Discussion of March '17 update

booooo beaten :smiley:


Is that in contrast to those who will partially cancel :confused:


The voting seems way too complicated! I would have stuck with less and shorter options:

  1. I’ll keep my preorder/order
  2. I’ll cancel right away
  3. I’ll await xx days until they change that policy. otherwise I’m out

Nothing else!


I can’t really imagine how upset I’d be if I were an international customer. Even being on the East coast of the US, this seems extremely prohibitive as a business model, not just for the end-users, but for Glowforge themselves.

If Glowforge takes on even part of the shipping costs, it becomes prohibitive an unsustainable long term from a business standpoint. Tube replacements would cost them too much.

If end users have to pay full shipping both ways, it becomes not just prohibitive, but completely unfeasible for many users (international and domestic). Meaning bad reviews, general dissent, etc.

Additionally, the more cost prohibitive it is for end-users, the more likely it is that some other manufacturer will reverse engineer the “custom” tubes and offer a replacement. Easy income if there’s a large population of users who can’t afford to send their unit in.

Regional service centers or local techs is an improvement, and I’d certainly get myself certified for it, but I know that I’d be hard-pressed to support more than my local NJ area.

If it is, in-fact, a liability issue, there are numerous ways the company can divest itself of responsibility (waivers, terms of use, warnings, etc.), and a good lawyer should be able to pass the liability on to the end user fairly easily. Make the kits available, with heavy legal documentation/disclaimers/waivers. It’s the only real solution.

If I can’t get certified to replace a tube, and I can’t sign away liability, then I’ll probably have a very large, fancy brick after the tube dies, since I’m 99% unlikely to send it back unless it’s making me tons of money.


@dan I really hope you listen to your costumers and give us a better response than “we won’t dedicate resources to this problem at this time.” I hope you realize this is a much bigger deal to all of us than you seemed to make it out to be in your update.

Guess what? THere it goes!


i have to say, this could be a show-stopper for me, too. adding two-way shipping costs / time for a heavy, bulky item (and across the country for me as an east coaster) just doesn’t make sense for me at all financially.

are there any other laser cutters out there that don’t have user-replaceable tubes? asking because i don’t know.

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If @dan will train me to replace tubes, he will only have to buy a one way ticket to Paris for me, or Frankfurt. GF would save $$$ and I would have a great working vacation in Europe @info3

I hope that is added to the Hopper!!!


Instead of immediately spouting off, I actually took some time to think about this overnight.

I’m so, so, terribly sorry. For both the overseas international customers and for Glowforge. This is so particularly hard on the overseas customers who have continued to be supportive of the project, some of whom have become really good buddies. :disappointed_relieved:

But… this is one of those times when the business side takes over, and in all honesty, I can’t let those customers continue to hold out for a miracle that isn’t going to happen. Regional service centers and travelling fix-it men aren’t likely scenarios from a business perspective. They’re not going to happen.

So to my international buddies…I now actively encourage you to take a refund, and try to look into a locally sourced laser option. Especially if you are counting on this for some kind of business endeavor.

Be furious, be sad … you have the right. But protect yourselves. Because the economics no longer make sense for you. If you feel you are mechanically savvy enough to reverse-engineer and switch out a tube on your own, you are savvy enough to use an ordinary laser.

(This is what it looks like when you get bad news far in advance of an expected ship date. Be smart enough to recognize it for what it is, and take the correct action. You will not force them to change their minds. It’s an economics issue for Glowforge as well.)

Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! Dammit! :frowning:


@dan: I’m pretty sure I understand why you can’t offer a kit for users to replace their own tube (hi, friendly neighborhood lawyers!) However, I’m sure you also understand that this introduces huge uncertainty for many people about the long-term viability of their product (which introduces uncertainty about Glowforge’s future in general.)

You have outsourced the creation of a custom laser tube. Will you permit that manufacturer to offer the tubes (and any other necessary replacement parts) for sale to Glowforge owners to replace their own tubes? Glowforge would then be absolved of responsibility (the Glowforges would be out of warranty anyway) and customers with the requisite skills would be able to DIY.

