Destruction of a $250 box?! (A sticker would have helped.)

Got my GF Pro a couple of weeks ago. All is well. It’s a nice piece of equipment. Right now I’m working on figuring out how to best vent the exhaust to a window.

But near the top of my To Do List has been a different kind of “venting”…

I’ve unboxed many things over many years, and this is the first time I’ve ever encountered a box that needed step-by-step instructions for how to open it. Moreover, one finds out later that this box is required for shipping the GF for warranty repair! If the box is opened improperly or otherwise damaged, that will end up being a US$250 mistake!

Now, I admire how well the GF was packaged, and I appreciate the wisdom in keeping the packaging for later use, but I really, really, REALLY wish there was some sort of note on the box that warned me about the $250 mistake I was about to make.

So much about the GF bespeaks an uncanny degree of careful design and forethought, but a $0.05 sticker that said, “WARNING: YOU MUST READ THE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE UNBOXING,” or “BOX MUST BE OPENED A CERTAIN WAY SO THAT YOU DON’T FLUSH $250 DOWN THE TOILET” right on the box would have saved me some pain and suffering (and, yes, some embarrassment, too).

It’s not so much the sting of making this $250 mistake; it’s more the bitter knowledge that I could have been so easily spared this bit of misery.

Anywho, apart from that, I’m loving my GF. I’ve been playing with an Epilog Mini for 4 years, and I am pleased to see that the GF can hold its own against it!


Welcome to the community. I can understand that you were eager to get at the machine and just cut into the box.


Thanks, Pauline.

I was indeed eager, but it wasn’t “7-year-old on Christmas morning” reckless abandon :slight_smile: I actually scoured the outside of the box looking for any hints for how to open it. There were none.

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Sorry for the surprise, but Welcome to the community! May it all be trouble-free for you from here on out.

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Are they still including a link to the manual in the shipment notification email?

Number 4 on that list was something like, very important: read the manual! (With a link to the manual)

Unboxing instructions start on page 20:


I know it can be daunting to actually read a manual, but there is always this!
I think all of us (most) peruse this site before even accepting the box at the door!

And we refer to this page many times for troubleshooting, maintenance, etc.

Have fun with your Glowforge! Looking forward to see what you make.


Depending on what you did to the box, all may not be lost. It’s primary purpose is to keep all the foam pieces in place.

The plastic handle locks are generally missing so if they’re gone you can just use tape to deal with that.

If you cut the box - like sliced the top off, you should be able to tape that as well. You’d want to use heavy duty strapping tape for the edges where the sides meet the bottom, you’ll end up doing the same for the top. Lots of reinforced strapping tape can be your friend. I’ve shipped two back without issue and used a roll of nylon reinforced heavy duty shipping tape for both. No issues in the machines making it safely.

Now if you tore it all apart, that’d be another story :slightly_smiling_face:


I have always felt that the complication of reading an online manual that is found by following a link leaves lots of room for deviations. The shipping news email does has some important information that not everyone reads carefully and fully nor even receives in a timely manner at times.

Many people are used to getting illustrated unpacking and setup instructions right there in the box. It seems that Glowforge uses the cloud-based technology routine for everything.

I guess these days from my old experience of having to ship computers back for repairs as one could do in the early days of PCs, made me more liable to keep the box. And that I was part of the pre-release and followed I kind of understood the whole ecosystem.

Put clear instructions on the outside of the box that says, “Keep this box intact for future use” would be helpful.

Sorry for your issue and thanks for documenting it for others to learn from.


I had the first Glowforge arrive in a damaged box and repaired the box before returning it. As for the need most expensive equipment has the requirement that the box and packing be retained somewhere that is a fact that can be onerous.


The glowforge box is not the biggest empty cardboard equipment box that I store for potential future need. Boxes are easy enough to toss up onto high shelves and forget about… unlike wooden pallets! The 4’x11’ pallet from my printer is my most awkward piece of saved shipping material


My ~7 foot ceilings make high shelves barely taller than the boxes but I was thinking that the pallet might make a nice false ceiling that you might hang some lights on it and be very decorative.


One would hope. The number of customers that throw away the boxes for the 3D printers I support, even though it has this notice pasted right over the box seam, makes me worry about our customers. If you are buying a 5K 3D printer and the box says keep it, you should keep the box!


It seems like that should be page 1.


Blah. Hope it’s salvageable!

Or, better still, that you never ever need it again.

The first 19 are product warnings, IIRC.


Thanks, arh2.

Yes, it could very well be that I’m the only one in here who didn’t read every page of every linked document before I dared to open the package. Silly me!

For what it’s worth, I have no aversion to manuals; it’s just that I would never have guessed that “important unboxing method” would be buried 20 pages deep in one of them.

A label on the box indicating that the handles double as locks, or that there is a trick to opening it without damaging it, or that the box must be preserved intact for future use, or ANYTHING appropriately alerting would have been nice.


Actually there have been complaints such as yours that I saw before receiving my Glowforge, and you may have saved many others who have read your post sand thus avoided the problem as well. I watched and envied folks for 6 mo getting their machines before I got mine.


Thanks for the suggestions about labeling the box! We haven’t announced anything like that yet, but I’ll make sure the team gets those suggestions. I’m going to close this thread.