So, you received your laser and want to start creating, but you’re feeling overwhelmed? No worries! Let’s walk through what you need to do to get started! If you have a Glowforge, the best resource to first get going is the Glowforge Support page.
First Things First
The Glowforge site has great detailed instructions for how to get your machine up and running. So first things, first – unbox and set up the Glowforge. This includes removing the Glowforge from packaging (save the box and packaging inside!), assemble everything to get it ready for use, connect to Wi-Fi, and vent the machine.
Safety is a Priority!
Make sure you read the safety information! If you have a Glowforge Pro, there is some additional information you’ll need to read.
Make Your First Print!
Sometimes the best way to learn is by just jumping in and doing it! Even if you are nervous. So take a deep breath and start working on your first print! The Glowforge site will walk you through everything you need to know. These first prints are very helpful because Glowforge walks you through step by step what to do. Make a few of these projects to get your feet wet.
Once you’ve completed a few first prints…
Are you feeling more comfortable and more confident? It’s ok if you are still a little nervous. I was a little nervous at first. I had never worked with a laser machine before! But once you get your sea legs, you are going to rock this!
What do you want to do next?
Some simple things to help you get started
Do you want to make something from plywood? How about a pair of earrings? Or maybe a Nerf Gun Target for your kids? Or maybe this pretty wall decor?
How about making something with acrylic? A keychain? A writing board to help one of your favorite kids learn to write the letters of the alphabet?
Learn about materials safe for Glowforge
Check out a list of favorite things to use with Glowforge
Make some honeycomb pins to help you secure materials in the Glowforge
For each project you work on, there are some basic things you need to remember before you start Glowforging.
REMINDERS BEFORE GETTING STARTED
If you have not worked with this material before, I highly recommend making a test cut using a small, simple shape to prior to starting the project to determine the settings you will need to use.
If you want your material to be masked but it did not come masked already, apply your masking manually.
POWER and VENT
Turn your machine on and don’t forget to hook up your vent!
LOGIN and SET FOCUS HEIGHT
Login to the Glowforge site and go to the dashboard. Make sure the material is set at the correct focus height. If you use the wrong focus height, the laser will not be focused on the right spot and it can affect your print.
You can use calipers to get the precise measurement of the height of the material, you can use Glowforge settings for material that is already listed in the dashboard, or you can set the focus height to “auto” and allow the machine to automatically detect the focus height. (How do you do this? Just make sure the focus height field is set to “auto.”)
What other info would help you feel comfortable and confident with your laser? Start creating and drop a comment below!
Talk to you soon!