Bricked Glowforge #2 and out of warranty

I’ve loved being exposed to the drastic change a laser CNC machine had in my design and production methods. However I’m annoyed at the high failure rate Glowforge machine’s have. My original Glowforge lasted about a month and maybe a half. The replacement, a refurbished model, died about a month ago. It’s no longer under warranty and I’m stuck with having to decide if I move on too other lasers or send it in for repairs. If I send it in for repairs I’m assuming it will simply break again.

Guess my question is, how many of you have had faulty machines? Do you worry about the reliability of your Glowforge?

Admittedly, I’m being a little dramatic here. I just finished working on a project I’ve wanted to do for years. It was an in tank filtration system for a saltwater tank. I never found something that had all the features or for the specific kind of tank I wanted. The filtration system is finished, has flaws, but works far better than I was expecting on a first go. There are however details I need to work on and pieces I need to make to make the system efficient. Working on those is now not an option.

The thing I don’t feel like I’m being overly dramatic about is having a faulty $6,000 machine sent to me that is now out of warranty and inoperable. I’m obviously disappointed that a company would send me two machines, with unacceptable failure rates, and leave me high and dry. This does seem to be the inherent flaw in signing up for high tech crowd funded gear. I’ve done three or four of these now and I think this will be my last time…definitely my last time at this price point.

I don’t know what problems you are having to call it “bricked”.

I have an original crowd sourced pro machine for over two years now - not one issue that wasn’t user related and It still cuts beautifully. Haven’t don’t any repairs. There are a lot of us out there/here with original or single replacement machines- 20,000 machines or so?


My original machine had issues that I managed to stretch out with an external fan for 11 months, but now understand that nearly all of it was the casual use of magnets that interfered with the working of the head, and cutting a lot of oak that was very dirty.

If your refurbished machine has the dramatically changed exhaust from the honeycomb then you had one superior to mine. The new machine may have been refurbished but have many of the advancements the very earliest machines did not

Died is a very relative term, if the back ribbon can be replaced, and have it be up and running then it is only sleeping. On the other hand if you had a major fire then it is actually dead. The experience of most folks is that better wifi, or a change in procedure has amazing revitalizing properties.


I’ve been cutting veg tan leather (low smoke discharge) and acrylic. I’ve currently got an orange led button and a printer head that doesn’t move when the machine is started. There have been no major or minor fires.

Have you contacted support to look at the log files to see if it might be as easy as the black ribbon cable issue?


If you post in “problems and support” the company will do their best to help, the community here is an unmatched resource of experienced users who will try as well.

Is there an error message in the UI? Include in your post the date, time and time zone of the issue to help them track it down in the machine’s logs.

I have engraved and cut thousands of items over the three years with a glowforge and never an issue that wasn’t user failure.


Yes (3 of 3 machines I’ve had, current one is down for either a cable problem or firmware issue bricking it). The first took 8 months to fail, the second nearly a year and this third one about 2 years.

It’s a statistical issue. Dan noted a couple of years ago that their models do show that there will be failed machines and that some non-trivial number of those will be second or third machines. Statistically the more there are in the wild the more failures there will be and more of those failures will be a 2nd or 3rd machine. We have more visibility into that than the traditional consumer product. But it doesn’t help if you’re on the failure end.


I had that and carefully reseating the white ribbon cable fixed it. the pins are delicate and some have been bent or broken, so care is needed, but mine was only a weak connection and that was all it took.

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I contacted tech support, sent pictures of commonly problematic pieces of my glowforge, and had them view my logs. Nothing stuck out as a problem or simple fix. Recently contacted them to get a estimate of how much they think it could cost to fix. They do reply quickly.

I just wish the second system would have been a new one not a refurbished one with preexisting issues.

I sent tech support pictures of the white ribbon and they said it wasn’t the problem.

The most “pre-existing issues” will come from a machine not tested to the point of failure, where a refurbished machine will have just those issues identified and repaired. Sometimes there are also cosmetic issues not changed but the actual workings will likely be better.

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