Bought it and has been sitting for over 7 months

So I purchased the middle of the line glowforge and I was so excited to get it to be able to use it to make my business go further than it has and after opening it all up I was a bit disappointed to learn we would have to pay a 50.00 a month charge to be able to use their templates and other designs. I spent my max so spending the extra 1000. For the little machine to help with the overheating and smell.
I wish I would have because we tried it once with a puzzle from a photo my son took. The hose fell from the window into the room and the whole house smelled. That being said, my family thought it would be best to use the machine in my garage.
We finally got to try it again and after we heard the machine begin and we went back about a half hour later and we noticed nothing happened. We assumed it was because it was just way to hot in there to get it to go.

We have been waiting to try it again and it is all these months later because living in Texas we still are in the 90’s.
The machine was and is in a very shady area detached from my home and I can not afford to spend another 1000.00 for the other item to use it in my home. We were going to stick my outdoor air conditioner under my glowforge using my fans also to see how it works if at all but then I couldn’t find the month free code to try the app that came with my machine. I am thinking I will message the company and see if they will resend me that paper that came with my machine with the code for the free month and then try again. This is not working out real well so far. I figured one of the items I wanted to make for my siblings was a chopping board with one of my mom’s special recipe’s we all loved.

My family lost my aunt and uncle from covid when covid began. Then the week of Christmas to New Years we lost my mom, my uncle and then my dad. And then right after we lost my aunt whose husband died with my parents all from covid. This machine I bought to help my business because since covid I haven’t been able to do shows or work and this year isn’t looking good either so I bought this machine to help me and my family pay our bills and all of this has happened now.
I pray I didn’t waste the little money I had to get this machine because it is my last hope. When Mother’s Day came my husband decided to use my first holiday without my mother to tell me he was leaving me because I should have mourned them all already and me not working was another issue for him. I pray that this machine starts working soon because now being on my own with two kids still living home with me funds are horrible needed. Anyway, has anyone else had these problems? For those who haven’t signed up for the app using their templates were/are you able to work the machine with text and other things without being a member on it? Thank you so much for all of your help and suggestions.


I am truly sorry for all of the challenges you are facing. I have a suggestion, and that is to move the machine back inside and find a way to vent out of the window. You said the hose fell out of the window, so you will need to do a better job of securing it, but it is your best option for using the machine. The $1000 air filter requires replacement filters that are $250 so I don’t think this is a good option for you right now.

You state that you started the machine in the garage and when you came back … this is a big problem. The Glowforge uses focused light to cut things. Fire is a thing that can happen, and you should never leave the Glowforge unattended.

The premium subscription is not actually $50 a month, but more importantly, it isn’t necessary for making lots of things. There are other ways to get most of the items that the premium subscription offers. It is very convenient, but you should get a feel for the machine before committing any more money to it.


Wow. Sorry for all your loss, I can’t imagine.
I agree with @dklgood, bring the machine back into an environmentally controlled room. I have mine in my shop which would otherwise be a bedroom. If you use the forum search button and query “venting” you will find how many others have done it. It took a while, but once I got my long exhaust run sealed there is zero smell during operation.

Also, search for “external fan”. That will cut the noise by several magnitudes. If you mount that fan at the end of the exhaust, right where it exits the window that will put the entire exhaust run under negative pressure so no odor will leak out.

If you email the company about the code for the free trial I feel sure they will hook you up. Aside from that, learning a dedicated design program like ‘Inkscape’ (free), will free you from needing anything from anybody. The learning curve isn’t that steep, and the skill will pay you back many times over for the time you invest. There are tons of videos and tutorials, here and on YouTube that will get you going.
There are also lots of cutting board engraving examples here, That’s a wonderful idea to honor your Mom. Again, the search function here is your friend, and hanging out here you will find many more.

On a personal note, in my opinion, any man who would abandon you under those circumstances isn’t worth fretting over. Good riddance.

Welcome to the forum! Here you will find all the help you need. Good Luck!


