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(Glowforge Photo)

Glowforge released a new tool that lets users create artwork based on a written prompt that is optimized for 3D printing.

The Seattle-based 3D laser printer startup announced Tuesday the launch of Magic Canvas, an image generator that uses AI to spit out artwork from a single line of text. The software then formats the image for its printers, which can engrave the art onto raw materials such as wood, acrylic, or even chocolate.

“It’s already easy to create with your Glowforge, so the last barrier was the hardest: how to bring your idea to life quickly, without complex tools,” CEO and co-founder Dan Shapiro said in a statement. “We’re able to use modern AI technology to provide the solution: a supercomputer in the cloud, creating artwork just for you.”

For instance, a user could type in the prompt “cute havanese puppy riding a kayak,” and get a selection of AI-generated artwork to choose from. Once the user makes a selection, Glowforge can engrave the puppy onto a piece of acrylic.

AI-generated “Cute havanese puppy riding a kayak” from Glowforge’s software. (Glowforge Image)

The startup makes a line of 3D laser cutters/engravers. Instead of making objects out of plastic strands like traditional 3D printers, Glowforge uses a laser to quickly cut and engrave products made from raw materials like leather, paper, plastic, fabric, or cardboard.

Glowforge did not say which AI model is behind the new feature but is filing patents for the image-generating software, TechCrunch reported.

The rollout of Magic Canvas comes at a time when the legality of selling artwork produced by generative AI tools are in question.

Stock photography company Getty Images, for example, is suing Stable Diffusion for allegedly copying more than 12 million images from its repository.

Many Glowforge users sell their artwork. The company said the images created by Magic Canvas will be “copyright-free and ready to use for their project.”

The new tool is only available to Glowforge’s premium subscribers, which costs $50 per month or $239 annually.

Glowforge is part of a rush of startups, entrepreneurs, and corporate giants adopting generative AI tech that has attracted intense attention for its ability to instantly create content based on prompts.

Seattle-based legal tech firm Lexion recently released updates for its Microsoft Word plug-in, which now features the ability to suggest edits and create complete text summaries for legal documents. Seattle entrepreneur and software developer Patrick Husting introduced Ghostwriter, a Word add-on that produces a story from user input.

Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled new versions of its Bing search engine and Edge web browser that take advantage of next-generation OpenAI artificial intelligence models.

Founded in 2014, Glowforge set a crowdfunding record in October 2015 but had some trouble fulfilling orders, delaying production and shipping numerous times. Prices for printers now range from $3,995 for a basic model to $6,995 for the Pro version.

The startup has raised about $120 million to date and made its brick-and-mortar debut in December 2018 when it announced craft retail giant JOANN as an investor and new national retail partner. The company has also partnered with Michaels. Its venture investors include Foundry Group, True Ventures, DFJ Growth and Revolution Growth.

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