Depressed and Disappointed

I have had my Glowforge a little less than a year now, and have the feeling I have purchased very large and expensive doorstop or perhaps a planter.

The promise of new designs available for the laser have not panned out, the materials, which are expensive, do not work well and frequently are not recognized by the machine. I have built boxes and other items to give as gifts or sold to people only to have them fall apart.

I am not sure that I could sell my Glowforge at any price with the article on the Glowforge website concerning buying a used Glowforge.

The lack of customer support indicates a reluctance or inability to put money into solving problems and have good customer satisfaction which will decrease customer word of mouth to potential buyers.

Oh well, $3900 down the toilet.

well boxes and things should be glued to be permanent assemblies.

press fit wood pieces are not a permanent joint.

you can get proofgrade materials and granted they are not cheap.

However, you can source from any place, and look at the Beyond the manual section for ideas on the settings to use.


I am sorry you feel this way. I don’t know what your expectations were when you made your purchase. I was one of the original purchasers that waited over two years for delivery of the product. I feel that the Glowforge delivers what was promised and the only thing holding me back is my own lack of creativity. As a remedy for that, there are tons of files available for purchase on the internet for very reasonable prices. Whenever I have had a hardware problem, the issue was addressed after I posted in this forum. Would it be great to have a 24 hour telephone support line? Sure. We all want an immediate response when we have a problem but that was never promised. As for resale value, I think many people have been able to sell their unit without much problem. If you really want to sell yours, why not post it and see what happens?


I think you mean “post it for sale, to a close friend who trusts you.”

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I realize that some customers bought one of these without understanding that there would be a bit of a learning curve if they wanted to do their own creating with it. We’ve done our best to make that information available on the forum here, but I do understand that some folks are just not interested in learning to design their own projects.

That’s unfortunate, because they really can do so many things. :slightly_smiling_face:

If you decide to sell it, that’s your choice of course, but before you do, you might want to check out the Tips and Tricks section (because designing your own really isn’t terribly hard) and also the Free Laser Designs section here in the forum,where other customers have shared hundreds of free designs for personal use.


Reality has a hard time living up to imagination. Before the Glowforge arrived I had a number of ideas that did not pan out due more to the structure of the Universe, than problems with the Glowforge. I also imagined that the Glowforge would do the whole job and that I would not need a whole workshop for post-processing. It does a lot that would not be possible by any other means but 90% of the work and effort comes after the Glowforge is done with what it does. Some much less others much more, but the trend is for more.

You could whip out a simple box (you would still need glue) but you could buy such boxes on Etsy for less than you would pay for the wood. Every sort of obvious thing someone has thought of and are selling soul-less mass production. even wedding stuff will be so set up that all they need do is type in a name and everything else is done.

What nobody has is your creativity and insights and the more you develop that the more special your work can become. The Glowforge is an amazing tool but it is only a tool and not so magic that it can ignore the structure of the Universe either. There is nothing that you can accomplish by imagining and just pushing the button, everything has a structure and technique that need to be learned and understood. for everything you can control there needs to be at least one widget to do that control and for every such widget there is a learning process in how to control it. This makes everything hard at first and most of us have a scrap bin bigger than our finished bin but that is how the Universe is structured no matter how fancy the tool.


I’m sorry your unhappy with your GF. No one will likley say anything to make you like the machine or find it worth the effort it takes, but there are some solutions to the frustrations you are having. If this really is more just a post out of aggravation and you are just needing to vent a little, ignore the rest of my post. :slight_smile:

I just want to check and make sure you know all the PF material is in a drop down list and you don’t really need to have the camera read it. (I’ve noticed there have been a few people who didn’t realize the can manually select material.) One of the most common reasons the camera doesn’t recognize a QR code is too much outside light from a nearby window or light hitting the tray and overexposing the code. Not sure if that’s the issue you have, but it could be. If the camera is a ongoing issue for you, be sure to make a specific support post about the camera and GF can check to make sure it’s working correctly.

