pick the right combination of speed and precision or full power to use with your material. Starting today, though, we have a new manual interface to access these if you are using materials from third party sources and need to develop proper settings yourself.

First, you have the choice of Full power, which uses the maximum power available to your Pro or Basic Glowforge. This gives you about 20% more power on the Pro than the Basic, so Pro operations at Full power can run about 20% faster.

Second, you have the choice of Precision power. Precision power is the same between Basic and Pro. This gives you extremely detailed control over the level of power produced by the laser, which allows you to dial in incredibly fine details and print on exceptionally delicate materials.

Third, we’re cleaning up our measurements. Cutting speeds can now range from 100-500, and engraving speeds can range from 100-1000. If you have old settings to convert, make a copy of this spreadsheet and it will do it for you. Power settings are unchanged.

(The team is also rolling out dozens of software tests to accelerate factory production - this is the only change we’re making that is user-affecting!)

Manual settings - Cut

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Introducing new Proofgrade™ materials and printing status improvements

Fixed Those Printing Problems You Told Us About

We collected a bunch of visual problems you’ve reported - long times overflowing the window, flickering images - and they’re going out today. Thanks for letting us know about any and all problems you find!

Print progress update

New Proofgrade Hardwoods, Acrylic Colors -- and Thick Plywood

There are three gorgeous and practical new Proofgrade Hardwoods available now:

  • Pale, creamy white Basswood, used for centuries by mask makers and puppeteers, is the lightest hardwood and perfect for your most intricate engraves
  • Yellow and green toned Poplar, treasured for its flexible nature, is especially porous and paintable
  • Rosy Red Oak, which almost appears to glow, boasts unique cathedral-like figuring that adds natural elegance to any project

Basswood Hardwood
Basswood

Poplar Hardwood
Poplar

Red Oak Hardwood
Red Oak

Our acrylic collection now includes custom-cast colors like our signature “Glowforge Teal”, a deep royal Purple, and radiant Fluorescent Blue, Fluorescent Green, and Fluorescent Pink for projects that need an extra boost of vibrant color.

New Acrylic Colors
Five New Acrylic Colors: Purple, Fluorescent Green, Fluorescent Pink, Fluorescent Blue, and that iconic Glowforge Teal.

For your heavy-duty project, we’re excited to offer a new “Thick” variety of Proofgrade Plywoods in Maple, Cherry, and Walnut, which measure about ¼” in thickness.

Like all Proofgrade plywoods, the Thick line is made with a custom-engineered fibreboard core sandwiched by natural hardwood veneer, resulting in a beautiful and versatile material that you’ll use every day. Each piece of Proofgrade plywood is masked to give perfect prints, finished with a semi-gloss coating for an an ideal finish, and includes a barcode that takes care of settings automatically.

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Better Proofgrade Detection and New Firmware

Better Proofgrade Detection

Some of you let us know that your Proofgrade materials weren’t being detected by your Glowforge. Thank you! We’ve rolled out a fix based on your feedback that will more reliably read material barcodes.

New Firmware Release

And now announcing… very little. The next time your Glowforge powers up, the firmware on you system will be quietly updated to the latest version. You probably won’t notice (our firmware updates have always been silent and uneventful) but there are some bug fixes that should make things go more smoothly.

Cooling

In the past, if your Glowforge got too warm, it would abort and potentially ruin your print. Now, it will just cool off for a bit and continue. The head will stop moving, but everything else will be the same. Coming soon: the UI will update to let you know this is happening, and we’ll lower the temperature limit to improve your performance. (In the interim, printing when it’s over 72 degrees or so may result in the laser not cutting through consistently - right now it only pauses when the temperatures are critical).

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Workspace Improvements

Zoom better

It can be handy to use the web browser zoom controls, as well as the magnifying glass icon in the toolbar. The combination produced some surprising results though - and not the good kind of surprise. We fixed an issue where if you zoomed out with your browser (instead of using the zoom in the app), you would see the ruler and bed image resize in unexpected ways, and your artwork would not resize. Now, if you use your browser’s native zoom, the bed image, rulers, and your artwork all resize together - just as you’d hope.

