Go to https://app.glowforge.com and sign in.
Learn By Doing: Your First Prints and More
It’s time to customize a print with your very own artwork. Not one for artwork, you say? Don’t worry - with your Glowforge, even chicken scratches will look good. The idea is simple: you’ll draw something on paper, and the camera in the lid of your Glowforge will convert your drawing to a digital file. You’ll then add your drawing to a design we’ve provided to create a box that’s uniquely yours.
Go to https://app.glowforge.com and sign in.
You have a host of options to create your unique box lid. Pick whichever one inspires you - or try all of them!
Option 1: The Artist
Draw a picture with a black marker on a white piece of paper. Stay away from the edges so there’s some white on every side of your drawing. Tip: Leave room for the handle in the middle of your drawing.
Option 2: The Poet
Using a black marker, write a favorite quote or song lyric, or sign your name on a blank white piece of paper.
Option 3: The Good Friend
Print this template out on an inkjet printer (not your Glowforge!) and use a black marker to fill in the blanks.
Option 4: The Shadow Master
Grab something nearby: a shoe, a leaf, a doll, your other hand - and plunk it on a blank white piece of paper. Trace around the edges with a black marker.
Lift the lid of your Glowforge, place your artwork in the center of the bed, and close the lid.
Look at the app. When the Workspace loads, you’ll see the box design and a picture of the bed of your Glowforge, including your drawing. Click “Add Artwork” in the upper left corner, then choose “Trace Bed Image.”
The app will load an image of your drawing. Click and drag a square around the artwork that you want to trace. You’ll see a preview of what your Glowforge will engrave. Anything in black will be engraved, and nothing else will be. If you’re not happy with your selection, click the “Back” button in the app and try again.
To darken, use Control-Up Arrow (Windows) or Command-Up Arrow (Mac). To lighten, use Control-Down Arrow (Windows) or Command-Down Arrow (Mac).
To remove small details like dirt and noise, use Control-Shift-Up Arrow (Windows) or Command-Shift-Up Arrow (Mac). To restore small details, use Control-Shift-Down Arrow (Windows) or Command-Shift-Down Arrow (Mac).
If you drew a closed shape, you can click it to cut it out. In this image, we clicked the center of the heart so that the inside will be removed.
It’s a subtle difference, but if you click the black line around your shape instead of the white inside the shape, it will cut out the black line that you clicked on - probably not what you intended!
Click “Place Artwork” in the upper right-hand side. This will bring you back to the Workspace with your newly digitized artwork sitting on top of your piece of paper.
Turn to your Glowforge. Say hi. Remove your drawing and place a piece of medium Proofgrade plywood on the center of the bed (it is very important you choose Plywood... so the fun 'snap' part of the project works... more later). Close the lid.
In the app, the Workspace shows both design and artwork above your material. Drag the box design where you’d like it printed - somewhere like the top edge to save material.
Place your artwork within the design. In this case, we've dragged the artwork onto the box lid.
Shrink your artwork to fit by clicking and dragging a corner. This works for any part of the print, but don’t resize the box design or assembly won’t work! The outer lines of the box design will be cut, so any artwork outside those lines won’t be part of your final product.
To fine-tune placement, nudge selected objects using your arrow keys. Holding shift while using the arrow keys gives you bigger nudges.
Note: It's not just the lid! You can place artwork on any of the box’s surfaces. Just note that two of the sides are cut out upside down to save material, so make sure your artwork is the right way up for the surface it’s on. Any selection that can be rotated will have a rotation handle at the top.
Different elements of your print are broken out into different actions called print steps. If you were designing this file yourself, each color would be a different print step. If you would like to change what happens during a step, for example if you would like to skip a step, start by clicking on it. Then, click on the bar that says “Proofgrade Engrave.” From the resulting menu of Engrave Options, select “Ignore.” If you want steps to occur in a different order than the default, just drag and drop print steps into the order you want.
Click the “Print” button in your browser window, then press the button on your Glowforge printer when it starts glowing. Watch your Glowforge (always!) while it’s printing. When the button stops glowing and the fans stop, remove your print, peel off the protective layer, and get ready to assemble.
We’ve made you step-by-step instructions to turn that beautiful collection of box pieces into an actual Snap and Store Box. Go back to your workspace where you were printing the box (if you don’t have the box open on screen - open it again), and click on the icon in your toolbar that has three little dots.
When you do this, instructions will slide in from the right. You can view them in place or pop them open in a new window. Now, all you need to do is follow the steps. Your finished box is minutes away!