Autosave, Faster startup, and more

From now on, every design you create on your Glowforge will automatically save changes you make, as you make them. That means that if you close your browser, navigate to another page, or just hit refresh, your work will pick up right where you left off.

Should you make a change by mistake, you can use undo any time until you leave or refresh the page. If you want a clean start, you can always go to your dashboard and click the upload button to upload the file again. If you got the design from the catalog, then you can start fresh if you click on the three-dot icon and click “Reset Design” to remove all changes.

This was our most requested feature from customers like you - we’re excited to be able to launch it today!

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New & Improved Engravings

We’re always working to make your prints faster and better. Today, we’re rolling out a whole host of new engrave options for Proofgrade materials. Here’s a quick guide to what you’ll find:

Detail and speed options

We now offer a variety of choices to let you pick the tradeoff of detail and speed that best fits your project. Not all choices are available on all materials, but you may find:

Draft engraves are designed to print as quickly as possible, while still giving good visual quality. For some purposes you may like the lighter low-res look; for others, you may want to do a draft engrave just to see how the project is going to come out.

Standard definition (“SD”) engraves are the default. These offer better detail and smoother edges than draft engraves, but are still not too slow to finish.

High definition (“HD”) engraves are now available. These offer the very highest level of detail, smoothest corners, and the ability to engrave truly tiny details. HD engraves are slow, and best for smaller prints where you want exquisite detail.

Engrave styles

We also now offer styles that are specialized for different types of source art. Not all materials support all styles, but you can choose from:

Graphic engrave: Graphic settings are optimized for vector art, sans serif text, and solid blocks of color. It’s great for icons, images that are pure black and white (with no grey), or images with a few solid colors.

Photo engrave: Photo settings are optimized for photographs, color or greyscale images, and images with gradients or lots of colors. You’ll need to pre-process your image for engraving (increasing the contrast and sharpening it) for the best results.

The old settings will be maintained for a week or two and then will be removed. We hope you’ll enjoy trying them out - we can’t wait to see what you’ll make!

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Printing Improvements

Following our brief scheduled downtime Monday, we rolled out some significant fixes that we hope you'll like.

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Latest Improvements, On the Side

We’ve heard from many of you that it’s hard to find out when things have changed, and the Latest Improvements information (that’s this!) is hard to find. We heard you! From now on, we’re including Latest Improvements in the sidebar so you can stay current on whatever’s happening.

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Snap! Faster cameras

This week’s improvement is short and sweet: we’re making your cameras faster! We know how much you love to print and hate to wait - this will bring your thumb-twiddling quotient down every time you close the lid. The update will download and install sometime this week when you power on your machine.

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3D Engraving as Proofgrade Prints get Prettier

New Proofgrade presets

Part of the magic of your Glowforge is that you can print without the frustration and hazards of experimental materials and settings. Today, we’re introducing some new Proofgrade engraving presets to make your prints even better. These presets are designed for different kinds of artwork, so each design can show its best.

These are all under continuous development - we’d love your feedback for how they work. Expect more refinements and options to come!

Graphic

Use the Graphic setting for text, logos, or other images that have large areas of one color. It will give you crisp edges and maximum impact! Clip art, icons, and vector drawings are all great choices for the Graphic setting.

Our design team has worked to bring out the characteristics of each material - you’ll find that in addition to the regular Graphic, some natural materials have other tones, like the Dark Graphic setting, and acrylics will give you a Deep option.

You’ll have best results with text that’s 10pt and above and lines that are 0.01” (0.25mm) or thicker. We recommend converting your image to grayscale using your favorite image editor, then making sure that anything you want to see clearly is medium to dark gray (at least 20%, and more than 40% is recommended).

Photo

The key to great photo engravings is your photo editor. You want lots of contrast and liberal use of the “sharpen” effect! If you’re printing on clear or translucent acrylic, you may want to mirror the image (so you can view it from the opposite side) and invert the colors for the best effect.

Once you’ve done that, though, the “photo” setting will get you the rest of the way there. It’s terrific for making family photos permanent, especially on Proofgrade hardwoods, plywoods, and Draftboard.

3D Engrave

It’s finally here! One of the amazing things you can do with your Glowforge is engrave shapes with real depth and detail. You can’t use a regular image for this - you have to use an image that’s been specially created for 3D engraving called a Heightmap. A Heightmap is like a grayscale picture, except that the darker a spot on the picture is, the deeper it will engrave.

Proofgrade hardwoods, acrylics, and Draftboard all support 3D engraving. Thick materials have a second option, “Deep 3D Engrave”, that uses a second pass of the laser to achieve maximum depth.

We can’t wait to see what you’ll do with this!

High Quality Score

High Quality Score setting gives you a clear, consistent line to maximize the visual effect of your artwork.

Draft Score

Use this option when you’re prototyping - the Draft score setting is faster, but it’s lighter in the middle and creates dark spots on corners.

One last note: These new settings will replace the old settings -- but don’t worry, the existing ones will be there for at least a week, and labeled with “(Expiring Soon)”. That way, if you’re in the middle of a project and want to preserve the ones you’re using for later, you can click the arrow at the top of the Proofgrade Engrave or Proofgrade Score menu, then click “Manual” to see the underlying settings & write them down.