Just to be clear, the Premium service is optional and doesn’t actually add any functionality to your Glowforge itself. It makes some things a bit easier and “free with premium designs” are nice to have available, but again are not required in any way. If the subscription (not $50/mo, btw) is too expensive, individual designs are quite reasonably priced if there’s a specific one that you want/need.

Lasering wood and acrylic certainly creates noxious fumes, but as others have already said, venting out a window actually works well with a little effort to secure the hose and seal around it.

Hang in there – you’re now in a community with tens of thousands of owners, many of which have been successfully using their Glowforges for the past 4+ years!

The forum search tool is a priceless feature. Pretty much any question you may have as a new user has probably been answered.

Welcome to the Community!


I feel your pain with the Texas heat…I’m in Tyler. But, properly vented and secured, the smell and smoke should not be an issue. And probably 99% of all the designs I use are completely unrelated to the Premium feature.


Thank you so much for your advice. I truly need it all. I need to know all about this machine because soon it will only be myself with this machine and the family won’t be close by to help me. Thank you so much and I will do my best to get the knowledge and then to remember it all is another story. Thank God for notebooks and pens because I will be writing everything down as soon as I learn everything.


Thank you so very much.


I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through, it’s so much for one person to deal with.

There are already great recommendations here on how to get the machine going inside, and I want to echo the comments about getting some free design software and having a go at making your own designs.

I did this when I got mine, I had no idea how to use it and it didn’t take too long to get my head around it. I started by getting pictures I liked and tracing them, I watched a couple of youtube videos to learn how to control the lines. This got me used to the software really fast. If you’re good at drawing you could draw on paper and scan the design then use the software to automatically trace it.

You will be creating all of your own designs in no time, and hopefully get access to Premium. I’m sure it would be worth the investment in that it would pay for itself fairly quickly.

Wishing you well at this difficult time.


That is more sorrow than anyone should have to deal with in a lifetime. The machines are very picky about the heat and cold so the winter extreme could damage the machine also even if not used as frozen water could break it.

I had a very rough time in Texas, though not like that. What kept me going was the knowledge that change always happens and when things are extremely bad, that meant that the future can only be an improvement :slightly_smiling_face: Ever since when times are rough I look back and realize it was not as bad as that.

You should stay near the machine to keep an eye on it any time it is in operation. So if the hose falls off, a fire starts, or it is just not cutting correctly you can lift the lid a bit and cancel the rest of the cut and work out why the problem is there, instead of ruining the rest of the material, or worse.


I am so very sorry for your losses. We have lost quite a few people in the last three years. The grief can be unbearable.

It is important that you find a way to start each day with purpose. Kind of like remembering to put one foot in front of the other. You have a lot of healing to do, but don’t let it control you. Put yourself in charge.

Re Glowforge:
Read everything you can on ventilation here on the forum. The garage won’t cut it in Texas. I wouldn’t be able to do it in Ohio. If unsure, ask here … the people in the forum are awesome!! They will answer your questions.

Never leave the Glowforge while cutting or engraving. The only way to be safe is to be there.

I have premium, but, haven’t used it more than to check how the various items work. I work in Silhouette Studio Business Edition software. People use Inkscape because it has the ability to do so much at zero cost. Illustrator is another that people use. There are so many choices.

If you want to do your own designs, decide on a software and stick to it. There are tutorials and videos galore on all the different software, It takes a lot of dedication. You can do it!

Unfortunately the Glowforge is not an overnight business creator. It takes a lot of work to build your knowledge and abilities. Please ask when you run into a question.

Wishing you much success,


1st: Move your glowforge back inside your house near a window
2nd: vent it outside the window. posters upthread went over how to do that.
3rd: Go through the FIRST PRINTS tutorials. When you are actually printing. STAY right next to your Glowforge. Don’t leave the room, don’t pass go, don’t collect $200. Fires happen. This is a laser.
4th. Come back here and tell us you have successfully completed 1, 2, and 3.

I’m sorry for all you have gone through. 7 months are down at this point but you can accomplish 1-3 easily in less then a day if you chose. You do not need to spend $50 a month for anything above or even to move forward. The Glowforge is a tool and 100% what you put into it.

First Prints Tutorials:


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