What do you mean by the material not working well? Is the wood splitting on the boxes you’ve made or some other quality issue? I don’t mean this harshly, but if it’s a matter of boxes coming apart at the joints, that’s on you and not the material. No material will hold up if you don’t use the correct glue or construction techniques or you use the wrong material for the job. Working with wood does take some practice to get good at it as each wood type has different grains etc. which effects it’s strength, how it takes paint or stain and how it lasers. Acrylic can be tricky to glue as well and you have to sue the right stuff.

I think a lot of people get frustrated with trying to make there own files and it seems like a daunting task, but learning one of the design programs gives you so much more freedom with the machine. It does take some work though and there is learning curve, so it just depends if you find it worth the effort. The only suggestion I have is keep plugging away at it as practice does make perfect. If you want to rely on purchasing files there are thousands of them available online. You might have already visited these paces, but just in case these are a few of my favorites…

As far as support goes, is there something specific you’ve asked for help with and they haven’t responded? :frowning: If that’s the case, maybe post again and we can try and resolve it for you.


Well apparently “you” can get proof grade material. Anyone who lives outside the continental USA is SOL.

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I find little use for Proofgrade myself. I would like if I could but what I want to do has little that is available. The Plywood is made with MDF in the middle that cuts evenly but has a lot of structural issues and will dissolve with many solvents. I would guess Canada would have good supplies of many useful woods. and other materials,

A bit of experimenting and you can have useful settings for any materials you find, I use this and keep the collections for reference…


I do buy my wood locally however I have over $400 of credits with glowforge and would use it on proofgrade stuff if I could.


Regarding your specific issues…

  • There are many designs available on this website as well as the Glowforge catalog. Beyond that there are many sites that either give or sell designs.
  • Proofgrade materials absolutely work very well. If you’ve gotten a defective sheet, demonstrate that and Support will take care of that for you.
  • There are several posts on this website that will tell you proper ways to build boxes. There are also several other websites that will show the various joining techniques that exist for building boxes for specific purposes.
  • You can absolutely sell your Glowforge. Given your apparent level of disappointment, that’s probably your best bet. You’ll have no trouble selling it for any reasonable price.
  • There’s no lack of customer support. Perhaps you didn’t post your issue in the proper section in the past. Support only really looks at this (Problems and Support) section to address issues, and then only if you post your own issue (rather than tacking onto somebody else’s issue).

That’s not right at all, and we’d like to make it better for you.

First, let’s figure out what’s wrong with your materials. Can you share a little more detail on the problems you’ve been having? Are they not cutting through reliably, or is the camera not identifying them?

Second, do you know about the Free Laser Designs section of the forum? There’s a wealth of fantastic designs there that can help you get started.

Third, could you share the box designs that didn’t work? The folks here are great at helping to troubleshoot.

I’m so sorry for the trouble you’ve been having - I hope you’ll give us the chance to make it better.


What type of glue did you use?

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And one thing to remember about Glue, it is temperature sensitive.

My dad who does a LOT of wood turning. has a friend that makes fine furniture. Turns out she made this fabulous Bed. Glued together with Titebond glue. she went to install it at the client’s house.

the @#$$@#$@#%@#%^ thing fell apart. turns out the glue had frozen during shipment at some point, and simply crapped out. a nice $3,000.00 bed turned into kindling effectively.


Note to self: do NOT use Titebond in Alaska or Norway, as it gets to 40 below every year

Just to be clear. the GLUE prior to use cannot be subjected to freezing temps. as it apparently fails when used later.

it doesn’t go bad AFTER it has been used and then get cold!


Interesting. I know they have minimum application temps (like titebond is around 50 degrees). If you apply it below that, it just dries to a powder and doesn’t bond. But, that also makes sense - I received a warning from my glue manufacturer that they were suspending shipping for a few days because of freezing temps.


Hey @celticflute52… just checking in.

Did you have an opportunity to check the Free Laser Designs out?

Any details you can share about the Proofgrade trouble, or box designs concerns?

Really hoping we get the chance to help you out.

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It’s been a little while since I’ve seen any replies on this thread so I’m going to close it. If you still need help with this please either start a new thread or email

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