Discussion of March '17 update

First, I appreciate the update. Forgive me if my earlier reply did not convey that, or if it seemed curt. All of the progress (pros, problem solving, shipping, etc) is exciting and I’m very glad to hear about it. I know that these updates take a lot of time and effort, and that you guys have upped the frequency in response to our requests. So, let me back up and extend my kudos and heartfelt thanks for that!

The tube thing is kind of a biggie though. Can someone please follow up with more specifics on that before next month’s update? I appreciate that you won’t be able to offer precise costs and specifics, but even a rough concept of what you think that will look like would be helpful (again, who pays shipping? where to? approx how long?).

FWIW, please add my +1 to the traveling tech idea.

Thank you.


Nothing’s set in stone for all time. :slight_smile:

I’m so sorry we disappointed you on this. We worked really hard to make it possible, but ran into fundamental problems with the replacement system that we just couldn’t solve in a way that made it both easy and safe.

I’d love to offer this but there are safety, liability, etc concerns - we’ll explore this down the road.

The intended meaning was that all units will have been shipped by that date, not within that month, which was the same as before.

We’ll put that in the hopper! We have until (ship date + 12 months) to figure it out, since until that time, tube replacement is on us. :slight_smile:


Probably not - our logistics team is going to be 100% focused on delivering Glowforge units, and I don’t want to distract them with anything else right now.

1 Like

I have dismantled and rebuilt many types of machines; electronic, mechanical, etc. I simply can’t believe that a tube is not replaceable by a person with decent mechanical and electronic skills.

Of course, I have never seen the GF, so I am in the dark.

@ dan Can you provide information /schematics that would allow me to understand the tube replacement process or provide more information about why you are not allowing any GF owners to do this task?

Thanks! Good update and I have always liked how you and the company have involved its customers thru this forum.


I would suggest that not being able to replace a (albeit long lived) consumable is on a par with last year’s power supply issue and would justify a delay until it gets resolved. Since it’s hardware that isn’t going to be easily addressed post-shipment like the software, a delay to correct that execution fail ought to be considered.

A basic early supporter buyer is going to see his savings consumed by his first tube replacement. A fully loaded Pro buyer maybe takes 2 replacements and there goes the payoff for being an early supporter.

It’s something version 1.a is almost certainly going to need fixing so version 1 machines aren’t going to have the resale value folks expect since the newer ones would most likely have field upgradeable tubes. Replacing tubes by GF isn’t scalable. It’s like shipping your car back to Detroit to get the timing belt replaced.


I’m sorry I conveyed this incorrectly - it’s your Glowforge, you can do whatever you want. And you’re quite correct that a sufficiently skilled person could perform a tube transplant (tubectomy?). This update was intended only to convey that we are no longer planning to offer a Glowforge-supported tube replacement kit.


But there goes the trick cooling system too then right? A homebrew tubectomy would also need a cooling system change too, no?

1 Like

We haven’t explored in detail the difficulty of doing it given the current design. We do it (and I think it typically takes minutes not hours), so it’s not impossible, nor does it require exotic tools - but it’s difficult enough that we decided we can’t support our customers in doing it themselves.


@ dan Will there be instructions for owners who want to do it them selves, or will we just have to figure it out on the fly by ourselves?


Thank you for this update – it is very much appreciated.

A different question (and one that has been percolating in the back of my brain for a bit). On the Pro version, as it will initially be shipping prior to the filter unit, are they designed such that we will be able to vent out a window/dryer vent as well? I wasn’t sure if there was a significant design difference in the back of the case that precluded this option.


No plans yet either way. There are liability issues if we offer instructions, so it’s not as simple as shooting a video, unfortunately.


@Dan, I think this issue needs to be addressed with far more clarity than just a short paragraph and a few vague answers.

For us internationals this is not an insignificant issue. Especially once you consider we are already basically going to gain nothing from the ‘late bonus’ because of exorbitant shipping costs.

We need to know just how viable a self-replacement for the tube is… as others have pointed out we are going to lose any real benefit from our pre-order with just the first tube-replacement.[quote=“dan, post:28, topic:6369”]

We haven’t explored in detail the difficulty of doing it given the current design.
I would say that this might have to be a priority.

I for one wrote to you on the second day of the Crowd-funding campaign and asked you specifically about tube replacement and you responded about the cost of replacing being < $500… there was no mention of even the possibility of extra shipping costs involved.

This is not ‘we are late getting this out because we are getting it right’ this is a major change to a core feature… to THE core feature… the tube and its lifespan


Yes - no problems venting the Pro the same as the Basic.


I apologize. We failed you in not delivering that feature.

There’s no other information right now. If and when that changes, I’ll let everyone know, but our top priority right now is production so it’s not something we’ll dedicate resources to exploring.


Thank you

1 Like

What about owners in various locations getting Glowforge certified training to do tube replacement in their area?


That’s a great idea - will put it in the hopper.


I like that better than my “delay to redesign before shipping” idea :slightly_smiling_face:

There are also depot servicing companies that could be contracted to do the work since it’s apparently something a tech savvy person could do, just not the average Joe or Jane.

But as @dan pointed out it’s a problem with a year’s runway to resolve.

However, these solutions tend to help U.S. buyers more than international ones.


Or, opening the training (workshops?) to anyone who wishes to become certified?

Doesnt just have to be a training workshop either, it could be done at Maker Faire events or even a Glowforge meet event at GF HQ.


That will be great if we can replace the tube after training,that’s very fun and effective for us .

in fact, i bought a 3D printer include a 8 hours assemble training one year ago,
so we can fix the machine by ourselves, and that’s fun!

we still have at last 2 year for learning how to replace a tube, right?

that’s very important for us… thank you :smiley: