20+ Cool Glowforge Project Ideas to Make At Home
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Glowforge laser cutters turn your home workshop into a profitable business, letting you cut and engrave acrylic, wood, and other materials to make your own custom wares.
Once you’ve set up your new machine, though, you’ll need some Glowforge project ideas to create.
If you already own a Glowforge or are considering buying one, then chances are you’re already letting your mind fill to the brim with project ideas to create right away. From personalized furniture to puzzles and even advent calendars and other custom designs, your Glowforge laser will prove itself a useful tool for many years.
With a plethora of projects to choose from, it can be hard to figure out just what you’re going to create. While some ideas will jump out at you, there are plenty of ideas out there for Glowforge projects that you may not have considered.
There are endless possibilities for Glowforge project ideas, but that doesn’t mean creativity doesn’t need a helping hand now and then. So in this article, we’re going to look at some of our picks for the coolest things you can create with your Glowforge machine, and how to go about the more complex projects.
Remember, all of these are your projects. So even if you’re not designing from scratch, you can always personalize, engrave, and tweak these designs to make them truly unique to you. Making a design your own can be just as rewarding as completing one made from scratch, and is a fun way to let your imagination soar!
That’s right, with Glowforge laser cutters, you can make your own furniture! Just about everything from chairs, tables, and TV stands can be made from the comfort of your own house without all the cutting and sawing that you’d expect from such projects.
The skill level required for building furniture will depend entirely on what you’re creating. All practical pieces of furniture like stools and shelves will need to be constructed with care to make sure they’re safe for use. You’ll also need to account for additional parts and tools you’ll need if you want to keep an eye on any extra cost.
An unreliable piece of furniture can be dangerous, and no one wants to put their valuables or expensive electronics on a surface that’s just going to come tumbling down, so whether you’re using your own cut files or those made by someone else, always double check your materials and settings.
Because of this, it is still imperative that you have an understanding of basic carpentry before making furniture projects with your new machine.
If you’re unsure of your skill, you can begin by using your Glowforge to make smaller, less risky items like this cool toothbrush holder, or this shot glass case with less effort than you’d think, especially with such a reliable laser cutter.
Of course, the more popular projects will be more complex, but simplicity is nice too, especially if you’re a beginner.
Because furniture tends to need more materials than average, it may not be a good starting point as a Glowforge project if you’re on a budget, but Glowforge owners will agree that building your own furniture is always a satisfying and rewarding experience that is well worth the time.
Read more: top CNC furniture designs you can download today
That’s right, glowforge project ideas can be practical, too!
Pretty much everyone’s life could use a little more organization. Even the most dedicated of us can fall victim to leaving things where they’re not supposed to be only to lose track of them later. With your Glowforge, you can make organizers for just about anything.
If you’re used to working with tools, then you’ll find this simple design for a drill bit organizer to be very handy, especially given its engraved labels making sure you’re never stuck digging around the bottom of your toolbox again.
If like me, you can never remember where to look when your TV remote runs out of juice, then you’ll definitely want to fire up your Glowforge to create these battery storage and dispenser units so you can get back to viewing in peace. Such projects can be real lifesavers if you lose important things as often as I do.
If you’re a writer, artist, or different kind of creative, then this pen holder will be invaluable to you (goodness knows I’ve needed one for a long time).
If you’ve got your own designs for organizers you’ve made from scratch, the only thing you really need to keep in mind with making such organizers is the size. If you design your organizer to be too small for your intended purpose, then it will end up being useless, too big and you’ll just waste precious material.
Advent and Countdown Calendars
Do you have a special day coming up? Or maybe you’re getting excited during the festive season but are sick of all the store-bought calendars? In either case, you can use your Glowforge to make countdown calendars to really get you revved up while approaching that special day.
A member of the Glowforge community designed this countdown calendar from scratch and shared their laser cut files with the world. Its consistent grain pattern and decorated numbers make for a very attractive project that anyone can sink their teeth into.
The drawers are big enough to hold a nice treat or toy like a Lego figurine or model car. The uses go far beyond the traditional countdown to Christmas too, as you can use this calendar to mark the days leading up to a wedding day or anniversary with special trinkets.
If you’re looking for some more organization for work, you can use each of the drawers to keep a small list of daily to-dos to keep yourself on track, or even use it as a chore decider for a household or family. The possibilities are endless!
The countdown calendar is the Glowforge project with a million uses, and you don’t need to be an expert in carpentry or design to really make it your own.
