Any original machines left in use?

These posts are nice after seeing complaints often. I usually say that for every person complaining, there is another who is too busy working away with theirs to stop and complain. lol
Correction: too busy working away with theirs to stop and post. (oops, I’m tired lol)


Like many other here, I am still regularly using my crowdfunded Pro. It’s been really good to me since I received it in November 2017. The only repair I’ve had to make to it was to replace the lid cable, which on the original machines was a bit too short.


Something something bathtub curve something.


In my family we have three basics, all from the original crowdfunding campaign. All still going strong…original tubes, no repairs. (Knock on wood!)

I also have one in my library and two other librarians in my district do too, all of which are probably 6-7 years old. I know of one carriage wheel and a lid cable replacement but I think that’s it.

Rock solid machines we’ve all been very happy with!


July 8, 2018 - Have replaced a lid cable and had to reglue the lid once. It has been great!! I would love to upgrade, but cannot afford it at the moment.


A Pro received Aug 23, 2017. It’s far from daily, or even monthly use, but when it’s used it usually cuts for hours. It still seems to have the power.

This December when making boxes for the truffles I gift it developed a small jank on horizontal cuts, not vertical ones. The boxes still fit together, but the inlays and engraves were a challenge. Here’s a photo:

I need to make sure there isn’t something physical (like a small bit of debris stuck somewhere) going on with the track before I contact support. I have snapmarks so I really don’t want to replace it.

Also, it hasn’t recognized the :proofgrade: QR codes in a while. The image from the lid camera is fine. I don’t really care about that.


You’re not alone there :slight_smile:

I had a weird situation occur back when I was cutting a lot of earsavers and it just stopped on a specific earsaver project (custom engrave for a requestor hospital). But it worked for all others. Support couldn’t figure it out and suggested a return. Since it was a job-specific issue and didn’t affect anything else I did, I declined the return & replacement. It’s not like I was going into business to produce earsavers for that hospital on an ongoing basis. Haven’t experienced the problem (or any other) since and I still have my Snapmarks :smiley:


Not me, I am on my 3rd pro. The OG was a solid beast that did a ton of work and lasted about 4 years. It was not very good at passthrough but otherwise was a great machine. It gave up the ghost about 3 years ago and was replaced with a refurbished unit that did not last nearly as long. That one was replaced with yet another refurb unit. This one suffered a lid failure due to the “great glow forge glue drought” or whatever disaster caused them to use a pea sized dab to secure the right hand hinge. I fixed that myself but in the course of doing that, managed to fry the white board that drives the LEDs on the lid ( methinks a poorly aligned black cable caused a short to the led portion). The unit works but the lack of illumination makes centering a challenge. To fix the white board issue, GF offered another refurbished unit. I cannot bring myself to buy it, given the poor quality and the uncertain nature of their finances and what happens to the servers if things do not go well.

So, now I have a few flashlights that are placed bright side down on the lid to help with centering and positioning. I will milk this wounded machine until something else fails or the servers go silent.

Lately, I have been using this wounded Pro far more than my recently acquired Xtool p2 (faster, just as easy to use, has a better air assist resulting in less smoke residue on the parts, and supports larger pieces) in an attempt to get as much use out it as I can before the latter occurs.


Nov '17 Basic.

Admittedy, I dont use it often and when I do, its for scoring and cutting.

I think I’ve cleaned the lense twice, wiped down the tube once, and am too nervous at this point to change my au-naturale habit. For me, it’s a tool.


Check the 4 wheels on the carriage plate. A crack or split in them could show up as a deviation like that each time the wheel makes a full revolution around to the damaged bit. That’d be a good problem to have since it’s easy and cheap to fix.


Original kickstarter, too. Got mine December 18, 2018. Hobby use, but fairly regular. Like others I had some minor issues: shipped with a damaged lens, which was promptly replaced free of charge. The lid handle also came off but I used the aluminum tape solution and some extra strong glue and haven’t had an issue since. Made a custom crate when we moved house, but otherwise it’s stayed in the same place.
I’m starting to notice some power issues cutting through but hope it’s just a matter of cleaning the lenses and adjusting settings.
GF shipping to Canada is—for some baffling reason—terrible (the rest of the world has figured it out, but not this company) so I can’t ever order PG or, I guess, replacement parts.
Has anyone ever replaced the tube? I have recently started using a different product (Mako 60w) and see that they can be replaced.
It’s been a very fun toy, and the forum is great but not sure I’d recommend buying one.


The tube replacement option is now a “ship it back & we’ll send you a refurb for $1700”. They no longer (if they ever did) offer the $499 tube replacement Dan promised. The stated rationale is that they can’t just repair/replace one part - they fix anything that might have broken or be failing because of the liability of sending back a unit they know has other issues than the single repair requested. And since they’re going to do that, they’ve already got refurbished units so instead of waiting for your specific machine to be fixed, they’ll send you another machine that’s been refurbished.

I haven’t heard of anyone being offered the option to wait while their machine is fixed for a couple of years now. It used to be a thing but they had transparency (lack of) issues with the repairs being done & the associated cost and seem to have switched entirely to the refurb offer instead.

Some of that is guesswork in terms of options/policy as they’ve never officially communicated the repair policy. It’s only through forum member posts about what individual experience is that indicates how they’re operating.

I’m interested in what they’re going to do with the “right to repair” laws that are starting to pop up. From what’s been posted here, they seem to be ignoring any of those requirements in the EU. I don’t see that as an option if those gain traction in the U.S. though.


I’ve had my Basic since September 2017, and only this year have I noticed the cutting power decreased. To be fair, my main cutting is in 1/4" plywood – wooden puzzles – a bit more noticable when not cutting through all the way anymore. So we built a larger more powerful laser that lives in the shed workspace, but my Glowforge still gets regular use for quick test cuts or designing for the catalog!


My original kickstarter machine was received in Nov of 2017, and is still going strong. I almost hesitate to post this, for fear of jinxing myself. Knock on wood.

Used it regularly for the first few years. These days I only use it a couple/few times a month.


I am an original. mine doesn’t get used nearly as much as it should.


so true, doesn’t seem fair. mine arrived just as I was completing putting down 1100 square feet of LVP flooring and packing to move.


Mine is also still working. Not to often in use because lack of time. :person_shrugging:


I have my original kickstarter GF, but never set it up or used it (life and work got in the way). So it sits sadly in a back bedroom waiting for someone to turn it on for the first time. :cry:

Would anyone be interested in purchasing it? I don’t want to ship it, but if you are in the San Francisco Bay area maybe you could rescue him/her. :sunglasses:

jmartino at gmail


There was no way the $499 offer could be perpetual. Back in 2017 they might have broken even on that, maybe even covered the parts cost as well. In 2024, it doesn’t even cover the cost of shipping both ways. They’d lose hundreds and hundreds of dollars on each replacement, with the customer contributing $0 towards the tube or the labor charges from the outsourced facility doing the work.

Glowforge has sold in excess of $300,000,000 in Performance Series lasers alone. That means the potential cost of honoring that $499 offer for all of them out of goodwill would be measured in tens of millions of dollars they really don’t have.

It’d be nice if a replacement kit was available for purchase, even if you had to sign a bunch of waivers to buy it, so that those with the skill and inclination to crack open their machine and do the work themselves had that option.

I almost said it must not be too dangerous / legally onerous to offer considering how many other brands offer replacement tubes for sale, but checked myself when I realized they’re all based in China where the chance of serious repercussions if a consumer harms themselves are practically zero. Not the same situation for a VC-funded startup in Seattle.