Concerns about warranty and non-proofgrade materials

I recently received my Glowforge and I have a few concerns. My wife recently wanted to cut a piece of leather she purchased at a fabric store. Upon trying to cut it, the Glowforge software kindly told her that no Proofgrade material was detected and that proceeding would void the warranty.

I have a few problems with this.

When we purchased the Glowforge, Proofgrade materials did not exist. To my knowledge, none of the promotional videos displayed usage with Proofgrade materials. I also recall being told that Inventables carries materials we can use with the Glowforge. The Glowforge was sold under the implication that we could cut materials purpose-made for laser cutting. It’s now apparent that we’ve been vendor-locked to purchasing a more expensive product with a more limited range of materials available.

In addition, there are images in the catalog that clearly do not use any currently available Proofgrade materials (colored leather, etc). I understand that there are possibly many materials that can cause problems for the Glowforge. However, we should at least be given a list of available third-party materials that have been tested by Glowforge staff, which do not void the warranty. It’s clear that they have been testing the Glowforge on more than just Proofgrade materials (chocolate, sushi wraps, cardboard, etc).

I’m excited by all the possibilities of the Glowforge, except it seems that those possibilities are much more limited than advertised.

Given this limitation, I would not have purchased the Glowforge, and certainly cannot recommend anyone else to do so.

P.S. I don’t have a problem with Proofgrade materials themselves. I would generally opt to purchase them instead of a comparable product. However, the catalog of available Proofgrade materials is rather limited.


This is the first I’ve heard of this. Is this true? Has anyone else seen this? Is this something new?

Can you please get a screen shot? I’ve been cutting both proofgrade and non for 6 months and have seen nothing on warranty.


Uhhhh… Can you go ahead and screenshot that? I’ve never seen that and I can’t seem to make it say that.


Upon trying to cut it, the Glowforge software kindly told her that no Proofgrade material was detected and that proceeding would void the warranty.

Per the warranty (Glowforge Warranty Information | Glowforge) there’s nothing being ‘voided’, just the fact that GF cannot control what you put in your machine and can’t cover warranty service if what you decide to cut causes damage to the unit.

The text:

Damage to the Glowforge Basic, Glowforge Pro, or Air Filter caused by material in the machine is not covered by this warranty unless the damage is caused by the use of Proofgrade™ brand materials used in accordance with the instructions in the manual and with the settings provided by Glowforge.

So, if you decided to put an oil-soaked rag in and it catches fire and damages the lense, this is not covered by the warranty.
But if the same thing happens when cutting Proofgrade, it would be, because they can guarantee Proofgrade. Or if something fails unrelated to what has been cut, (cooling system, steppers, etc.) that would still be covered too.



Any resulting damage is not covered by your warranty

Being the operative bit here. Doesn’t ‘Void’ anything, they just can’t cover damage by a material they don’t sell.


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It definitely does not say “proceeding would void the warranty.”

Either way, that message basically says “If you do something stupid, we’re not responsible.” But it definitely doesn’t say anything remotely close to using non-:proofgrade: materials will void anything.


Note that is says Damages

As long as there is no damage, it does not effect the warranty.

ooh, it’s a slightly different warning message on the basic than on the pro. Basic’s don’t have to worry about class 4 conditions or LSOs


Any damage to the Glowforge can now be attributed to materials with which they advertised but are not technically approved. I think many people would have balked at a purchase of this device, given the currently available approved materials vs. those used in advertising.

So if I use a non-Proofgrade material today, and then 3 months later I experience a problem unrelated to the unapproved material, it seems they have the ability to deny my support request.

I’m not saying this is malicious intent or that they would even deny a support request. I am pointing out that it was sold using materials that can technically void the warranty.


How could one expect a company to cover damage caused by stupidity?! How can one possibly hold them responsible for products that other people make?!

If you stick an gasoline can in there to engrave and it blows up, would you think it’s Glowforge’s fault/responsibility?!


Stop calling me stupid, I’m pointing out that they advertised several materials being cut that are not approved. I feel mislead.


This was a strip of leather, not a gas rag.

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What in the…? So, what… you just read things and then make up what they actually say? Okay. I’m out. Best of luck to you.


Jeez man, be careful how you word things. You about gave me an aneurism!

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The verbiage in the warning is saying that if you use Proofgrade there is nothing to worry about as they ‘control’ the power and the ‘speed’. If there are any issues with the material or the machine while using their material (Proofgrade) it’s under warranty. If you use something other then proofgrade and something happens to the material (as in this case you will have to research to find out if the material is laser safe and find what power and speeds to get the results you want on your own) or the machine in the results of using 3rd party material- then that is not under warranty. There is obvious wiggle room in that, i.e. you happen to have a 3rd party material and the machine does nothing or attempts to lase and nothing happens. But the damage happens in the result of using the 3rd party material, then you are on your own.

With that all being said. Just be smart and safe and just double check to see if what you are using can be lasered and will not emit toxic fumes that would harm more importantly you then also the machine.

If you are using (i.e. in your case leather) in the materials list you can use the settings for the Proofgrade leather as a starting point. Just make a test pattern and adjust until you get the desired result.


I think you are free to interpret it as you want.

However, as I see it, no other manufacturers actually warranty the machine from the result of ANY damage caused by materials. They maintain a simple free from manufacturer defects warranty.

Could they deny your warranty claim if something happens to your Glowforge, they get it back, and it’s full on covered in/eaten away by corrosion from cutting vinyl? Sure.

Could they deny you if you ran a print on a piece of cardboard, it caught fire and destroyed stuff? Yup.

Could they deny you if you were cutting a piece of proofgrade, it caught fire and destroyed the machine? Nope.

That’s actually a lot more than what others are offering…