The Glowforge is my favorite new crafting machine. It is an easy-to-learn, at home 3D laser-engraving machine. This machine opens up so many creative possibilities for at-home crafters. Finding the best Glowforge materials to use with my machine was a challenge for me, when I first received it. Glowforge was often out of their own branded materials or they weren’t cost-effective, so I had to find other resources for finding affordable wood, acrylic and software to run the Glowforge. I will share these resources, plus I will share how I vent my Glowforge and where to find the materials for my venting system, plus I will discounts on a few models of Glowforge machines.
The Glowforge is great at-home 3D laser for crafters. This laser uses a beam of light the width of a human hair to cut, engrave, and shape designs from a variety of Glowforge materials such as wood, acrylic, leather, some metals and more. Push the button and this powerful 40-watt laser creates meaningful gifts for your friends, something personalized or start your own home business. It can carve up to 1/2″ deep, 11″ tall, and 19.5″ wide, at over 1,300 lines per inch. You can choose from three great models, the Basic, the Glowforge Plus and the Glowforge Pro.
Venting Your Glowforge
The Glowforge needs a venting system to vent harmful fumes from your machine. You don’t want to breathe machine fumes from your Glowforge materials. You can vent your Glowforge two different ways. You can either purchase the Glowforge Air Filter and replacement filters, if you don’t have a window or door nearby. Or, you can vent your Glowforge out a window or a garage with some hose and an in-line fan set-up. I find venting your machine with an inline fan set-up with a window or door is the best and most cost-effective way to vent your machine. It does require a few supplies to get started and there are tons of tutorials for putting together your Inline Fan Set-up on Youtube.
- Glowforge Air Filter Venting System
- Inline Fan Set-up Venting Supplies:
Flexible Aluminum 4″ Ducting Hoses (may need 2)-These Aluminum Ducting Hoses are more durable than the one that comes with your machine. You may need two of these, depending on how you do your set-up.
6 inch to 4 inch Reducers– These go on either end of your inline fan and attach to the hosing
HVAC Foil Tape– This will help seal your system to reduce fumes from leaking
Exhaust Extender Port for your Glowforge– This piece is optional, but makes it easier to attach hosing to the back of your machine by giving you a larger lip to attach your ducting hose. Another Exhaust Extender Port option. I just twist off my extender and the hose stays attached to the extender, if I want to remove it.
There are several places you can get laser-ready wood, acrylic and more Glowforge materials for your machine. You can purchase materials directly from Glowforge. The advantage is that they are already coded with cut settings on them, but I find them to be very expensive. I like to purchase my own Glowforge materials at more cost-effective prices. They usually don’t come with the paper masking on the material (prevents scorching), so I also have a roll of masking on hand, and, it only takes a minute or so to mask the wood, before I start my project. I will list some of my favorite sources of Glowforge materials below, plus where to buy masking.
Woods and Plywoods
- Columbia Forest Plywood Project Packs-These Columbia Forest project packs come in a variety of plywood options – maple, walnut, cherry and more. They come in different widths and some are even 2-sided. They are affordable and you get 10 sheets to a pack, perfectly cut to fit your Glowforge. I order at least two packs to get to the free shipping threshold.
- Planks and Blanks Plywood and MDF – Choose from a variety of plywood and MDF in a variety of finishes
- Woodpecker Baltic Birch-Woodpecker is a highly-reviewed Baltic Birch resource. Just be sure to choose the correct size for the Glowforge
- GF Materials Plywood and Wood Rounds-Highly-reviewed seller of plywood, wood rounds and MDF
- Laserwood Supplies-Choose from a variety of Plywood
- Smokey Hill Designs-Plywood and Hardwood
- ModfyBuild Acrylics-Acrylic sheets that are Glowforge-ready in a variety of colors such as neon, pastels, mirror, cast and more
- CM’s Acrylics-Color, Mirror and Glitter Acrylic
- Wai Supplies LLC Acrylics-Pastels, Pattern and more Acrylics
- Cerulean Tides Acrylic-Color, Pastels, Glitter and more Acrylics with flat-rate shipping
Paper Tape For Masking
Paper masking your wood prevents scorch marks when you are lasering. I prefer a medium to high tack paper transfer tape in the 12 inch size. It fits perfectly on Glowforge-sized materials. You can use a squeegee or brayer to ensure a great adhesion of your paper transfer tape.
- H&H Sign Supply-RLA 12″ High Tack Paper Tape 100 Yards
- RTape Aplitape 12″ 100 Yards
- Perfectear Plus Paper Tape 12″ 300 Yards
- Perfecttear Plus Paper Tape 12″ 100 Yards
Other Tools for Glowforge
There are lots of tools to make your Glowforging easier. Squeegees and Brayers are great for making sure your paper masking tape is adhered to your wood. Calipers will help measure the thickness for your materials for cut settings in your Glowforge. Spring for the digital ones! If you hate removing masking, Gorilla tape will pick up all those tiny masking pieces or grab corners to lift the masking. It is magic. Gorilla Glue is great for gluing together your Glowforge projects.
EverydaySavvy is a great resource for crafters. Check out these great crafting articles: