Glowforge Laser Guidelines

This post explains our Glowforge process for appointments and reservations. You can expect to learn about materials, how to design for the laser cutter, submit a file for review, and book a laser-cut appointment with a creative specialist. Don’t know what to design or what material to work with? At the end of the post, we have projects for you to explore and download.


To utilize the Glowforge for a laser-cut appointment, we require patrons to purchase their own materials.

What is Proofgrade?

Glowforge sells a line of Proofgrade materials that are laser-compatible and provide the best results when used with the Glowforge Laser.

Why do we ask patrons to purchase Proofgrade?

All Proofgrade material is encoded with a QR code which the Glowforge scans and registers the automatic power and speed settings for that specific material. Utilizing Proofgrade material will ensure material safety, proper maintenance, and longevity of the Glowforge.

Where can I purchase Proofgrade material?

Patrons can purchase a variety of materials via Glowforge online shop., opens a new window

What is the size of the material that fits on the Glowforge bed? What is the recommended thickness of material?

The maximum material measure is 12" x 20".

We recommend an 1/8" for all material, the maximum thickness is 1/4".

Budget-Friendly Material Resources

Although we recommend our patrons purchase Proofgrade material, we understand that material cost can be a barrier to starting and completing projects, so we have experimented with and have approved the following local and online materials that provide identical results to Proofgrade. Prior to purchasing, please ensure you have the correct size and thickness of material.


You can create your design file using one of the two vector graphics software.


Inkscape, opens a new window is a free and open-source graphics software, compatible with Linux, Mac and Windows.

We have created an Inkscape Design Template, opens a new window for users to get started and follow along with the video.


Adobe Illustrator, opens a new window offers a free 7-day trial period, compatible with Mac and Windows.

We have created an Illustrator Design Template, opens a new window for users to get started and follow along with the video.

If you prefer a hands-on design approach, we encourage you to book a one-on-one appointment with a creative specialist.

Design Review

Designs must be in .SVG or .PDF files for uploading on the appointment form, a creative specialist will review it for approval.

We highly recommend patrons provide project details.

Should a creative specialist have concerns or questions about your design, we will reach out to you via email for clarification or changes.




Once your design has been approved by a creative specialist and you have received your Proofgrade materials, a creative specialist will arrange a date and time to meet and complete your project on the Glowforge.

All appointments are limited to one hour.




Project File Samples

Excited to book a laser appointment but not sure what to do?

We have created a few file samples for you to try out on a variety of materials.

Dirty/Clean Dishwashing Magnet, opens a new window

Leather Bookmark Project, opens a new window

Pothos Suncatcher

Succ It Up Veneer, opens a new window

Clickable link that goes to the Makerspace page.