Glowforge laser cutter/engraver

Official glowforge introductory tutorial

List of community tutorials (read at least the entire first item for links to tutorials by subject)


Inkscape is a free 2D drawing program that is installed on computers at Pacem. It runs on Windows, Mac and Linux computers. It is our standard tool for producing and editing files for the Glowforge (although any drawing program that produces SVG-format files can be used).


3D Printing

There are many programs that can be used to create 3D models for printing. The primary requirement for a design that can be printed at Pacem is that it can ultimately be saved in STL format.

Here are a few programs to get you started, most of them free:

Tinkercad is a web-based 3D design program. It is relatively simple but can produce impressive results. Please go through the tutorials if you want to use it!

Doodle3d is a non-free web-based program that works by “extruding” 2D shapes into 3D and then allowing operations such as taper/pinch and twist.

Openscad is a text-based program that lets you build up objects from basic geometric shapes. Useful for those who have good typing but lousy drawing skills.

Freecad is a free version of traditional computer-aided mechanical design. Very powerful but not that easy to lean

Fusion360 is a professional computer-aided design tool with free and reduced-price versions.

Blender is a 3D design program intended mostly for image rendering and animation, but also useful for 3D printing.


Slic3r is the program we use  to convert 3D models into layer-by-layer instructions for our 3D printers. You may not be using it directly, but you might be interested to see what the process looks like.



We have a selection of electronic bits and pieces available for learning and experimentation, including microcontrollers, motors, servos, sensors, LEDs (individual and RGB strip) and some wearable and soft-circuit components.  Most of our microcontrollers are Arduino or arduino-compatible; if you’re planning on working with these you may want to sign up for the web-based Arduino programming tools or else set up a thumb drive with the Arduino application and libraries on it so that you can use it wherever you are. We also have some microcontrollers that run CircuitPython (a stripped-down version of the python programming language with special libraries for controlling hardware) and some wireless devices that use various proprietary software-development tools. A few Raspberry Pi boards may also be available.