You may have noticed what looks like a cross between a copier and an electric stovetop sitting on a cart in the library recently. This is our new GLOWFORGE printer, and it is kind of amazing.
What’s a Glowforge? Glowforge is the name of a company, and the Glowforge 3D laser printer is its primary product. To see the Glowforge do its magic, you start with a 2D design—either one you’ve created yourself using illustration software or one supplied by the company—and you upload it to the Glowforge. Using a variety of different materials, from recycled cardboard to wood veneer, the Glowforge carves your image into the material you’re using, using a laser to cut and engrave your design. The laser is the width of a human hair, and is so finely tuned that it can create elegant and detailed designs.
The variety of materials you can use is myriad: wood, leather, paper, cloth, even chocolate, personalized with words or images of your choosing. You can use the Glowforge to make all the components of a leather wallet, say, or to print out 3-D name badges for your employees, complete with your logo. The Glowforge can even etch material with a photo or other image. Imagine etching your own face onto the cover of your new Apple laptop! Yes, Glowforge can do that.
You can also make the components to items that you assemble afterwards, like this striking black and white acrylic box that we made recently with the Library’s Glowforge. It was a cinch to pre-etch and carve out the sides, bottom, and top panel and then put it all together in a matter of minutes. With the Glorforge’s finely-calibrated laser, all the pieces fit perfectly.
Interested, but not sure how YOU might use the Glowforge? Check out the company’s website for pictures of everything from drones to shoulder bags, coffee stands to floor lamps, that you can make with Glowforge. once you’ve got some ideas of your own (there will be a small materials fee for using it)—or if you’d just like a demonstration—contact Stacey Wicksall at the library at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 315-986-5832. She’ll be glad to help you get up to speed on the Glowforge in no time. Come check it out!