Discussion of September Announcement

Totally understand and respect that! I will continue to create my own files.

You might even consider submitting some of your designs to the catalog one day…I’d love to see some from a lot of different designers.

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@eflyguy, Couldn’t agree more. Beyond the “increased speed”, not much value in the catalog. But, hey, on the upside, I may end up selling files there! :slight_smile:

Apologies if this was asked already, but I have spent hours going through this forum and there are too many to read. For the free monthly design, will those be available after the month they are made available to my account, or do I have to download them right away each month to catch them. I use my machine in bursts so there are months I don’t open the app.

and…for the record, the pricing model is very very disappointing. I am a student and now unemployed, so this is not an easy decision.

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If I was a student and unemployed, I would not subscribe. You don’t need to subscribe to keep using your Glowforge. You only need to subscribe if you want the extras they are adding.

@dan, his question did bring another question to my mind… if someone has not subscribed and does not get the “free design” will that design be available in the Catalog for purchase later? Or is it just a one time never available again?

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That particular design I did try to build in slightly thicker oak plywood and the first try was pretty awful and awfully tiny so I carefully measured both materials and did the math and scaled the whole thing. The result not only fit well but the bigger size was nice too!

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Seems a little like taking the candy from a baby - we have all been given access to these features for months and are already tied to dependancy on their servers to activate machines that could easily work outside the web as most other machines do so it again seems like we put in more and becoming more dependant by now having a subscription on top of a VERY hefty financial investment for most folk. I don’t think existing Beta test users should be charged whatsoever - we have been your sandbox and word of mouth sales folk. Just my feelings - I feel disappointed to see this move and yes, even though functions have been sped-up of late, access to what we presently use being withdrawn is a little gut punch.

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The whole point of giving free access for a trial period was so you as an owner could determine if they would be worth paying for when they started charging?

That’s how free trials work. Like getting satellite “radio” when you buy a new car, or three months HBO when you switch to a new TV provider.

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Ya know, for a “premium” service it sure would be nice if I could select the right side drag points of that box… like to get all 8 drag points I need ultra-premium?

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I don’t know - our team’s got pretty good design skills but we love to print catalog stuff too! It can save enormous time if there’s something there that meets your needs already.

You need to grab the design when it’s available. We’ll email you to make sure you don’t miss it.

Each Design of the Month goes into the catalog for purchase when the month ends (but is not a part of “free with premium”).

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Or maybe just finish with the dialog box that’s in front of it… Or turn down your scaling in windows… Perhaps you are using a machine with a particularly low resolution (anything under 1080p is non-standard these days).

I’m with you and your staff here. I love the design process and even hope to add to the catalog at some point but if there is something ready that is both perfect and ready I’m saving myself several hours grabbing it.

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@dan You guys may know this already, but there seems to be some confusion out there about what you mean when you say that prints are “processed” faster. I think a lot of folks think that their print times will be shorter. In addition to reading it in various conversations, I saw someone today complaining that it was taking just as long to do an engrave as it was before…

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It’s a chromebox and it’s a 1920x1080 24” monitor (that machine is cheeeeeeap…)

Reading through hundreds of posts on multiple threads I’m going to attempt to collect my thoughts and give an opinion.

I don’t believe glowforge as a business model having to continue to support a staff and pay for googles cloud service can live long trying to sell proof grade materials and designs from a catalog will survive for very long. Proof grade materials doesn’t cross me as something most will continue to buy when the same mats are available on amazon, eBay, Lowe’s, and Home Depot not to mention hobby stores at lower prices in quantity. Half the time the proofgrade materials are always out of stock as they can’t meet the demands.

I also don’t believe glowforge can sustain in long term the income needed to keep development active with new features with just a single cost of a machine.

So $14.99 a month to basically pay for support and on going improvements to the machine is well worth it in this sense. The staff here has been awesome and very helpful. @dan has personally gone out of his way to respond and assist giving this community the cohesion it needs to survive.

With my stance stated I believe all features you have given to everyone as beta needs to just stay from this point on. You cannot tease features meant to find solutions to the machines shortcomings and take it from people selling them subscription that feels more like a threat to your customer base that has been here since the beginning.

This whole $50 threat is just another example of the type of bad business sense that will create regret and distaste something you all have largely been able to avoid by being awesome host to us as clients.

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is the first time I feel insulted by glowforge as a company in general. As a founder this $14.99 +tax should be just a permanent offering. Some people that haven’t used their machines won’t even be aware this offer is here. We stuck with you the many years you failed to deliver the laser on time and didn’t cancel on you it’s only fair you continue to show your support for your user and the core of your early audience the same support we showed you.

I’m strongly against you removing any of the beta features to your existing base. I am completely for new features in the subscription model as someone has to pay for development and upkeep. Please strongly consider this before you truly create a black eye.

One of the posts I completely agree with is removing snap marks when they were a feature to make up for the camera being not accurate in aligning is outright crazy and not thought out thoroughly…

Being someone that had to move on to a different type of business due to all the delays in delivering in the beginning it gives me butterflies thinking in need to pay for a subscription to something I barely use now in order to lock in a price…

The FOMO is real and for the first time I don’t think highly of the company’s decisions as a whole.

