Glowforge Catalog Designer FAQ


How do I get started?

There is a group of short articles that give you all the details. Just go to Become a Catalog Designer to get started. 

How long does it take to find out if I’m approved as a designer? 

We ask for your patience during the evaluation process, it will take several weeks, and we won’t be able to give status updates or answer any questions during that time. Just trust that we’re anxious to offer your designs, and will contact you as soon as we’ve evaluated your application. 

Why is this only open to Glowforge Premium members? 

Rather than charging an additional joining or listing fee like many stores and online marketplaces, we’ve decided to make joining as a Catalog Designer free with a Glowforge Premium membership. 

Why are prices set by Glowforge? 

We believe that your creativity and designs are valuable. We’re setting pricing to ensure that you and other designers are rewarded for your efforts and ideas. We’ve seen the pressure for creatives to undercut each other's prices elsewhere. Also, we’ve all seen talented creatives accidentally ask for way less than they’re worth. By setting and adjusting prices, we can fine-tune the system to work well for everyone. 

How do I manage, update, or remove my designs?

If you would like to update or remove your design (during the submission process or after your design is available in the catalog), contact Glowforge Support. Please include your submission reference number and, if published, a link to the design in the catalog.

Will my designs have a commercial or personal use license?

We make the distinction on our end; designers (who are also customers) can only submit designs that grant Glowforge and Glowforge users a commercial license.

How is my payment determined? 

How much you earn for each design depends on a number of factors. For example more people getting your design, more prints, higher ratings, and designs offered exclusively through Glowforge all increase your earnings. Since the factors are dynamic, there is no way to calculate your payment in advance.

Can you tell me how many of each design was purchased each month, broken down by “Pay per Print” and “Unlimited Prints?”

We currently do not release this information. It is part of a proprietary algorithm that we feel creates a fair outcome, especially when considering that most of our designs are free to premium subscribers.

Can you give some measure of the financial advantage of an exclusive design? I am considering posting some exclusive designs but I can’t tell if it is worthwhile or not.

The actual amount varies depending on how many designs are exclusive in a given month and the engagement on those designs.  We suggest testing some exclusive designs versus non-exclusive designs to see if you notice a different / better outcome. 

Do you provide a breakdown on how much Glowforge takes vs how much the designer receives?

We do not keep a commission on your earnings. Your earnings are not only based on how much revenue your designs earned (from sales), but also on how many customers download your designs and how many times they were printed. This means net sales are only a small factor in determining your earnings, and they are not a 1:1 correlation to how much you earned as the designer, or how much Glowforge keeps.

An analogy-- think of it like YouTube Premium or Amazon Video content. The content creator (you) could be paid if someone purchased the movie. Or a combination of ads and Prime/Premium members who get to see your movie for free because of their subscription. The net sales only represent one factor. The great thing about this model is your designs will continue to earn every time they are printed, after the point of sale (even if we have listed the design as "free").

What, exactly, does "exclusive" mean?

A creator would not be able to sell the design (either digital or printed) for commercial purposes. You are free to print more for yourself or gift prints to friends and family for non-commercial purposes.

Can you change a non-exclusive design to an exclusive design?

The short answer is "yes" you will need to make a request for this change and ensure that no digital copies of this design have been previously distributed (sold, given away, or otherwise shared).

Can you change an exclusive design to a non-exclusive one?

No, once designs have been released as digital copies (sold, given away, or otherwise shared) we are not able to reverse the exclusivity.

Are there any plans to expand on the visibility that designers have into activity on their designs? 

We are not able to disclose any plans around this topic, but we are aware there is interest.

What if I’m not satisfied?

Unless you choose the exclusive option, you can withdraw your design if you’re not satisfied. We plan to give extra advertising and attention to our best exclusive designs, so they’re not eligible for withdrawal.


See also 

Learn more about Glowforge Premium.

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