Disappointment is an understatement

The support for this organization is beyond the worst I have ever seen. The fact that all they do is email support is unreal. My problem could have been solved weeks upon weeks ago but all I could do was email and keep explaining the same thing I kept saying.

Then offer me a machine that I paid for right away to only get the machine and it not work. Now I am stuck waiting on them to email me once again! Meanwhile I have unfinished products for my show on Saturday… and orders I can’t accept b/c my machine is down… This is unreal and we don’t deserve this. When Amber called them out last year, I should have paid more attention… this is gross to say the absolute least!


And just for reference… yes I have shared all info - pictures videos the whole nine… Over 150 emails back and forth! Invoice paid within an hour receiving… machine received yesterday… did first engrave / cut on Proofgrade material with a GF gift of good measure and it is not working! Shawdow cuts… / engraving not cutting through… none of their files that you use to test… Used a snowflake file and it cut one over engraved the other…

If you email them multiple times they have to figure out which ones are from you and what order. You also have to follow the steps needed to get what you are looking for. 100 new machines will not solve that problem.

If you use reply and keep all the discussions in that single thread anyone who opens that email can see all the discussion, and might not have seen other emails you have sent or received from others at the office.

Even on your post here if you posted the photo so that it could be seen what did not work would let us help to see what went wrong. Glowforge does not read this area, and none of the rest of us works for them but try to help other owners who are having trouble.

We do not have access to the log files like the support folk there, but we can read the result of the attempt in the photograph. For the first year I did not realize how much magnets on the tray were screwing up the fan on the back of the carriage and there were not the improvements that have been made since but using the same magnets on the new machine did not improve the result that has improved markedly since I quit using them. So I know how frustrating it is to not be able to solve the problem when you think you are doing everything correctly.


What are you hoping to get out of this thread? As you probably know, Glowforge staff doesn’t read this, so what are you looking for from us, your fellow GF owners?


If your machine isn’t working, I would test only with the sample files like the Gift of Good Measure. Any other file you find or make could have subtle errors which lead to weird results. Fight one battle at a time.

I’ve been here since the beginning and support has always sucked – but I have also never seen anyone who didn’t get the help they needed eventually. It’s no fun now, but you’ll get there.


So it’s clear some of you did not read my post. The situation is ongoing since August or more. I been dealing with support for months!

I won’t get anything out of this post as someone asked. I wrote it so people are aware of what they won’t get…

The fact that this could have been cleared up weeks ago with a simple call. A phone call. Why is emailing effective or helpful. It’s not you have frustrated owners and people who are in business. The micro aggressions are not acceptable either. If you don’t have anything positive to share move on.

To the person who said use gift of good measure umm yeah I purposely used GF FILES and GLOWFORGE materials and it’s not working!!

I also

tried my own nothing. $1508 for a dud!!

This image has a very clear cause. If it is cutting better on the left than the right then the greater the distance from the window under the left side to the head the less power makes it across. Either the window is blurred or it has been knocked out of alignment (usually during shipping). in either case, the diagnosis is not difficult.

The snowflakes are trickier as it looks as if two different things are going on. The jumping to the side indicates a very slight slippage. If the head has changed location suddenly and the belt has slipped. The machine does not know about the slip and where it is is different from where it thinks it is. The cause of the slip can be many things, from hitting something, changing direction suddenly enough, or a piece of something in the belt. As the change is very slight restarting the machine will allow it to find itself again, and it may only occur in extreme situations.

The cuts are more problematic. I have never liked MDF as it is the worst stuff commonly cut. It easily draws moisture out of the air taking a stronger power to cut if it has sat out for a week, than if really dry. Even then it takes more to cut it than the same thickness of decent plywood.

Also any time there is not enough air moving the smoke out of the way a little candle flame can result, putting more smoke on the top and less power to the cut. You can see that the one piece that cut through has less mess around it than the others. In addition, when there is a strong wind blowing the smoke makes very straight lines toward the front of the machine. Looking carefully at those smoke trails, they wander a bit telling that the air movement was there but not real fast, allowing the slight flaming to occur and not cutting as deep.

That is why using proofgrade or other sources I avoid MDF even in the middle like the PG medium plywood. But as MDF is usually less expensive and shows no grain it is used quite a bit by others.


I’m “the person” and it was not clear to me from your frustrated post that the snowflakes were files from the company. So, sorry about that. Good luck with your Glowforge.

plonk ← only cool kids will know this

More and more super cranky people have been showing up recently. I miss the old days, when we were all angry together about shipping delays and missing features.


Are you saying that change or “slip” was during the engraving and cutting? Because these were the first cuts and the machine was also restarted prior to the snowflakes. The Good Measure was first on PG Walnut first. The second cut was worse, no engraving and none cut through.

I did not use MDF I rarely ever use that. it was PG Walnut and a HD Maple…

You also mention here about “smoke” blowing… I use an air assist could that have caused it?

I am sorry that I was angry I am still angry and super frustrated… countless emails with support countless… weeks since before August I am having issues… I don’t think anyone would be happy paying $`1500 for a refurb to only get it thinking I am going to complete their merchandise for a show in three days only for it to not work…

Now support is telling me I need to send it in for another one…

You mention its clear what the cause is… but how is it fixed?

