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MultiMaker Lab

This includes information about the space, equipment, and resources available to students, faculty, and staff.

Glowforge Software

The software for the Glowforge is web-based and can be accessed by clicking here. See staff for login credentials.

Please note this software is for running the Glowforge and has limited editing capabilities. Please see the Creating and Finding Designs box in the middle of the screen for resources on creating or finding designs. 

Materials for Cutting and Engraving

  • Wood, unstained/unpainted
  • Leather (not Vegetable/Veg, Chrome, or oil-tanned leather or dyed leather)
  • Acrylic/Plexiglass
  • Cardboard
  • Cork
  • Delrin (acetal)
  • Mylar
  • Rubber (non-chlorine containing)
  • Sandpaper
  • Corian
  • EVA foam (without neoprene) - may shrink

Materials for Engraving Only

  • Coated metal
  • Anodized aluminum
  • Ceramic tile
  • Glass
  • Marble
  • Stone
  • Titanium

Prohibited Materials and Items

  • Plywood (unless it’s Proofgrade)
  • Stained/painted woods
  • Fabric (the Cricut is available instead)
  • Paper (the Cricut is available instead)
  • Vinyl
  • Plastic
  • Polycarbonate/LEXAN/PC
  • Foam
  • Fiberglass
  • Bare metal
  • 3D prints
  • PVC
  • Mirrored surfaces (except mirrored acrylic designed for laser cutting)
  • Plywoods with incompatible glues
  • Food
  • Soft metals like gold, silver, brass, and copper
  • Phones, tablets, laptops, computers, etc. 

Usage and Safety

The Glowforge Plus is a 3D laser printer that can cut and engrave a variety of materials. It is available to current UAH students, faculty, and staff. 

Those wishing to use the Glowforge will be responsible for designing or finding a design they would like the Glowforge to make .MultiMaker Lab staff will provide assistance in sending the design to the printer, and only MultiMaker Lab staff will run the machine. Users will also need to provide their own materials, and all materials must be approved by library staff. The materials will either need to be in their original packaging or have a tag or receipt identifying what the material(s) is made of. Please see the columns on the left side of the screen for a list of approved and unapproved materials. Located below is a list of retailers that sell Glowforge compatible products and other Glowforge safe materials. 

Materials must be no larger than 12.5 in tall, 20 in wide, and 0.5 in thick. Materials larger than 0.25 inch or 0.6 cm thick may require multiple passes or flipping it over when cutting. 

Flat materials will work in the Glowforge. Rounded objects such as pens or small bottles will also work if they’re 2 in (5 cm) or shorter when laid on their side. 

Purchasing and Recommended Materials

Some materials and brands will work better in the Glowforge than others. Proofgrade materials are highly recommended. These materials are created by Glowforge for use in the machine and are guaranteed by the the company to work well in the Glowforge. These can be purchased from Glowforge, Michaels, and select other retailers. 

Other brands are still acceptable. Any materials that say "laser compatible" or similar should work in the Glowforge. When using non-Proofgrade materials, it is highly recommended to bring in extra material for testing, as some setting adjustments and test prints may be necessary. 

The following retailers sell some materials that are safe for use in the Glowforge (please note that not all materials they sell may be safe; look for any that match the approved materials listed to the left or that say “laser compatible”) 

Inventables (recommended by Glowforge)
Lowes, Home Depot, and other hardware stores
Dollar Tree
Joann’s, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and other craft stores
Smokey Hill Designs
The Ring Lord: Anodized aluminum tags
KW Laser Supplies: includes recommended Glowforge settings for each item
Cerulean Tides
GS2 Awards
CM Designs
Craft Closet
RCS Blanks

Creating and Finding Designs

Glowforge is compatible with JPG, PNG, SVG, PDF, and other file formats. However, SVG files and PDF files are recommended. JPG and PNG files can only be engraved, but SVG and PDF files can be cut or engraved. 

There are a variety of software programs you can use to create compatible designs, including Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Inkscape, Canva, CorelDraw, GIMP, Autodesk 360, and AutoCAD. Once you've created your design and saved it in a file format compatible with Glowforge, your design can then be uploaded into the print app. 

Additionally, you can use the Glowforge print app to trace artwork on an item and cut or engrave it on other items. To trace artwork, simply place it in the Glowforge and use the built-in Trace option. The artwork can then be cut or engraved into other items using the Glowforge. 

Finally, design files can also be found online for free. Below are a few options:

Design Tips and Tricks

For SVG files that contain text, you'll need to convert your text in a design program such as Inkscape before they will print correctly. Glowforge has step-by-step instructions on how to do this here

For designs that contain both cut and engrave parts, you'll need to upload the cut piece and the engrave piece individually in separate files to the Glowforge software. Once they're both uploaded, you can position them on your material, select the appropriate settings, and start the print.