Choose to ship now or delay shipment?

To those of you who received your email about your shipment date, asking if you want to ship it now or delay shipment, what did you choose and why?

I hate to spend ~$4,000 and it not be as nice, cosmetically, as later units. I also hate to wait another ~6 months for it to be shipped.

What’s your reasoning for your decision on shipping now or delaying the shipment? I just don’t want to be disappointed after waiting 2+ years and spending so much money.


In the end, you have to make this decision yourself and be happy with it. Here are just a few things to consider.

Mechanically it is probably as good as they are going to get for a while.
How important is the cosmetics of something that will lose its newness very quickly to you?
Do you have to have or even have the filter ordered?

I’ve only seen one or two defer for reasons other than needing the filter to use it. I’m not deferring as I know from having a PRU just how quickly the shine goes. This is a tool, like a farm implement. You will want to maintain it and keep it clean but it is not going to be at all pretty after 6 months of hard use.

The software is NOT finished and may not be for some time, thing is, there is a lot you can do with it right now. Finishing the software will just make it better and more friendly. That is the beauty of cloud ran software though, no need to manually flash the firmware, they’ll push that to you.


Thanks for your reply! You pointed out something I didn’t consider, about keeping it’s newness. I think I still think of it as a fancy electronic that I plan to keep in mint condition like all of my devices. Since I never use tools, that’s a thought that did not cross my mind about how quickly it would get nicks and scratches in it from wear and tare.

While the filter is something that’s included with mine, I doubt I’ll use much material that requires it, but if I do I could set the unit up in the garage or in a spare bedroom in my home and run the exhaust out of the window.

I think I was also a bit worried the ones being manufactured in the coming months would have better hardware, like megapixels or alignment, etc. But after running it over in my head the past several hours, it probably would be best to receive it now to begin working with it, since like you said it won’t be pretty after hard use anyway.

It’s just nice to talk it over with other owners, since none of my friends or family had any interest or suggestions with the decision. Lol


You will want it vented outside for ANY use without the filter. Even the cleanest cutting materials produce a lot of stuff you don’t want to blow around the house.


I didn’t know that! :sweat_smile: thanks so much for the heads up! That wouldn’t have been fun to have to clean up a huge mess on my first trial. I went ahead and confirmed delivery, so I’ll read up all throughout the forums while I wait for delivery! :slight_smile:


The new car smell and feel goes away regardless of how careful you are. (But oh man,it’s great while it lasts!) The outside actually stays pretty clean, the inside not so much. There’s just no way to avoid all the mess that comes with smoke. I would equate it to keeping your car clean during the dry, dusty summer. It can be done, but it won’t be easy and you may find yourself spending more time trying to keep it pristine than actually using it. :slight_smile:

FWIW, most people seem very pleasantly surprised by the lovely build of the GF. It really is quite substantial and not cheap feeling at all. I would even venture so far as to call it a beautiful machine. Yes, I have heard of a few having minor scuffs etc. upon arrival, but it really seems to be the small minority.
So my feeling on it is, why the hell wait!? It’s a tool to be used, so get it and start creating! Think about all the beautiful things you’ll be making more than the mess of making them :boom:


I bought the pro for the upgrades. The filter was secondary. Now that they let you cancel the filter I’ve thought about it. Since it is a sunk cost I can see the filter for remote uses.


Be forewarned, this is a laser cutter. No matter how much you clean the smoke and particulate matter will spread everywhere inside the unit. It will look nasty in places you can’t reach. After a short time the GF will look kind of like the inside of a toaster. The outside might be shiny stainless steel but the inside has remnants of the last raisin bagel. Only the most anal of us could keep it looking new.

That aside, do yourself and others a favor. Only you know your own personality. If you are the type of person that can deal with partial functionality and can accept that it will improve over time, then by all means take delivery. You will be pleased. If you are the type of person that in spite of evidence and the official warning might fool yourself into believing everything is good enough, then delay. You would be setting yourself up for disappointment and quite frankly those that are disappointed aren’t all that much fun here. Hopefully over time it will meet everyone’s expectations.

I am very pleased with the early unit. Want more, expect more but for now I’m basing my review on what it is, not what I expect it to be later.


This was a big factor in my choice to accept. I considered delaying, since I was afforded a nice jump start via a PRU, and I thought it would be kind to let more people receive their units first. Then someone reminded me that opting to delay could send me to the back of the line, and who knows how long that line is?

This was not a small investment for me, so it took some effort to come up with funding in time to purchase during the pre-order campaign. As such, I have no desire to wait until next year.


I’ve been in tech almost my whole career and this internal challenge is a way of life. It used to be that embedded software (code loaded into the device) was as static as the hardware after purchase. Then the ability to upgrade firmware became possible with the Internet. Software updates became common on desktops and phones. More recently, hybrid machines that use “the cloud” for a good chunk of the software meant that software can almost continuously update. People became more comfortable with user updates/fixes to hardware by visiting sites like So, today, it’s easier to decide to move than ever before. Yes. The hardware will get different over time. Often it will be somewhat better. Sometimes it is mostly just different to promote new purchases with a few improvements. However, how often have you upgraded your phone hardware? With every release…?

Given all this, I figured that they spent two years making the :glowforge: as good as they could make it before thinking that it was good enough to ship. The Glowforge team, with the most knowledge, made the decision for me. @Dan knew that they had delayed and taken heat for 2 years and the company was on the line and would be judged by the initial product quality. They/he decided to wait until the product would WOW. Now is that point, in their judgement. The software will always get better, unless they decide to take the Apple route and stop supporting earlier devices with updates. [Note: I have an iPod Touch that I used to use to control my Sonos, but since Apple stopped updating the OS on that model, I can’t use the latest Sonos software.]

So, I decided to go for it. As others have said, it’s a personal decision. If you’re happy to wait, then each new release may generate the same internal battles. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


And, they get to take their PRU away from us anytime they want :smile:


Yep! That was another significant factor in my decision :wink:


Wait. What? I thought delaying shipment of the unit until the air filter was ready means that both would ship together when the air filter is ready to ship. Is that not the case? My current estimated filter email date is May 4, 2018. (I realize that date will probably slip.)

Will probably be shipped together. What she was talking about is that if you defer you wouldn’t be asked again until they are ready to start going back through the list of people who deferred in that group. There might be multiple points in the list where they would backtrack. But we can’t specify when that is. When your filter is ready I imagine they would revisit your GF delivery.


Ok, thanks.

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You are probably correct, my phrasing was poor. I’ve edited my post to say could instead of would. Right now my air filter is scheduled to ship in April-ish (not sure, and I’m not going to check because it just stresses me out). I don’t want to wait that long for my GF.

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Plus, let’s face it, the error bars on the filter estimate are necessarily larger than for the Glowforge itself. So maybe April, maybe much later. They’re already making and shipping final Glowforges to people every day. As far as I know, they haven’t yet shipped a production (non-beta, non-PRU) air filter to a customer.

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Have they even shipped a beta or PRU filter? If so, I’d love to see confirmation of that. In fact, I’d volunteer to test a beta or pru filter shipped simultaneously with my GF. :smiley:

No, we haven’t.

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Is there a working model of the filter? Is this new unproven tech or is this a proven design being used today that glowforge just needs to impliment in a new housing?