When there is a big difference between the strong cut on the left and weak on the right the cause can only be one thing that itself has only two causes. One of them is very easy and the other means the machine goes back to the mothership. As your machine is less than 30 days old you need to have that understanding cleared up before that time.

At the far left side of the gantry underneath the edge of the machine is a little round window

the laser beam goes from there to the head that has a similar round window on the side of the laser head that goes back and forth. If the jump is small the laser works because, whatever else, not much can happen in a small jump, but when the laser is on the far right side of the machine it has to make a big jump, and here any problem is many times greater.

If there is the slightest bit of crud on that window, and it can happen in an instant if the smoke is touching the window when a blast of the beam hits it, the sharp beam becomes a tad blurry. Obviously, the beam will be more dispersed on the right than on the left. How much crud is on that window only will reduce the power reaching the material more on the right than the left. So that is why it is an easy diagnosis, and common to everyone using the machine. If there is a scratch, it is like crud that cannot come off and the window needs to be replaced, but that is something the user can accomplish as new windows are for sale in the parts area.

There is a very rare more distant cause that the machine gets knocked about and the aim of that window is changed. When that happens the beam will miss the head window entirely and burn the head next to that window when it is on the far right. That U-turn of the laser beam is very robust and a user cannot fix it and it has to go back to the mothership. If discovered in the 30- day warranty period the exchange is free.

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If you are using an air assist it needs to be a strong one and close to the window and not the machine. If it is strong enough (greater than 400 cfm) you can turn off your exhaust fan it it will work very well. If it is to small (less than 130 CFM) it will block more air than it moves even while the exhaust fan is working. I bought a Vivo 190 CFM because it was a 4" opening and I need to run both it and the exhaust fan, but it is better than the exhaust fan alone.

As for the need to clean the crud everywhere, a minimalist approach is needed, and never use any spray anything inside the machine. The magic is soluble in any liquid and if the magic smoke is released (often with a loud pop) there will be no more magic. :wink:

As you can see in the photo, there is a white spot on the middle of the window where a strand of smoke was touching when the laser beam hit. That reduced the power quite a lot and happened in a single cut, but might not happen in many cuts so needs to be checked frequently when working.

That window and the one under the left side are the most prone to get crud on them and thus the ones to check regularly just by looking through the lid while working even. The others I do not bother as long as the cuts are normal. A more regular cleaning I do when the lid gets foggy enough to be in the way. I use hand cleaner to dampen a terrycloth rag to clean the window and the top of the cutting head as the machine uses the logo there to find where the head is so that needs to be accurate, but only the Zeiss lens wipes are used on any window or lens and the lens in the head needs gentle handling also. The cable going to the lens is never touched even while cleaning the lid as that can mess with the cable enough to need a trip to the mothership.

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Hi again I just came over to my machine to look at what you were saying. This wasn’t on my last machine but I see it clear as day,

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Check the window on the opposite side underneath. That is the one making a side to side difference. Before replacing that window on the head make sure it is a scratch and not just stubborn crud as they can look very similar.
I see they are both sold out ATM but that changes frequently so get your name on the list for when they are in.

Meanwhile, higher power or slower moves and favoring the left side will help, and if the window can be cleaned and has no scratches that will fix the “lite on the right” issue anyway. I would also look into what might be messing with the airflow under the carriage from the fan itself to a rough path causing turbulence. I found that even cutting near the top of the material would mess up the airflow and just a piece with the same thickness lying above it fixed that problem. mostly just watch closely for any sort of candle flame however short and try and figure out why it happened. You will see that any time it happens it will unlikely cut all the way through.

I have short sharp knives and a jeweler’s saw to use when that happens to me.

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I agree! Just based on their support alone, knowing what I know now, or experiencing what I’ve experienced (We’ve owned a glowforge pro for the past 1+ yrs)…I wouldn’t have purchased a glowforge. Astounding how expensive they are and they can’t provide decent support. Their support is useless and just regurgitates what I’ve already found online prior to contacting them (Even after explaining what I’ve already done). So frustrating…I’m just over it. I’m considering changing to Thunder nova or Epilog…I’ll be sure to research their support before purchasing.

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I should not have to wait or put my name on a list. I literally just paid for this replacement Monday its now Friday… I got the machine Wednesday. I guess this is why they want me to sent it back.

I am also not sure what window you speak of? If its the one on the left there is nothing on… This was the only thing I found with a speck on it. I tried with the lense cleaner and its not coming off.

I agree with you… since I live in an apartment right now I haven’t a choice but to deal with it. I had a funny feeling I would have this issue exchanging my machine.

It also boggles me why they won’t share the repairs they performed so we can prevent the issue in the future. I feel like its a way to unload all the refurbished machines and to make more money.

Actually “refurbished” is often better than new. As the machines are often returned with nothing actually wrong with them, or usually a single thing, they get inspected when sent out as new, then the (usually new ) owner tests them in ways the first inspectors did not imagine, if something breaks then they know to fix it. The refurbs that are sent out are normally the best available with serious damage tossed aside. I have had two Refurbs (one I paid over $1k for) and both have been better than the original.

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Yeah well in this case they are making me send the whole unit back! This is so damn crazy!! :weary::weary::weary: