There’s no hype or fluff here—just the Glowforge tools we’ve found essential in using our Glowforge and running our laser product-based business – from safety to mass production.
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: PLEASE READ FIRST
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Glowforge Tools for Safety
Fire Safety – Choose either a Halotron Class BC Fire Extinguisher or a Fire Blanket. Both are designed to extinguish the flames without a chemical mess that will then destroy your Glowforge and make it unusable. Keep it next to your Glowforge. The best fire prevention is staying CLOSE to your Forge and WATCHING the cuts for flare-ups – especially Acrylic!
Laser Safety Glasses – Needed if you use the Pass-through slot on the Glowforge PRO.
Respirator Mask – Cutting MDF, Acrylic and other polymer-based materials can harm your lungs with their harmful fine particulates in the fumes when breathed in. Also helpful when you’re using strong adhesives or paints and stains indoors.
Glowforge Tools for Machine Setup
Storage Table or Cart – Your Glowforge needs a sturdy surface and bonus points if it includes storage too! Check out our 7 Best Glowforge Storage Tables & Carts article to help you decide.
Exhaust Port Extension – All Glowforges have a teeny tiny exhaust hose attachment point that requires a lot of knuckle bruising and gouging. This exhaust port extension is the best thing since sliced bread! Securely and easily attach your ventilation hose. Also available in a 6-inch Exhaust Adapter for 6″ Inline Duct Fans.
Insulated Ventilation Hose – the Secret to QUIETer operation of your Glowforge! Available in 4″ and 6″ hoses.
4″ Thumb Screw Hose Clamps – if you often remove your ventilation hose from your machine, these are super helpful. No more fussing with a screwdriver, these twist with just your fingers.
Window Vent – Vent your hose out of your window while keeping it closed! Remember the Critter/Bird Guards!
Inline Duct Fan – Planning to cut a lot of stinky Arcylic? Setting up your machine 8+ feet from the window? Sensitive to fumes/smell? This is an absolute game-changer for all the above. *Remember to turn off the Glowforge fan in settings.
Indoor Thermometer & Humidity gauge – Glowforge’s operating temperature range is 60-75F for the Plus, and 60-81F for the Pro. It should never be exposed to 40F and below.
Indoor Camera – Helpful when you can’t be immediately next to your Glowforge, you can monitor it’s job progress while you step away – giving you peace of mind everything is okay. I won’t cut Acrylic without this! I multi-task assembling my creations and products while looking up to watch my machine progress.
Glowforge Tools for Everyday Use
Gorilla Tape – removes masking from cut pieces effortlessly.
3M Tape Roll – Double-sided adhesive roll – great for assembling mass-production products quickly. I use it for all the teeny tiny pieces in my Ornaments.
Plastic Razor Blade Scraper – another option for removing masking with little effort.
Electronic Digital Caliper – Absolutely necessary for solving “Kerf” issues.
Material Hold-Down Pins – wood and acrylic are very sensitive to the moisture content in the surrounding air and will warp if stored unweighted, hold-down pins help to correct this frustration. You can print/cut these from wood or MDF, but the longest lasting are made from 3D printed plastic.
Material Hold-Down Magnets – Neodymium magnets are verrryyy strong – strong enough that they hold down warped boards effortlessly. My go-to option when I need the board held down in the middle of the board where a pin won’t reach.
Replacement Lenses & Mirrors – Eventually your printer head lens and accompanying mirrors will burn out – you can either wait forever to order it from Glowforge (they’re always out of stock) or buy these from American Photonics. I prefer these, and think they’re a higher quality lens and mirror than Glowforge’s option. Have an extra set on hand, your lens or mirror WILL burn out at the WORST possible time, usually when you have a stack of orders due, tomorrow!
X-acto Knife – Sometimes your design doesn’t cut all the way through your wood, when this happens an X-acto knife is useful to help release the piece the rest of the way. You’ll soon learn what’s salvageable and what isn’t – careful with the pressure you apply, as you don’t want to cut yourself.
Glowforge Tools for Cleaning
Zeiss Lens Cleaning Wipes – best pre-moistened towelette for cleaning your glass lenses. Cutting with clean lenses will give you more precise cuts and alignment.
Alcohol Wipes – Best for removing the char from wood pieces and also general machine cleanup. Can be used to clean lens and mirrors as well, make sure to let the alcohol dry streak-free.
Microfiber Towel – Along with the Zeiss wipes, this is my main item for machine cleanup.
Plastic / Acrylic Cleaner – Not only will these make your Glowforge machine body shine, but you can also repair any scratches, or remove film buildup from Acrylics.
Glowforge Tools for Product Assembly & Manufacturing
All of the materials take different glue, there’s not really a reliable all-purpose glue. Think about which materials you’ll work with the most.
Acrylic Glue: You can also repair any scratches, or remove film buildup from Acrylics.
Wood Glue: Useful for large and thick creations with multiple layers. If pieces are small then I switch to CA glue.
CA Glue for small pieces of wood, leather, and paper
Mini Bar Clamps – a must-have for sign-making!
Silicone Work Mat – These baking mats clean up effortlessly and protect my countertops when I’m gluing and staining projects.
3-Tier Drying Rack – perfect for mass quantity projects, like Christmas ornaments!
1″ and 2″ Foam Brushes – best for applying wood stain, paint, and sealant onto creations without the mess of paint brushes.
Glowforge Tools for Specific Materials
Leather Needles & Thread – A must-have for the aspiring leather worker! Remember, your Glowforge can cut all the thread holes for you!
Wood Stains – Easy to apply oil-based wood stains in a variety of colors – Fast drying. To save time, I pre-stain my boards and dry them for 5-10 min. before lasering.
Polycrylic Water-Based Clear Satin Sealer – protect all wood you’ve stained for durability. Clear Satin has a subtle shine to it in the light. Enhances your stain color. Easy to apply.
Shop Paper Towels – Very thick, absorbent. Like paper towels on steroids. I prefer these for wiping off stains from my wood pieces, it doesn’t leave behind pesky fibers like towels do.
Tools for Shipping What You Make
Tools for Running Your Business
SVG is the ONLY accepted file format for uploading into your Glowforge machine. Learn to Love them. The Glowforge Projects Catalog is very limited. But once you know how to make your own SVG files the possibilities are endless!
Adobe Illustrator – If you’re going to sell your SVG’s, this is what the Pros use. A million features, extensive community, and capabilities are endless. Paid software at $20.99 / month [Student & Educator Discount avail]
Sample Tutorial: How to Create a Word SVG Laser Cut File in Illustrator
Inkscape – Gets the job done and Free. Not nearly as robust as Illustrator, but if you only ever plan on tweaking an SVG file here and there, then this will be more than adequate.