Shop additions! Acrylic that’s just like glass, Thick Acrylic, and Pro Shields

Today, we're adding lots to the Shop! New Thick Acrylic Colors: Black, White, Blue, Red, Green, Orange, Yellow, Purple, Teal, Fluorescent Green, and Fluorescent Pink. And, for something different, we’re adding Thick Glass Green Acrylic too! Pro Shields will also be available in the Shop, just in case Pro Owners would like an extra pair.

Read More

Publishing our firmware

We're releasing the source code to the firmware that powers your Glowforge.

Read More

Lots to print? Make a Copy!

When we released Autosave, we heard that it was a great feature - but sometimes you wanted to keep the original design, even though you’re making a custom version. For example, perhaps you have a coaster with a cool engraving. When you have friends over, you have them add their name by using the ‘trace’ feature and print them a custom coaster set. But you want to keep the original, without their names, too.

Read More

Snap and Store and Rotate and Refer

We love to see the amazing things people make - whether they’re elaborate original creations, or just a joyful printing of one of our starter projects. We’ve been thinking about upgrading the plaque project for a while, and we finally found the perfect replacement. The Snap and Store box is fast to print, easy to assemble, fun to personalize, and will be a great new way to get started with Glowforge. Of course, you’re already started - but we’ll add this handy box to your Dashboard at app.glowforge.com shortly.

Read More

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!

Read More

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!

Read More

Printing Improvements

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More