Discussion of March '17 update

And makes sense. I believe her business lasers are primarily used to cut stencils out of thin material. As I understand it, lower power vector cuts will prolong life. Correct?


Correct on both counts. Although it’s not linear (e.g. cutting at 45% power doesn’t result in twice the life of cutting at 95%). What is also likely is that she cuts more than engraves and cuts have less impact on the tube than engraves do. Cuts have a lot of non-burning travel time as the head repositions. Engraves often have high density power on vs travel ratios.


I could be wrong about this (Dammit Jim, I’m a Banker, not an Engineer!) but I’d also guess that the short periods of on and off pulsing for complicated engraves puts more of a strain on the tubes, making it hard to estimate life.

If you are engraving stripes, it would likely be better to orient them horizontally on the bed (if possible) so that the laser runs continuously to create the length of the stripe rather than pulsing on and off to create the width of each one.



BTW, I owe @Jules a write-up of the engrave tip along those lines. Not so much a tube usage issue but an engrave time one. If you look at my trident I posted there are 4 engraves. The width of the bottom two are about 12" side to side and the total height of the 4 is about 14". That means if they’re treated as a single engrave (e.g. use 1 color to identify those as “engrave”) then the total area the head moves is 168 sq in. The bottom two engraved sections are only about 2" tall. So to account for those 24 sq in where it needs to travel the full 12" end to end, it ends up doing that for the whole 168 sq in. What I did was treat them as separate engraves. The bottom two and the top two. The top ones are only about 2" wide (and 10" tall). By splitting them into two different engraves instead of traveling across 168 sq in it only traveled 44 sq in (2"x12" or 24 sq in for the bottom two and 2"x10" or 20" for the top vertical ones). That’s much faster (75% in fact).


I love this idea of getting GlowForge certified to complete repairs. Shipping a $4000 piece of equipment back and forth to replace tubes does make sense. This equipment will be a key component to a small business for us and so having the knowledge to do key repairs is super valuable. I’d be happy to pay and come out to training. I’m tech savvy with an engineering background and this would be the direction we would chose. @dan thanks for listening to ideas and suggestions and for the communication - we can figure this one out!


Great tip. I wouldn’t have thought about splitting the engrave into multiple processes in order to produce a faster engrave.

Been quiet on the forums lately having to deal with some family illness and just busy life stuff. Initially, when I read the update I was simply thrilled to see how much closer things are getting. The tube replacement thing seemed like a bit of a bummer, but my excitement for getting something like this at such a low cost from preordering makes it difficult to be too terribly upset. I’ve never worked with lasers before, and I’m not much of a handyman, but I have had to fix the occasional thing (especially with friends or family who I know are typically capable)—and usually it’s just a matter of watching a decent youtube walkthrough for me to figure out what to do, which leads me to believe that I’d probably be able to figure the tube thing out myself if you guys decided to ship them (which I believe you’ve now said is a possibility).

Sending replacements aside, as I started thinking about it I realized that even sending the thing back for $500 wasn’t as bad as it initially sounded. Does it suck more than the quick-change, easy replacement we thought we were getting? Yes. But in the grand scheme of things, at least for me, if I paid $3000 for a machine that lasts me two years and then have to pay an extra $500 for an additional two years after that? Not all that big a deal. It just means I have to save up and be prepared (which heck, I can probably find a way to make something with the Glowforge that I can sell to pay for the tube replacement). May not be my ideal plan, or the initial plan, but in terms of what could be, it’s not the worst either. (Obviously this would be a much bigger deal if I was international, but I’m not). Besides, you never know what could happen in the next 2-3 years.

It will all be okay, I think. Thank you, @dan for the update and transparency—keep up the good work! I cannot WAIT to see this thing on my doorstep soon!


According to Universal, the metal tubes are not affected by power or how much they are used. Its just a time thing…
My oldest tube is 16+ years old. But that is extreamly rare. Most of the newer ones last 6-8 years…


Metal tubes are amazing. The only downside to them is that the RF emitters are inside the tube, and over time can slowly react with the gases inside lowering their efficacy. If built well this can be minimized quite a bit, allowing amazing lifespans like the one @smcgathyfay has.

Recently there has been a technology introduced that uses the same premisses, but the tube is made out of ceramic, allowing the emitters to be outside the walls of the tube, effectively removing any issues with negative reactions between the emitters and the gases inside. This essentially creates a tube with no degradation. Pretty incredible. One day I hope to own one of these!



Wait, what? When you dropped the major bomb in December the idea was that as production ramped the earliest orders would get them first beginning around March or April, eventually picking up speed with an intention to get all the pre-orders by a certain date.