Decorative items are fun laser cutter projects for anyone who needs to spruce up their home décor with something unique, memorable, and homemade.
Wall art is a great way to exercise your creativity and imagination. This could be anything from creating a sign for your bedroom door, or using laser cut files to make beautiful patterns and images to make your house feel more like a home.
The ever-popular Tree of Life is always a good start, but you can also laser cut some more interesting and meaningful signs to commemorate special events like anniversaries or seasonal decorations for Christmas or Halloween.
All the SVG files here do come at a price. But remember, they are just examples, so don’t be afraid to get creative and come up with your own ideas to make something entirely your own! You can even save these designs as templates for future customization once you’re more confident in your design skills.
One of the best things about a Glowforge is its accuracy. The settings can be calibrated to ensure intricate detail in many different materials, including leather.
Making leather goods with your glowforge will require some experience and creativity, but with enough reading and practice, you can find yourself making things like wallets, hipflask covers, and even shoes once you get confident enough in your work.
If you’re brand new to working with leather, then you may be quite hesitant to get started. Fortunately, you can find a good tutorial for getting started with leathercraft here, which includes sourcing and engraving information to help ease you into what could become a fun and even lucrative project.
The tutorial is a lot to read, but it does contain some important information on the basics by giving a step-by-step guide on how to make a simple bifold wallet with your Glowforge. We recommend this because Wallets are a good place to start if you’re a beginner, as they don’t use much material and are still usable even if not perfect.
From here, you can use laser etching to make just about anything unique to you. Engraving anything from jackets to shoes will be a snap once you’re practiced enough.
That’s right, you can use your Glowforge to create tools and accessories to use with your Glowforge! You can even get to work with these tools faster if you have the Glowforge Pro model, which has faster engraving speeds due to its more powerful laser.
There are many Glowforge tools to go for, and all of them will come in very handy if you plan on using your machine often and for projects that need that extra level of precision and detail.
Take these bed hold down pins for example. They’re a simple little design that you can use to keep your materials flat and steady during printing or engraving. Some projects require materials to stay as level as possible to ensure the best quality results, and these pins will help reduce the risk of failed prints.
For extra stability, you can use a combination of your Glowforge and a 3D printer to make these magnetic holders to stop your materials from moving around mid-project. While not entirely necessary, they will let you rest a little easier knowing the chances of a failed project are significantly minimized with such simple additions.
The laser on a Glowforge is roughly the size of a human hair. While this means you can make amazingly detailed prints, it also means it can be difficult to aim. It’s much harder to hit a target with an arrow than a bazooka, after all, and there’s nothing worse than having a print come out uneven or lopsided.
Because of this, there’s also this no math focus ruler to help make sure your laser is focused in the right place. It uses simple markings and a creative shape to make sure you’re always on target no matter how delicate your projects.
Double-Check Your Settings
If your next Glowforge project ideas are difficult or intricate, you’re going to want to make sure you have everything entered correctly before you get started. The Glowforge is capable of very fine detail, and so you’ll want to make sure your settings are optimal for whatever you’re doing.
Ensuring this will help you avoid wasting time and materials.
Be Sure of Your Skill Levels
The Glowforge is designed for just about anyone to use, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do everything right off the bat.
Larger or complex projects will require some level of skill in things like carpentry, leathercrafting, and creative design.
It may be tempting to jump in head first, but always be sure you have confidence in what you’re doing before diving into your next big thing.
Sell sell sell!
If you find yourself having fun and consistently getting good results with your Glowforge projects, you can always turn to sites like Etsy to sell your creations for a little extra cash. Doing so will not help you cover the costs of materials and construction, but can also net you a nice profit if you put in enough time.
Just make sure you hold the necessary license to do so. Even free designs may be protected by their creators, so always check the legality of selling your Glowforge projects.
Can you make good money with a Glowforge?
Yes, you absolutely can make good money using a Glowforge on sites like Facebook Marketplace and Etsy. You just need to be sure that the creations you’ve made available for purchase are actually yours and that you’re not in any violation of copyright or licensing agreements.
To learn more about the legality of small businesses selling Glowforge projects, you can check out our guide to making money with your Glowforge.
What can you not put in a Glowforge?
While the Glowforge is compatible with a range of different materials, it’s not compatible with soft metals such as copper, steel, gold, and brass. It also won’t work well with galvanized metals or plywood that’s been treated using glue.
Although attempting to use your Glowforge on these materials will not void your warranty, damaging the Glowforge by doing so will. So make sure to stick only to the recommended materials and their relevant settings to protect your machine and your investment in it.
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