Advice/Rant Post

My machine started having issues a few weeks after I got it. It ended up dying at about the 2 months mark and they said they would send a refurbished unit to replace it. While I was hesitant, I accepted and waited for my replacement to arrive. This process took almost 2 weeks. The unit arrived and it was filthy and was missing some screws and looked like it was having other issues. I emailed them immediately and got a response the next day that they agreed that it wasn’t up to their standards and that they would send me another new machine. The 3rd, and what I thought would be the final machine showed up today and I barely got the lid off the box before I noticed the issues starting. Fluid everywhere. Stopped me in my tracks as its an electronic and I’m tech savvy enough to know that fluid and electronics don;t generally mix well. I will add to this post and include the photos I tool of the second and third machines. They are on my phone and I’m on the laptop right now.

Does anyone have experience dealing with multiple faulty machines? Should I just plug it in and run it till it explodes and have them send me another one? At this point I’m not sure how many more machines I’m willing to take if they keep showing up not refurbished properly. Their promise of “the condition meets or exceeds the condition of your current unit” seems off to me. And having to refund multiple customers because they can’t ship me a good unit sucks, bit time.

Any words of advice or encouragement are appreciated.

Rant over. Happy forging everyone.

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This is the second unit I received. I forgot to mention my disappointment that my original unit had a longer black cable and the second unit had a shorter one. Which also leads me to believe that ita an older unit than I had originally. And the plastic had a yellowish tinge to it.

Third unit I just recieved. I’m not taking it out of the packaging as I’m sure it wont be operational and I dont feel like doing maintenance on a machine that should he “like new” out of the box and have it still not work. You can see the Glowforge cardboard is soaked in the fluid and its built up under the plastic all across the top.

There are people on this forum who are still using the machine they got two years ago…and then there’s people like you and me who got a rocky start.
I went through 3 machines in 4 months. I was frustrated, mad, and really upset that I had spent a huge sum of money, for me, on a piece of equipment that was constantly having problems.
But, there are some really supportive people on this forum that talked me down off the ledge more than once, and I managed to stick it out.
GF #3 has been great for 7 months now. And I couldn’t be happier with it.
I hope the fluid you are seeing is simply condensation, as I had mine get half an inch of condensation in the bottom once. Dried it out and have had no problems with it. I did learn that in South Mississippi, you can’t leave the vent open to the outside!
GF Support is definitely overworked, as this phenomenon has grown faster than they anticipated. However, they have always went out of their way to make things right, albeit slower than I would have liked. That could have been my own nervousness making it seem longer.

Good luck, and I hope they get you straightened out soon!


I’ve had the worst luck. Hopefully I can be like you and get this resolved. Their CS leaves so much to be desired. I’m certain it’s not condensation. Its slick and oily like coolant. I’m hopeful that I can get this fixed as I have a really big show coming up soon and need to do well to make up for all the clients I already had to refund.

I hear so often about people who have great experience and get super fast responses and store credits for their trouble. While I feel that that’s great fornthe I wish the GF service was more uniform. I barely get a response in the 3 business day window and have a pile of wasted PG materials from the machine having faults. Pretty frustrating.

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Support can credit you for wasted PG materials.

My machine had coolant spilled inside - except I didn’t discover it until a few months ago (I received it in 2017)…

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(I’d just put the pictures from the third machine - you don’t want to confuse the issue with pictures from the second one.)

It’s possible for a small amount of liquid to get splashed out during shipping, and to my surprise, it doesn’t always have to be returned. But Support is going to need to make the determination on what to do next…I wouldn’t try to plug it in until they tell you to.

That fluid can just be wiped up with a paper towel, but you’ll want to examine the tube carefully with a flashlight to see if there are any hairline cracks in it.


I received a wet gf a while back also. It is caused by coolant leaking out in shipping. Here is what support told me to do:

Kathan W (Glowforge)

Dec 10, 3:11 PM PST

Hi John,

I’m so sorry that your Glowforge arrived wet. That’s incredibly frustrating.