Phantom calibration

We’ve taken care of a problem where you might have seen a “calibrating” message in the background during a print, when it wasn’t actually calibrating.

Clearer engrave settings choices

You might have seen two identical color previews when selecting “Engrave by color” and “Score” settings for Proofgade materials - for example, between light and dark engraves. All better now!

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Introducing Draftboard, black crumb tray improvements, and default cut order

Draftboard

Draftboard™ is here

We’ve heard time and again that Glowforge owners love Proofgrade materials, but they’re overkill for some projects. Sometimes you need a strong, simple, inexpensive material - for example, for your first draft.
We’re excited to introduce Draftboard, an engineered wood product that’s designed to work perfectly with lasers. It’s strong and engraves crisply and clearly. You can use it as a thrifty drop-in substitute for our finished plywood products when a plain and unfinished surface meets your project’s needs. It’s the same thickness as our hardwood plywood, so when your design works with Draftboard, it’ll work with Proofgrade plywood. It even looks sharp when painted!

It has the same masking and barcoding as all of our Proofgrade materials, so you can print knowing it will work perfectly every time. Like all our materials, you never need to worry about settings or configuration. It’s covered by the same quality warranty as all Proofgrade materials. And the best part: it costs about one third as much as hardwood plywood, so it’s an ideal choice for drafting.

The Glowforge Shop is open to people who’ve received their Glowforge. If you have access, you can find Draftboard there now.

Upgraded positioning for black crumb trays

We have improved our machine vision system to make systems with black honeycomb trays calibrate as quickly as machines with silver trays. Previously, we’d sometimes require more images (and time) to calibrate with black trays when the machine is first powered on.

Default cut order

Based on feedback from many of you, we’re changing our default software behavior to put engraves first and cuts second. As always, you can drag and drop steps to reorder them if you prefer a different order.

Glowforge.com/support

The manual is now available through the Glowforge App, including a guided tour of your first three prints. We’ll be publishing new content frequently, so check back if you encounter an issue or are curious about how to do something new.

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Introducing Precision Power and Full Power

We’re introducing something big: Full Power for fast and beautiful cuts and Precision Power for incredibly delicate cuts and engraves. We’re also fixing the display of names and uploads with linked images.

Introducing Precision Power

You’re getting a whole new world of abilities for creating crisp cuts and beautiful engravings on delicate materials like paper, leather and veneer: Precision Power. Precision power also unlocks light and richly detailed engraves on materials like wood and acrylic. Precision power is used by default for Proofgrade™ materials. From the manual settings tab, you can access Precision Power by choosing any power setting from 1-99.

You don’t need to do anything if you’re just using the default Proofgrade settings; all of the Proofgrade materials are already updated to use the new power settings to ensure the best engraves for your materials.

precision-power-die-engrave-on-printer-paper-with-glowforge-basic
These dice are made out of regular printer paper and engraved using Precision Power mode.

Introducing Full Power

Full Power works together with Precision Power mode like two peas in a pod. Full Power is the setting to give you gorgeous, fast, consistent cuts on materials like hardwood, plywood and acrylic.

If you’re experimenting in the Manual Settings tab, just set the power to 100 to access Full Power. For most cuts you’ll want to use Full Power, and simply adjust the speed to make your cuts come out just as you like.

Just like Precision Power, you don’t need to do anything if you’re just using the default Proofgrade settings, as we’ve spent many hours finding the best cut settings for your materials for you.

No more linked image problems

It’s frustrating when you try to upload a design and it doesn’t work like you were hoping. For example, sometimes when you create artwork using design software, you end up with “linked images” instead of ones that are saved right along with the rest of the artwork. Now you get a heads up when this happens so it’s easy to fix it, and get your artwork right as you imagine it - images and all!

We love you, and your name too

Your name will be displayed in the app as your given name plus the first letter of your last name. This replaces your email address - that way when you share screenshots of your projects in the Glowforge app in the forum or with friends, you won’t be sharing your email too.

We love making your Glowforge better

We love making stuff better for you. In addition to the changes above, every update comes with bug fixes and other improvements.

What do you think? We’re talking about the latest improvements on the Community Forum.

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