That was really hard news to take, and I’ve largely kept away from the forum and only poked my head in occasionally to check on updates. Not because I don’t badly want the Glowforge we paid for a year and a half ago (we booked ours in September 2015), but because the roller coaster of emotions that the omissions and revelations has put us on has been brutal…

Reading this update, it sounds like March & April was another false start, and now we’re looking at July/August? And though we placed our order early and have kept the faith this whole time, more active forum members who ordered weeks after us will get their shipments before us?

The delays are bad enough, but playing preferential treatment games is unfair to customers and really stinks.


That’s not quite accurate. They would begin ramping up production in April. But that doesn’t mean shipping anything to customers. Bottom line: Expect August and hopefully we’ll be happily surprised with an earlier shipment.


Follow-up questions… our order is in my girlfriend’s name… does my activity count, or does the activity have to be on her account?

Also, can you estimate approximately how many posts a day a customer who has been waiting since September 2016 needs to make in order to maintain their place in line? If need be, we’re willing to put in the time, though of course it will be difficult to contain our anger and frustration at this new development.

This board shows approximately 5400 total users, with around 1800 active users in the last 30 days. Can you give us some visibility on how many people are going to get bumped up?

Honestly, though, this latest bombshell shakes me more than the production delays. Design issues, production headaches, those all are disappointing but understandable. Breaking your promise to ship orders as they were received, that’s a bad decision that treats customers unfairly, which gives us serious pause.

Actually Tom, your post isn’t accurate either. Quoting the December update…

“We will be manufacturing hundreds of units per month through February and scale up to thousands starting in April. Most customers will get their deliveries in May through August.”

I mistakenly said March/April, when it was to have started in February and ramped to thousands of units by April. Our order was placed within the first couple days, so assuming the company could meet this new plan and if they were honoring the commitment to ship customer orders as they were received, we would have been looking at April or possibly May.

This update suggests that only prerelease units are currently shipping, and that they expect to fill orders in July/August and that they will be bumping potentially hundreds (if not thousands) of customers in order to push the most active forum users (possibly including ‘regulars’ such as yourself) to the front of the queue.

As per my previous post, though I am curious as to how many posts a day we’d need to make in order to maintain our place in line, and whether that can be done on my account or if it needs to be on my gf’s account (as the order is in her name). It would also be helpful to have an idea how many people will be getting shipped ahead of us as a result of this change (it could be a few dozen, it could be several hundred or more). Without transparency, and given all the history of delays and excuses, it’s hard not to assume the worst… and I would still like to have hope.


Uhhh… Yes it is.

I’m going to just bow out of this conversation now. Best of luck to you! :slight_smile:

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I can understand your frustration. Might I recommend this discussion:

I recognize where you are coming from, and you certainly may disagree with Dan or with my view of this decision. There are several people who have suggested some pretty viable advantages to this policy.
I don’t know exactly how much you must read or post to get into the front of the line; but if you can get past the frustration and spend some time seeing what has been created, it will be time well spent. I recommend starting with weekly highlights.


I wouldn’t worry about enough people being bumped for it to noticeably push the shipment of your unit. There’s no specific “posts per day” but being active and helpful in the forums would be a good start. As to if the account matters, I would doubt it, but am not staff so hopefully they chime in to let you know for sure.

Based on what’s been said about switching manufacturing lines and things, I would say it’s safe to bet that manufacturing is progressing as previous updates had said it would, but as Tom said, units being produced doesn’t specifically mean units going to customers. Dan has been pretty consistent with the orders from the earlier pre-order period going out by the end of July and the rest by the end of August and promising nothing earlier than that for production units, so most of us have just been assuming we’ll get our units at the end of July to keep from going crazy. :slight_smile:


Was it? The bit I quoted was from Dan’s December schedule update, and what you wrote was different. I get it though, as a forum regular you have a vested interest in defending the announcement as it benefits you directly.

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As far as I understand it there’s only a hundred or two forum members who are on the list. There’s probably a great many of those individuals who ordered very early in the game so they aren’t really going to get bumped any further ahead in the line since they were already ahead of you. The number of people on that list is statistically so small though that you might at worst see a delay of a day between when you’d have gotten yours with and without the “preferential” treatment. But with how early you ordered you won’t have to wait much longer than when the first few people start saying theirs is in the mail. I’m choosing not to take it personally, and just get wildly excited when the people that got bumped up start getting their units and GF can use those people as guinne pigs and get the rest of the units out without a hitch.


Don’t assume April. If you insist on assuming May, assume about the 31st for the 3:00am orders on the first day. Just a tip for managing disappointment.