(Also, did you check in with your advisor Adam Savage about this? Pretty sure Right to Repair is one of his hot-button issues.)


i can’t imagine it’s a pure economics issue for GF. it has to be a legal issue (which obviously has economic implications).

what many of us don’t understand is why it’s a legal / economics issue for GF but not for all other laser cutter manufacturers.


You are such a love.:grin:


I would also add that dan has said you can cancel all the way up to when you give them your shipping info. So if you WANT to hold out and see if things get elaborated upon you can safely get your money back in the coming months. If you need the funds now though, this is an absolutely understandable deal breaker

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I see your point but it really surprised me to hear it come from you. I guess that should make it mean that much more.


This is where I get tangled. It’s a custom tube which is fine. I need to know for certain that I can’t sign some sort of waiver saying they’re not responsible if I break anything before I will start looking at other options but everyone else seems to let people put their own tubes in… has to be a liability thing

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Jules may be a big cheerleader but she still can look at things realistically. I totally agree with her as well. I love this project and I really want dan and company to succeed but at this point, if I was international I’d be out.


Yeah, I’m going to stick around for now (no real downside until I get a confirmation email), but if this stands I’m out.


Why isn’t it one for all the other laser companies who provide user replaceable tubes or field service? The field service model for tech equipment is decades old. Dell doesn’t have employees coming to your home or business to fix your PC or servers - they have service companies who do it under contract.

It’s especially puzzling that it can be both terribly fraught with some unstated risk but at the same time something they do in the office in minutes.

If it’s their lawyers then they need new lawyers. Again, other laser companies don’t have the restriction - it can’t be that GF has magically prescient lawyers who have discovered some potential liability no one else was smart enough to see for the past 20 years.

If it’s an engineering FUBAR than they should man up like with the power supply and delay shipping until they engineer a fix.

When was the last time you boxed up your refrigerator and shipped it back to Korea (mine is an LG so I think it would be Korea) to get the compressor fixed?


@dan has stated that the tube replacement takes minutes, not hours, so obviously this is not rocket surgery, and even having traveling repair people is a waste of resources.

Say if someone has to travel 3 hours to a remote area for a 30 minute procedure, then travel back - well that’s a full work day spent for the repair which means it’s likely a $600-$800 service call not including the cost of the tube itself. Since contracted technicians usually charge either by half day or full day, not by the hour, if the repair takes 3 hours, that’s potentially a Day and a Half rate, or $900-$1200 service call.

That’s a sweet deal for the technician but for the user, particularly a hobby user, it’s enough cost that the thing isnt even worth the repair bill.

I know I mentioned training classes at GF HQ or even at Maker Faire events, but even that is a waste of resources for training on a 30-60 minute procedure. It’s fine if people already had the travel plans anyway and just added that onto the itinerary, but if it’s the main purpose of the trip, it is a big waste.

There NEEDS to be either some sort of liability release waiver for users to accept, or an online certification to authorize anybody who wishes to do their own tube replacement.

In fact, maybe it could be as simple as step-by-step instructions included in the GF application, so there would not only be text and video demonstration of each step guiding users through it, but a liability release they have to accept before proceeding.

Also we need assurance that OEM GF tubes will be available for sale to end users. Some folks have brought up the fact that some company will likely knock-off the GF tube and offer aftermarket options, but we shouldnt be forced to install hardware that may, or may not, be 100%.


I can imagine Dan reading all this and thinking “It was just a simple update, and it all blowed up!” :unamused: My 2¢: if I have to send my Glowforge back for repair/tubal replacement, I’d be without my Precious… Glowforge! How do you expect me to take over the world with cute and/or useful lasered goodies when I have to put my plans on hold for the key to my plans for world domination to be fixed! Imagine Auric Goldfinger having to say right before he cuts Bond, James Bond, in half “oops, hold on a sec, I need to replace my tube” :wink:

-no disrespect intended for y’all, especially international buyers. I realize this is a bummer. I’m staying in for the long haul, customer replaceable tube or not. Just wanted to lighten the mood a bit. :grin: