Case Studies > Glowforge

Two Seattle startups working together

Tony Wright, founder and Head of Product at Glowforge, turned to Lightboard to design pieces for their crowdfunding video on an extremely tight turnaround. The video was a smashing success, raising nearly $30M in pre-purchases for their laser cutter.

Glowforge logo

Founded in Seattle in 2015, Glowforge makes an at-home laser cutter. They're doing for laser cutters what MakerBot did for 3D printing.

After the biggest crowdfunding campaign in history, the first Glowforge laser cutters start shipping in the summer of 2017.

This video has been viewed more than five million times and captured nearly $30 million in sales. Lightboard helped make it happen.

Business Situation

In 2016, Glowforge decided to make a huge push to launch at Maker Faire. They needed to make a demo video ASAP—and needed a ton of new designs to show the breadth of what their laser cutter could do.

The deadline was tight—they finished the script on Monday morning and needed to shoot on Friday morning—and they needed time to actually laser cut everything.

Tony called Lightboard around 11AM Monday and by end of day they had designers working on luggage tags, flasks, picture frames, and even a six-foot long papercut banner.

By end of day Thursday, Lightboard had everything laser-ready—and even had time to do revisions on each to make sure the vector files would cut cleanly on the Glowforge prototype.

Good design is really hard—especially in a hurry. Lightboard's designers saved our bacon. It's like having an army of great designers at your fingertips.

Tony Wright

Tony Wright
Founder and Head of Product


Birthday Party

The video has several scenes, one of which is a birthday party for a young girl, Mia. The party is meant to show off the amazing things you can make at home with the Glowforge. For this scene, we designed the hand-drawn invitation, a six-foot paper banner, and a crown.

The banner was a particularly impressive—originally designed to be cut from four colors of paper, it featured custom vector illustration and set the tone for the party.

Banner in use in the video
Vector file of the birthday banner
Vector file of Mia's crown

Craft Sales

Another key segment for Glowforge is the small-business craftsperson—someone making goods for sale in marketplaces like Etsy.

Tony wanted to show the types of pieces a crafter could make with the Glowforge, so we designed luggage tags, photoframes, journal covers—all that could be laser cut from wood or leather.

Initial luggage tag designs
Luggage tags in lasercut from birch

Stellar Results

There's no other way Tony could source so much design so quickly—or put them to work so effectively. And Lightboard did it without breaking a sweat.

And we're delighted to have played a small part in a piece of marketing collateral that was so stunningly successful for our customer.

With Glowforge, people can print out remarkable objects in their living room. We used Lightboard to help inspire people by creating some of the sample designs that we use to show off the Glowforge.

Dan Shapiro

Dan Shapiro
Founder and CEO

We couldn't resist giving the Glowforge prototype a try ourselves—here's the Lightboard seal on one of our laptops.
After the launch, we also worked with Glowforge on branding their Proofgrade line of products. Unfortunately these didn't make it into production, but we're still pretty proud of them.

Key Stats

  • 6

  • 18

  • 103

    Hours of Design
  • 4


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