Decreasing veneer prices

Prices in the shop vary over the course of time and we usually don’t announce it, but we did want to mention that after working with our supplier, we managed to get rid of the $1 price increase for finished veneer. It’s so attractive and useful (for everything from stickers to wall decor), we think you’ll love it!

Referral code

Our referral program is going strong, and owners are scooping up new referrals every day. A few of you asked if we could make it easier to share. You got it! We got the domain “glowforge.us” just for you. You can see your new, shorter “.us” referral code here:

https://glowforge.com/referrals

Enjoy!

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The Gift of Good Measure, and Proofgrade settings changes coming

New starter design: “Gift of Good Measure Keychain”

Coming soon to your dashboard - a new starter print! We’re adding the Gift of Good Measure Keychain to the prints you have available. Based on all the love we’ve heard from you about the Founders’ Ruler, we made you a keychain with triple the measuring delight: it measures distances, radiuses, and curves. You can print it on even a small scrap of draftboard or plywood (we recommend against hardwood, since the natural grain may cause the thin loop to snap). It’s a great giveaway to show a guest what your Glowforge can do.
Even if you don’t use it now, make sure not to delete it - if you contact the Customer Success team for help, they may ask you to print it.

New Proofgrade settings menu

We’ve got changes in store for Proofgrade settings. In preparation for adding new Proofgrade settings for our materials, we’ve streamlined the interface to give you a description of each choice and leave more space for new options.

New PG UI

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Spare Parts & Pro Shields

If you’re the type that likes to be prepared for anything, you’re in luck. We now offer spare parts for your Glowforge printer, from fresh laser lenses to pristine packaging for safe transport. You can find them in the spare parts section of the Shop. And yes, you can even purchase additional pairs of the must-have eyewear, Glowforge Pro Glasses.

Extra exhaust spare part Extra pro glasses spare part

Pro Shields

Back in June, we announced that we were developing Pro Shields and adding them to every Glowforge Pro order. Pro Shields fasten onto the Pro Passthrough slots to ensure that nothing - material or laser light - comes in or out. They’re easy to add or remove with just two finger-screws that are permanently attached so you don’t lose them.

In the next few weeks, Glowforge units will start being delivered with Pro Shields installed already. If you have received your Glowforge Pro without shields, no worries - we’ll ship a pair to you at no extra cost to you. (We don’t have an estimated ship date for you yet, but will email you when they’re ready).

Pro Shields

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Simplified manual engraving options

You sent us some great suggestions on how to make the manual photo engraving options easier to use. Thank you!

convert to patterns new dither convert to dots new dither

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Veneer will knock your socks off, Draftboard in the starter pack, and referrals round the world

Veneer is now stunningly pre-finished

For those of you who’ve experienced Proofgrade materials, you probably noticed that our plywood and hardwoods had a beautiful semi-gloss finish applied at the factory. This premium water-based UV-cure finishing coat is applied by high-end industrial machinery. Unfortunately, it can’t be used on our veneer line, which is made of micro-thin flexible slices of real hardwood.

And that’s a shame, since some of our favorite projects are made from veneer - they’re particularly amazing for wrapping your laptop in real hardwood. The 3M peel-and-stick adhesive means they’re ready to use, right out of the laser. But applying finish to them used to be a real pain.

Well, we’ve finally found a process that can deliver that same amazing finish on our Proofgrade veneers. We’re delighted to be able to start selling the finished veneers in the store now (at a slightly higher price) - the unfinished veneers are just about gone.

Veneer finished all Veneer finished maple Veneer finished cherry Veneer finished walnut

Draftboard in the starter pack

As you probably know, every Glowforge comes with $150 of Proofgrade materials as a thank-you for the long wait. We’re shifting the pack contents around to include two sheets of Draftboard and upgrade the veneer from unfinshed to pre-finished.

We’re also adding a third sheet of Draftboard beyond the $150 worth of starter materials, at no extra charge. That sheet is for you to save in case our support team needs you to print on it for troubleshooting. We’ve seen some problems that can only be diagnosed by printing on Proofgrade material, so we want to make sure you have a piece of it if needed. Save this in case our support team asks you to use it for a test print.

International Referrals

Last week, we started sending out notices with each Glowforge where the buyer used a referral code: the referrer gets a $125.00 Glowforge gift certificate good for Proofgrade materials, designs from the Design Catalog, or even a new Glowforge unit! (They can also opt to receive $100 instead). This week, we’ve rolled out payments to our international referrers. So for our referring friends from overseas - thank you for your patience, and keep your eyes peeled for those referral payout emails.

Catalog and Shop: open to the people you invite

No longer will you have to share your precious Proofgrade materials or watch your friends gaze longingly at your chock-full-of-designs Dashboard. Now you when you invite friends to use your Glowforge, they will also have access to the Glowforge Materials Shop AND Glowforge Design Catalog. (Note that you must have access to a Glowforge, either as an owner or as a guest, to use the catalog and shop).

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