Discussion of March '17 update

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:


one other issue not mentioned (or i missed it) is that what happens (god forbid) if GF goes under? if it’s a custom laser, will we have access to the OEM tube manufacturer and will they be legally able to provide OEM replacement tubes?


I was wondering when the first suggestion of a refund will come :slight_smile:

This is going to be quite interesting as we get closer to shipment and more and more items start falling through the cracks.

Will the camera accuracy not in center of bed ever get fixed? Will double side cutting and passthrough work to the tolerances that people are expecting? Who knows. Apparently the software will compensate for all the failings of the hardware.

If I had a pro on order, and made my decision to purchase that product based on the promises early on, I would be very concerned of taking delivery of something that has not been shown to actually work.


I would like to take a moment to respond to the announcement.

I’m happy to hear that production has moved to it’s “forever” home. That is a good sign. I’m also glad to hear that the July/August schedule remains the same for completion of shipping. The story about visiting Flex was nice, too.

Very pleased to hear that the first Pro has rolled out and look forward to any reports on how that is working. As I have one on order, this is important to me. I’ve got the filter on order as well, but am not concerned with receiving them both at the same time as I can vent outside. I do, however, hope to hear more about the filter before units ship.

Nice to see a sneak peek at the catalogue as well. I like the option to purchase one print or unlimited. Some things I may only want one of and would appreciate saving the money for the lower cost purchase. For single prints, is there a plan for if there are any problems with the “print?” Also, you might consider allowing customers that purchase one “print” to upgrade to forever. That would let me print one to make sure it is what I want before committing to the forever cost.

Glad to hear that the final shielding is in, the bad tubes are gone, and engraves are better and cutting faster. Hopefully the door gets adjusted, but that seems pretty superficial. Should still get addressed, but not a high priority.

Now for the last bit, the tube replacement. If I were to only read the discussion about this update, I would think that the only thing mentioned was this! I get it, especially for international customers. Even as a U.S. customer, I don’t want increased costs of operating my laser. I’m pretty sure that there is not a single person that is absolutely 100% fine with it. It probably even deserves a bit of shouting about.

When that bit of emotional release is done, and before units start shipping, I hope that we learn more about this. Any way it goes, I will admit that I will be accepting shipment of the laser when it is offered to me.

Maybe that was more than a moment.


I see this posted from time to time and while complaining certainly carries a degree of catharsis, suggesting this is all ‘emotional release’ is super insulting.


Even if it costs you an extra $1,000-1,500 and 3 weeks of downtime every couple of years? And proper storage of a really big box? And repair charges when it breaks in shipping because you didn’t store that really big box “correctly”?


My main issue is with this mentality[quote=“dan, post:22, topic:6369”]
We have until (ship date + 12 months) to figure it out, since until that time, tube replacement is on us.
I understand production being a priority but a solution to the tube issue needs to be addressed as well PRIOR TO SHIPPING .

Unfortunately I feel this is a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation.
If they delay shipping again to address this, people will cancel. (I know I will)
If they don’t address this prior to shipping people will cancel (again so will I)

The only hope is that they can find the resources needed to resolve both of these issues in the next few months. Receiving shipment without knowing how the tube replacements will be handled is certainly not an option and I hope that is not what they are implying by saying they are putting 100% of their focus on delivering units.

There are a lot of solutions being thought up here in the past few hours please take some time to come up with a plan.

(My vote is for a Glowforge “GeekSquad” …GlowSquad… ForgeSquad… ZapSquad…? Something… )


Dan is a smart guy. There’s no way he didn’t anticipate this being an issue for many, many people.


I’m not suggesting that it is all emotional release. I certainly said more than what you quoted. My point really was to say that I hope to hear more.


You’re guessing on all of your numbers, but for my situation, yes. I’m sure that for others, including probably you, that won’t work. I just wanted to fully disclose my position.

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Also can we clarify that life expectancy is now…[quote=“dan, post:4, topic:6369”]
(And note that 2 years is an estimate for heavy use - hobby use may be much, much longer).
and not…

from the life expectancy thread?


@Jules Not to be a huge pain in the butt, but is there anyway you (or any other pre-releaser) could take a photo of the laser assembly? As I understand it you all aren’t under any NDA’s.

That might allow people to glean a but more info on why the decision was made (assuming no guidance comes from Dan, which hasn’t come in the past due to lawyers)


If I might offer a suggestion – one which may not be popular with some folks, but still could offer a different solution. When I bought my Makerbot Replicator 2, I could talk to support and make the repairs myself (new wiring harness, new motherboard, stepper motor switches, print head etc.). When they went to their new design of machine and I got a Z18 (a bit more expensive than my GF Pro with Filter) which, except for the print head, requires a tech to access, let alone repair, I got a subscription to their MakerCare service.

This service covers a variety of repairs and replacements and includes free shipping.

Just an idea…


@jrnelson , you can emotionally release by cancelling too! (/sarcasm)

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2 years, you might want to be clear if that is “time while sitting in a box” or “time estimated with heavy/typical use”. Like, will the tube leak and decompress or something over 2 years? Or… as a casual hobbiest, can I rely on this thing for the next 10-20 years. :slight_smile:

Tube replacement… Please just let us do it. Make it complicated + safe, and I’ll sign a safety waver saying I wont sue you. This is pretty bad to force an expensive shipment and downtime on us. Great to have the option to let you fix it. But let the handy people do their thing and ignore warrenty and rules and stuff. Big suck here. Just give us the checkbox to check that says we’re not going to sue you.

So… can I order my own laser from an OEM manufacturer and just do it anyway? As long as I can, I’ll be HAPPY. :slight_smile: Just enable that for us, please. :slight_smile:

(I dont normally post anything, because I trust the h**l out of you folks to nail this thing, but here’s a reaction :slight_smile: )


I do wish we had more answers to this issue before the units ship


I would hope today at Glowforge started with an emergency @staff meeting.

Sooo, warranty repairs will be the same way…

This simply wasn’t the right way to handle this and left so many unanswered questions that have caused panic and confusion in the community. I also noticed that this ‘little’ tidbit didn’t go out via email so there are still plenty of owners who may not know about the change.

This is a big deal and needs a better solution.


You know, it’d be kind of funny (not really) if Glowforge doesn’t let us buy tubes and the guy who built his own laser isn’t allowed to replace the tube in it.