Create Assembly Instructions for Glowforge Catalog Designs


You’ve designed something magical, and our customers can’t wait to print it. Thoughtful designers like you make it incredibly easy for your customers to print and assemble designs by creating step-by-step assembly instructions for them to follow. 

How do I know if I need to provide instructions?

You will need to provide assembly instructions in order for us to accept your design for the catalog if your customers need to put together three or more parts after printing.  

Use these instructions to create your own step-by-step photo instructions that ensure customers who purchase your design get the results you envision.

Before you start, you may want to look at these examples of well-written instructions. 

To see the instructions of a design, you will first need to add it to your Dashboard. Then open the design, and the instructions will be in a window on the right.

What you’ll need

  1. A camera to take your step-by-step instructions. You can use a professional camera or your cell phone.
  2. An uncluttered surface: You’ll be pacing your printed parts here to photograph each step in the assembly process. We recommend a clean, uncluttered table or a clean sheet of white poster board.
  3. Great lighting: You can use professional lighting equipment or a space with great natural lighting. There are some great tips about how to take good photos in the Glowforge Catalog Photography Guide.
  4. A tripod (optional): Attaching your camera to a tripod helps keep your photographs stable. Especially if you are photographing from overhead.
  5. The instructions template: Make a copy of the Assembly Instructions Template on your computer, and then use the template below to write and submit the instructions for your design.

Types of photographs

You will need to provide two types of photographs with your instructions. 

  • Overhead photograph: Start with an overhead photograph of all your pieces. 

      • Arrange each piece just like they are positioned in the app (or in your printer before you take your print out). 
      • Clearly label each piece. You’ll use these labels to show your customers which parts are used in each step.

  • Process photographs: For each step where your customer is joining two parts, you should provide a photograph and description of what they need to do. 


      • Clearly label which parts your customer should be interacting with.
      • Clearly show the action you expect your customer to take with the labeled parts. You can add a red arrow or a square for emphasis.
      • For each process step, add a descriptive subtitle that explains what you intend your customer to do. For example: Firmly push both parts A into the end slots of part B as indicated.

To create good photos and instructions

  • Position your phone or camera directly above the surface, looking straight down at the center of the action.
  • Anything you write in words should be demonstrated in a photo. Most customers will rely more heavily on photos than on words.
  • Watch for the shadows of your hands or off-camera things like bottles of glue that might cast across your work surface.
  • Crop each image so the action is centered. Keep the aspect ratio consistent at 1:1 or 4:3.
  • Add arrows or other indicators to help your customer understand what they are expected to be doing. We recommend using Preview or Adobe Illustrator to mark up the photos.

Now you’re ready to get the template and write your instructions.

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