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It’s now been about 3 days since I received my Pro…I posted the above quote the day I ordered (about 2 1/2 weeks ago). Having played with it for a couple days, and attending a webinar this past week, here’s how I feel:

The bad:
I definitely feel like glowforge as a company is more interested in their monetized business structure and money more than their customers. The evidence for me is in their “free” print software and the lack of software included with the purchase price. Literally the cost of the unit is only for the hardware and ability to print a design you already have. No value adds beyond that (i.e. NO designing or creating the actual things to print), not even shapes or free drawing, or basic templates. All creating and editing must be done in a third party apps (like inkscape, which they recommend on their site).

I don’t mind learning inkscape (which my kids and I are learning now)…but for the price, I expected a more robust entire system for the price. This is similar to our 3D printer (you use 3rd party apps to create the models/designs, and for the cost of a printer you get the hardware and basic software that slices the design you made in the 3rd party app)…but 3D printers are a fraction of the cost of this. Feels like I bought an expensive car and then need to pay more for tires, steering wheel, lights, etc. There are some very basic options to insert images and text in their GUI, but that’s part of the paid premium. And no way are those basic features worth $15/mo, let alone the $50/mo (even with their “faster servers” or “free” limited templates/designs).

Second issue I notice is the “faster servers” don’t seem that fast (Day job is building and optimizing clouds for Fortune 50 enterprises and governments). After selecting print, it takes a few minutes for it to be ready to print. I’m in on the “free premium for 14 days”, but I also PAID for the premium but then after a day cancelled. Can’t imagine how the “slow” servers are if these are the fast ones. Again, for the price, I shouldn’t need to pay for speed. That’s like saying I can go 55mph in my new car but if I want to go faster, I need to subscribe to a recurring membership.

Third and slight issue is the height requirement of 1/4 inch. I knew this going in, so I can’t complain, but wouldn’t take much to enable printing on mugs and other things without making it that much larger. Not sure if this was strategic play (learning now how the company is focused on nickle and diming customers) or a “new technology” thing that will improve over time.

The good:
It’s fun to print/cut/engrave things! My wife, kids and I keep thinking about what we can print and keep trying different things. I love that this technology is able to come in a fairly small form factor and we can do it at home. In the couple days we’ve had it, we’ve already given things away to friends and teachers for birthdays and gifts, and they look sharp and professional. Looking forward to what more we can do and making money with it as well (but this can be done with any laser printer on the market, nothing special about this one).

Overall:
It’s fun and we’re excited with what we’ll do with it, both personally/gifts and professionally/starting a business. I do think it’s overpriced. Knowing what I know now, I would have looked a little harder at competitors to see what “value added services” they included and/or charged for and I would try to find a company that included ALL software and didn’t require connecting to cloud/wifi, especially for this price point. Based on their actions/services they provide with the product I purchased (Pro), I don’t feel a connection to glowforge as a company, so other vendors (with similar hardware) may be better. But we’ll have fun with this expensive piece of hardware and we’ll enjoy using and creating with it.

Just sharing my .02 as a follow up to my original post.

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I just want to point out that there is no 1/4" limitation that you noted. The Glowforge can engrave on items up to 2" and can cut material as thick as 1/2" - with difficulty. As for wishing you had looked at competitors to see what they included I think you might be disappointed. Most lasers cutters/printers are designed to cut/score/engrave. They are not designed with graphics programs built in. Some, however, require you to use a specified software interface or install their print drivers in order to communicate with them.

Perhaps you will like using the Glowforge so much that you will upgrade to a larger industrial laser, or maybe you will seek another hobby machine in the future. For now, you have a Glowforge and you and your family are having fun and making things. I hope you don’t waste time thinking there are better, cheaper options on the market that you missed. My experience with Glowforge is that it continues to get better and there are people in the company working to improve the customer experience.

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+1. I’m going to try the discounted premium, but that’s the extreme high-mark of what I’d pay. I get Adobe’s Creative Cloud for not much more than that (at the Educator’s rate). $50/month seems like a pipe dream, at least for how I use my machine. I suppose if I were making a lot of very similar but customized pieces for sale, it could make sense. But I almost never make the same design twice, and I find the GF interface far to slow for anything more than adding a name to a design. I am more than happy to pay for increased processing speed, though. I’d also be willing to pay for a library of really great designs - although I’d like a lot more than are currently available. So we’ll see how the Premium works out over time, I guess.

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I agree about the competition. I also own a Dremel LC 40 (got it from a friend for whom it was a review item). The LC 40 does fine when it’s dialed in, but takes many more steps to start a cut. It won’t do a cut and engrave from the same file, there’s no editing on the machine, and you can’t delete part of a design that’s loaded. That means, for example, that if I get a design that’s too large for the bed, I have to take it into another program to delete parts before loading it. It’s very frustrating, and I end up using the Dremel half as much. The Glowforge really shines on it’s interface, and I haven’t seen anything else that compares on that point.

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So I’m beta testing some software for another laser company - the buy-in there is at $20k and just goes up (I’m in for about $40k). I recently had a video call with their developer team about my usage and workflow, and you know what stuck out (besides being able to sit one on one with their team), was a quote: “Glowforge has set the benchmark.” And that’s where their software is headed, albeit a local browser instance rather than web-based.

So, just something to consider…

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