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 your Glowforge up, though, you’ll need some designs 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 ideas for what to make. From personalized furniture to puzzles and even advent calendars, 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.
While the only limit is your own imagination, that doesn’t mean creativity doesn’t need a helping hand now and then. Here, we’re going to look at some of our picks for the coolest things you can make with your Glowforge, 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, so let your imagination soar!
That’s right, with a Glowforge laser printer, you can make your own furniture! Just about everything from chairs, tables, and TV stands can be made from the comfort of your own home without all the cutting and sawing that you’d expect.
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.
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.
Because of this, it is still imperative that you have an understanding of basic carpentry before going about making your own usable furniture.
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 building your own furniture is always a satisfying and rewarding experience that you’ll agree is well worth the time.
Read more: top CNC furniture designs you can download today
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.
If you’re a writer or artist, then this pen holder will be invaluable to you (goodness knows I’ve needed one for a long time).
If you’re designing your organizers 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 design 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 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.
One of the best things about a Glowforge is its accuracy. The settings can be calibrated to ensure intricate detail in just about anything, including leather.
Making leather goods with your glowforge will require some experience, 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!
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 project.
Double-Check Your Settings
If your next Glowforge projects 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, money, 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.
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