The Glowforge Aura – A Laser Cutter for Hobby Crafters

The Glowforge Aura – A Laser Cutter for Hobby Crafters

Written by Olivia, In Gadgets, Published On
May 28, 2024

Hey there, Have a look at the Glowforge Aura, a cool little laser cutter that I just got to try out. Now I can see you asking, “A laser cutter for what?” “That looks really complicated and hard to understand.” But trust me, people like you and me who like to do things for fun will love the Aura because it is easy for beginners to use.

The price of $1,199 is pretty high, but you’re getting a machine that makes laser printing and cutting very easy. It’s almost ready to use when you open the box. The best part? You can pay a small fee to access a huge library of ready-made images. What a comfort!

Putting together the aura is as easy as pie. The people at Glowforge told me that the Aura “just works,” and wow, were they right! I wasn’t sure about it. It was a real pleasure to set this up. A magnet holds the laser in place, so all I had to do was put it in the crumb tray to collect any extra stuff and connect the airline.

I should let you know that both the Aura and the optional air cleaner (more on that later) are pretty big. The cutter is about 20 by 22 inches, so a small desk might not be able to fit it. My coffee table worked out really well in the end.

Since you can’t print without being online, I linked the Aura to my Wi-Fi and got to work. Trust me, the process is really easy to follow overall.

Specifications of The Glowforge Aura

Laser TypeCO2 Laser
Laser Power40W
Material CapabilityWood, Acrylic, Leather, Fabric, Paper, etc.
Maximum Cutting Depth0.25 inches (varies by material)
Engraving ResolutionUp to 1355 DPI
Work Area12 x 20 inches
SoftwareCloud-based, compatible with Windows and Mac
Camera AlignmentBuilt-in, with real-time material placement
Dimensions38 x 20.75 x 8.25 inches
Weight55 lbs
Safety FeaturesInterlock system, air filtration system
Warranty1 year limited


  • Reasonably priced and small
  • Works with a range of materials
  • Complete and precise outcomes
  • Fume management is well achieved with air filters.


  • Needs frequent cleaning to remain in alignment and operational
  • Works not with some acrylic materials
  • Certain software requires a membership.
  • Loud air filter

Aura Control: Simplifying Your Experience

The Glowforge web app is how you use the Aura. There are no awkward buttons or hard-to-understand choices to get around. A big, bright button is the only thing you need to handle the machine itself. Press it to start cutting or engraving. So simple, right?

The extra Personal Air Filter is the same, and I strongly suggest that you get one. It’s easy to use and turns on and off by itself.

Going through the Design Library: A Crafter’s Dream

The Glowforge Aura

Now is when the real fun begins. Any of the ready-made designs in Glowforge’s collection can be used with the Aura. There are so many choices, from gift boxes and coasters to phone cases and earrings. Some designs are free, but most of them cost between $0.99 and $19.99. The best part is that if you pay $50 a month (or $239 a year), you can use almost all of the paid designs without any limits. What a deal! I tried out a lot of different projects using paint, wood, paper, and more. I can say that seeing the laser work is very interesting!

Made easier Making cuts and engravings

One of my best things about the Aura is how easy it is to use. For my first project, I just put in some regular copy paper, closed the lid (which has a camera inside that records what’s inside), and let the machine do its thing. I had an exact-cut gift box with score lines that made it easy to fold in minutes.

Right now I’m going to tell you that cutting and carving things other than paper does take a little longer. It’s not as easy as some other PCs I’ve used, but it’s still pretty simple. And the results are very gratifying! Just because I could, I tried to make phone cases, earrings, coasters, and even a logo for The Verge. The Aura can make very fine details and accurate prints, especially for a machine that is so simple to use.

Designing on your own: Challenging, yet achievable

The Glowforge Aura-

Aura’s design capacity is one place where it falls short a bit. With a Premium membership, Glowforge’s web app does have some basic tools for drawing lines, forms, and text, but it’s not the easiest or most natural thing to use. Advice for me? If you want to make your designs, you’ll need to use a different image editor like GIMP, Illustrator, or Adobe Photoshop. The Aura can read a lot of different file types, which makes it easy to load your designs. Another AI that can turn words into images is called Magic Canvas, but it’s not always useful. You know, some things are just better left to the people who create them.

Taking care of your aura: a good investment

As with any machine, the Aura needs to be maintained from time to time. For every project, the crumb tray should be cleaned, and any leftover stuff that fell through the holes should be picked up. The tray can get a little burned after being used a few times, but a quick wipe-down with a wet paper towel works fine.

Don’t forget the air cleaner either. The filter tubes need to be changed about every 100 hours, and each one costs $135. The air is kept pretty clean, though. But really, having a laser cutter is fun and easy, so the little bit of upkeep is worth it.

The Potential of Glowforge Aura: Actionable Ideas to Explore

I know that the price of the Auras might seem high to some of you. Indeed, there are other gadgets out there that offer better lasers at the same or even lower prices. The tool M1 10w is a laser-cutting machine that costs $1,499 and comes with a vinyl-cutting blade. The Creality Falcon2 costs $1,199 and has the same 22W laser as the Aura. But the Glowforge has a much bigger library of designs than either of those two. Even if they’re stronger, they aren’t always as easy to use or good for beginners.


The Glowforge Aura is a top-tier laser cutter and engraver designed for hobbyists and small businesses. Its combination of precision, user-friendly software, and versatility makes it an excellent choice for a wide range of crafting projects. The compact design and intuitive features make it accessible for both beginners and experienced users. The Glowforge Aura’s ability to produce professional-quality results with ease and efficiency sets it apart from other crafting tools.


Q: What materials can the Glowforge Aura cut and engrave?

A: The Glowforge Aura can cut and engrave a variety of materials including wood, acrylic, leather, fabric, paper, and more. It is versatile enough to handle many common crafting materials.

Q: How difficult is it to set up and start using the Glowforge Aura?

A: The Glowforge Aura is designed with ease of use in mind. It comes with a detailed setup guide, and the cloud-based software is intuitive, allowing users to start crafting quickly. Most users find the initial setup straightforward.

Q: Is there a warranty or customer support available?

A: Yes, the Glowforge Aura comes with a 1-year limited warranty. Additionally, Glowforge offers customer support and has a vibrant user community that can provide assistance and share tips.

Q: Can I use my own designs with the Glowforge Aura?

A: Absolutely! The Glowforge Aura’s software allows you to import your own designs. You can also create designs within the software using its design tools or choose from a library of pre-made designs.

Q: How often does the machine require maintenance?

A: Regular maintenance is essential to keep the Glowforge Aura running smoothly. This includes cleaning the lens and mirrors, checking the cooling system, and ensuring the air filtration system is working correctly. The frequency of maintenance will depend on usage.

Q: Is it safe to use the Glowforge Aura at home?

A: Yes, the Glowforge Aura is equipped with safety features such as an interlock system and air filtration. However, it’s important to follow all safety guidelines provided in the user manual, including proper ventilation and never leaving the machine unattended while in use.

Q: Can the Glowforge Aura handle large projects?

A: The Glowforge Aura has a work area of 12 x 20 inches, which is suitable for a wide range of projects. For larger projects, you may need to work in sections or consider a machine with a larger work area.

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