Discussion of May 2023 Update

You can all make fun of my terrible bangs here:


I’m surprised about the low sales of Basics, but it reinforces that I made the right decision 7 years ago.


Me too. I’m thankful that the basic was available when I purchased mine. I never would have been able to justify the cost of a Pro when I was in the market for a new toy. I’ve always been perfectly satisfied with my basic. (That also doesn’t bode well for the time when mine dies, and I’ll want to replace it.)


this for me, too. i have no need to spend that much more for pass thru and 5w more power (the cooling isn’t an issue for me). :frowning:


Exactly this!
I’ve been extremely happy with my Basic since it showed up nearly six years ago! Never a major problem.


I love my Basic. It was all I could justify paying at the time and I haven’t had any problem with it. Should it die, I’ll probably switch to another laser, especially since other brands seem pretty comparable for the cost. But I am hoping and praying my Basic lasts many more years. I bought mine 1/21/21 and received it in May or early June, so it’s only 2 years old.


@shogun, want to elaborate on your recent repair?


Well I’ll be tapping out when my basic dies for this reason and a few more. Love the machine but hate the companies policies when it comes to shipping and customer support.
I still have around $400 credit but what’s the point when it can’t be used to cover shipping which is 95% of the charge?


Not sure my repair is all that relevant… I had a basic which died after much use and, as with most things that cannot be fixed on site, glowforge shipped me a refurbished unit in exchange for my basic. The basic was out of warranty (3 years old), so I did have to pay for the refurb unit. Does anyone know what an average lifespan for a laser is?

Since I use mine all the time, I was happy to get the unit replaced quickly. I ended up getting a plus, since they had no basics in stock. This was also perfectly fine. The refurb is pristine and works well.

I think the basic is just hard to keep at that price point for the small number of units they sell. I think my big surprise has been that, with the exception of the software updates, the machine itself is pretty much the same thing they have been selling since 2017 (?).

If you look at something like XTool’s P2, they come in at the same price points but with more features and accessories. I am hoping I am wrong, but from the outside perspective, Glowforge hardware appears to be standing still.


Yeah the thing I thought was relevant was that they replaced your basic with a plus. I’d imagine that will be the norm as they phase basics out.


The availability of an entry level machine is the only reason I was ever here at all, I could barely reach that. Unfortunately, this change will punctuate my affiliation with glowforge.

I’m genuinely surprised that I find myself in the low 5% of customers. It’s a sad day for me to see the end of my adventures with this machine on the horizon. It feels like an old cherished friend has entered hospice.

And just as it would be with the old friend, I will take this opportunity to express my appreciation for all of the wonderful experiences my relationship with glowforge furnished me. It had a major impact on my life.

After forced retirement from back surgery, I found myself at the lowest point in my life. Aimless, and depressed, here was the chance to indulge in a technology that I could only fantasize about for decades. Brand New to me were CNC and design software. Learning them was the challenge that gave me direction and pulled me back into living from just existing. For that, I will always consider Dan and the team, who’s efforts gave me a reason to focus and move forward as friends.

Though I’m still here for the time being, I also want to express my appreciation for the community here that helped me along, and enriched my life. Thank you all!

You can believe I will do everything in my power to keep this machine working. I’m guessing that even if the machine is nonfunctional I’m still an owner, and will retain my key to the door here. I don’t want this threshold to affect the friendships I’ve found with you all.

I wish the company every success in their continuing journey.


That’s true. They may have been phasing them out on the back end for a while.

It seems like most manufactures have ceded the low end market to the open air machines. Those fall in the under $500 category, which is hard to beat.


I got the Pro (because I’m the kind of fool who starts with “wow, I can get a laser for $2000?” and talks themself up). But a new one would be close enough to ten grand that even I can’t justify it for a hobby tool that I use 10 or 15 times a year. I guess I’m just not the target customer, but that’s kind of a bummer, because I thought for the longest time that Glowforge’s entry into this market was the start of a revolution that would bring prices and accessibility down for makers.

I remember Dan’s origin story about having to deal with all the pain of a K40, and how I used to look longingly at laser cutters, but the entry seemed to start at around $6000 for something from Full Spectrum that was still sheet metal and an aquarium pump. I know the crowdfunding deal was half off, but that was 8 years ago.

Of course, if/when my machine joins the choir invisible, maybe I’ll have the option of a refurb that doesn’t break the budget. I still (to repeat myself from another thread) hope to see an all-new model that channels those 8 years of experience into a bunch of refinements in usability and repairability.


And cost savings. Glowforge is simply overpriced.


I signed up for the basic at the beginning of the campaign, but when it came time to ship it, I could afford to switch to a Pro. I use the slot now and then, more for cutting down long material than large prints, but I have done my share of those and had one in the planning phase when my original Pro was replaced. (I need to mask a very large piece of material before proceeding, and my tape does not hold together well when removing off the roll. Despite being “medium” tack, it is too tenacious on the roll…)

I was extremely fortunate to get a new or like-new replacement for a failing tube. I was living with it but it’s nice to “reset the clock”, so to speak.


When I bought the Glowforge I felt like as much as the extra money hurt I would have resented not spending the money more than spending the money. The passthrough is far more useful to get the best out of the material more than making really big things.


I can see where a Basic is a good fit for many. I was in love with the Pro, and went with it. I have to say I never understood the Plus model.

The Pro has allowed best use of full material sheets for me.

I wish I had more time to use my Glowforge, not sure what I’ll do when it dies.


moi aussi. especially after GF dropped it from 45w to 40w. and even w/45w, i thought it was barely different enough from the basic to justify the extra cost. anyone who asked me for advice, i told them basic would do most of what they needed, but the pro had some good upgrades if they would use them. but the only thing the plus ever had that the basic didn’t was availability. it was in stock more than the basic.


So what is it really at now? Seems like they are VERY misleading on their product page…

The product page clearly says “Our most powerful 45w laser” for the Plus then goes on to say…

Laser System

CO2 Laser — Custom CO2 glass laser tube capable of continuous operation at 10,600 nm; rated at 45 watts for Pro and 40 watts for Plus and Basic


that’s weird that they’ve missed fixing it on their site, but it was dropped to 40w maybe a year after it was introduced. it’s been years since it was 45w.