This occasionally happens when the Glowforge coolant cap has a problem and the unit is mishandled during shipping. While the box should always be kept right side up, the shipping company sometimes gets it wrong, and when they do, coolant can seep out.

The liquid is a food-grade product that is safe to the touch and doesn’t cause damage to your Glowforge printer.

We’re deeply frustrated for you, because that’s not the experience you should have.

We do have some good news, however. You can be up and printing in just a few minutes by following these instructions:

Use a lint-free cloth to gently wipe your Glowforge dry.

Follow the instructions at to setup your Glowforge.

When you turn on your Glowforge, watch the laser tube carefully. You’ll see bubbles when you first turn it on. The bubbles should clear within a few minutes of the system being powered on, at which point you can continue with Wi-Fi setup and start to print.

If the bubbles don’t clear from your tube after several minutes of being powered on, or if you see additional fluid leaking while the unit is powered on, please let us know and we’ll follow up with next steps.


Funny that they’ve never offered me that even when I’ve mentioned all the wasted materials. I’ve heard so many varying levels of service from GF. Some get a new machine in 3 days and others wait weeks. One guy in FB group got a $150 credit because he got amassed up refurb. Another received a brand new machine after their first refurb was DOA. Then theirs people like me and others that wait days for a response and get the bare minimum. So strange.

I purposely didn’t put this in problems and support for that reason. Will they still see this as a support request post? I dont have a lot of experience here. I have emailed them already. I just wanted to be open and transparent about the issues at hand amd include as much information as possible.


Oh…whoops! Okay no that’s fine. Wasn’t paying attention. :slightly_smiling_face:

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If it helps any, coolant leakage happens during shipment when the box gets set up on end or upside down because shippers pay no attention to the “this side up” notations on the box. It’s not a quality issue, and not something the company has any control over.

Hopefully it will turn out to be fine and you can get started lasering things soon!


I’ve got nothing to add in terms of wisdom, but you are obviously perfectly justified in being frustrated. I hope they are able to get you a new, fully functioning machine ASAP.


My first two units both sat at fedex for two days up on end and they didnt have any leakage. Seems like a quality control issue to me. They should secure their product in a way that makes shipping hazards minimal. Of course some things cant be controlled. Seems like a sealed cooling system would be enough to make that happen. A simple rubber gasket and properly sealing the cap could have prevented this… Maybe. Lol.

I’ll add that they advised me clean it and set it up and see if the tube has bubbles. Why I should have to clean a machine that should have been “like new, ready to use” is beyond me but I agreed. Upon taking it out and looking at everything the machine has other issues. Every lens is either dirty or scratched, or both.

oh man, I’d probably be crying at this point, good luck to you and hope you’ll stick through it, it’s worth it once the problems are out of the way.


Hi @e.riveraphone,

On behalf of the whole Glowforge team, I want to express my sincerest apologies for the rocky start you’ve had with us. We’re working to get you a brand new unit as quickly as we can, and we’ve connected with you over email to get this resolved quickly for you. We really can’t wait to get you printing again.

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Quickly? They said it would be another 10 days until I had a new unit. And that that was the fastest option.

The other option was to first have a unit to you guys so you could inspect it and then send it to me. That, in combination with the fact that I have gotten two inadequate units, tells me that quality control is a very large issue.

I’ll be going over my new unit with a fine tooth comb and reporting back any faults or imperfections. For $6,000 I expect nothing less.

The saga continues. Machine #4 is having issues after having it less than a week. I have done 2 jobs on it and now it won’t do anything except give me a purple light.

Oh and for those following along they sent me tracking labels to send my non working units back that were already used! So I had to haul them back home and up 3 flights of stairs.

Hi, this will sound a bit weak to you I am sure, but as an owner who got a working unit to start and has never had any problems I’d encourage to to stick it out and persevere until you get a new, working unit. You are under warranty.
I would be frustrated if in your situation; but I have to tell you that I cannot imagine not having the Glowforge. It really has become a vital piece in my Maker arsenal.