Betas, Maker Faire, Production


#1

Happy September! Here in Seattle, the weather flicked like a light switch - I’m back in jeans and long sleeves, and just dropped the twins off for their second day of second grade. I wanted to share a brief update with the very latest on the Glowforge topics I know you care about most.

First, production: we’re moving as fast as we possibly can to ensure all units are delivered on time (details here). Our assembly line at the factory is turning out beta units which are going out to customers (and it’s not too late to volunteer to be a beta tester). We’re spending a lot of time and energy debugging the build procedures: simplifying assembly, designing fixtures that can speed up the process, and adding QA steps so that problems get detected earlier on the assembly line and can be fixed immediately rather than at the end.

Second, design: the major problems we’ve been worried about with regard to the design of the hardware (most famously the power supply) are (knock on wood) behind us. While we still have design adjustments going on, they’re increasingly minor. As an example, we brought in a thermal modeling expert to see how we can maximize the useful cut time between cool-down pauses. We fixed a problem where our 3d autofocus mechanism could overheat and stop moving. We’re adjusting the spacing of the strengthening ribs on the back side of the flip-down door - these are the latest shots from the door tool, which I’ll share because they happen to be sitting on my CTO’s desk right now.

Now, our biggest hardware focus is on safety and reliability - two goals that are tightly linked. Over the course of the past year we’ve assembled a team of safety and reliability experts, from one of the leading testing companies in the world to a world-recognized expert in laser regulatory compliance. We’re testing everything about the Glowforge for durability, repeatability, and ease of use. We want your Glowforge to work perfectly when you get it - and for years to come.

We’re working like mad to deliver all 30-day campaign units in December and all orders placed since then in March (details here). As always, meeting that is the second-most important goal we have as a company, eclipsed only by making sure your Glowforge is as good as it can possibly be. And as always, if you decide that you need to give up your Glowforge, just let us know and we’ll send you a full refund immediately.

With that, there’s a few more things cooking:

  • We’ll be at Maker Faire Seattle and NYC, with the latest build of the software. We’ve got some new functionality in the software you’ve never seen before that we’re terribly proud of!
  • Sourcing and testing your Proofgrade materials is an immense amount of work but going well. We had our first ever Lumber Summit where we got some of the top hardwood and plywood vendors together to ensure we could provide the most consistent, high quality, laser safe materials for you.
  • The Air Filter is cranking along and passing all tests with flying colors; we won’t have it at Maker Faire, however, as we’re not satisfied with the molds for the outer shell yet.
  • We’re working on scheduling another live video Q&A. All our video gear was lost in boxes in the move, so apologies on being way behind on having one! We’re working to get everything unpacked and will announce the time here soon.

That’s it for now - I’ll be hanging out in the comments to answer any questions I can!

Thank you, as always, for your support. We can’t wait to get you your Glowforge.


#2

Thanks for the update, any info is much appreciated. Good luck on getting everything done in a time table you are happy with


#3

Indeed, sounds like everything is going well. Looking forward to the GF more than ever! Best of luck to the lucky lot of yas!


#4

Excellent summary of some major interests. Great pic of some happy people!

I appreciate the reminder that you are spending some heavy resources ensuring this product is safe and reliable. Not being in the production business and having small budgets, I am used to just figuring it out on my own. To use experts and consultants and get this production fine tuned there must be some amazing communication fu going on.

Best of luck and am so looking forward to getting that Glowforge, whenever it comes!


#5

This is (knock on wood) great to hear!!! Looking forward to the Q&A!


#6

Note: No link @dan


#7

And that of course would be proof grade wood, right??
Great update…this will put alot of minds at ease.
:grinning:


#8

Any more definite word on materials? Or will that be post-ship-start?


#9

#10

Any news on the design catalog. How is that progressing? Will it be available pre-delivery, so people can start adding things to it/testing it out?

When do you anticipate you will start selling Proofgrade material? Can we get an idea of what you will be stocking first and what might take more time to figure out?


#11

Knock on barcoded and protectively papered walnut, that’s right. :wink:

We’re testing a host of materials right now, but no determination about what everyone will get yet.

@MStruve is working on it right now - coming along well!

We don’t have any announced delivery dates for anything before December, I’m afraid.


#12

Good to hear. Wish I was just a couple hours closer to seattle to attend one of the maker events. Bit over 4 hours just a tad much for a day trip heh.

Great pic. It really looks like it was to be a picture of just @bailey and she got major photobombed.


#13

I had NO idea they were all there! :wink:


#14

I so much appreciate the fact that you have been much more ‘visible’ in the forum the last several weeks. All the whining and complaining must have gotten to you! You’ve been giving us all great updates…including this one. Thank you so much…it serves very well in keeping up confidences and answering questions. Loved seeing the photo of the whole bunch of you. GO BIG G!!


#15

Ha! No, I just got to dial back the travel for a month. Things get crazy again next month unfortunately.


#16

Thank you for the update! It always renews my excitement to hear things are progressing! Keep kicking butt! nice pic of the team! I’m going to try and make it to the Maker Faire Seattle, just to see you guys and shake your hand.


#17

Nice! An update is the only thing in laserland right now that’s better than getting an address request email, so I’ll take it!


#18

Fixed! Thanks!


#19

I have a couple questions about this:

  1. Is it even possible to ship all of the nearly 10,000 preordered units during December, when the shipping companies are so busy even without this extra train load of lasers?
  2. If all the orders placed since then will be shipped in March, does that mean you are taking January and February off?

#20

10k units is a drop in the eyedropper in the glass in the bucket. :slight_smile: I shipped that many copies of Robot Turtles in December and nobody blinked an eye.

With many thousands of new Glowforge customers asking questions, I’m sure we’ll find a way to keep busy.

–dan


Glowforge updates: the road to production