Don't use a UPS?

Continuing the discussion from MY GF just died:

This confuses me a little. Could you elaborate? My studio, and home, is in a very old building that houses a children’s theater below us and across the hall, a daycare, 3 other artist studios, and a handful of apartments above us. The electrical in a building of this age and with these kind of uses is a bit dodgey at best. Are you saying that GF recommends that we don’t connect through a UPS?


I would definitely like come clarification on this as well, since I too live in an old building. Could you elaborate on what exactly this “internal protection” consists of? If something goes wrong, I would much rather have to replace a $30 surge protector than a $2,000+ laser cutter. Even if you cover it (doubtful), I don’t want to have to repeat the nightmare of dealing with your warranty process again.


What lots of people might not realize is that many UPS have limits on the amount of steady, sustained power draw they can provide – despite reading the box label and feeling they have enough energy capacity. So in that sense, I wouldn’t trust a GF+UPS for anything worse (longer term) than a brown-out or short-term power spike… certainly not counting on it for a complete power outage to allow a job to complete, although possible.

Here’s a bit of trivia: If you have a surge protector power strip with one of those light-up power switches on it but the light has gone out… it’s time to toss the power bar. The lack of a light (or a flickering one) possibly indicates that the protector has used up its service life. Even if it hasn’t, with the thousands of hours it takes for a light to wear out, it’s probably a good idea to replace the strip or to at least stop relying on it for surge suppression.


Another bit of surge protector trivia that not everybody knows is that the failure mode of a MOV (the protection device inside of them) is to explode and/or catch fire.

I can’t speak for Glowforge and I haven’t taken mine apart, but based on the description in the linked thread (machine wouldn’t turn on, then worked later), they probably at least have a PTC fuse that resets itself after it cools down.


Unfortunately, I know. I’ve had it happen twice in my life. (Not sure if that’s a normal number or not though.) Both times resulting in my unplugging, and holding the flaming strip from the cord, out the door, then turn the hose on it. The smell is remarkable. The melted, distorted end of the strip is something to see.


Yes, I’m aware of that, which is exactly why I said I would rather toss out a $30 surge protector than a $2,000 laser cutter. You sidestepped my question. If, for example, a power surge happens, does the “internal protection” of a Glowforge need to be replaced as a surge protector would? Does the entire unit need to be trashed? More importantly, could elaborate on the recommendation of not using a surge protector, since I’ve literally never seen that on any piece of home electronics before. What about whole-house surge protection at the panel?

You’re leaving a lot of very important questions unanswered. If there are strange and unusual requirements that are unique to this product, these are things that should have been made clear far before delivery of any units.

You do realize this is a community forum and the person you’re complaining at does not work for Glowforge, right?

None of us are in a position to answer your questions about how the power supply is constructed and what will happen if it is damaged. Eventually someone from customer support will get around to closing this topic with a response that may or may not satisfy you. In the meantime, we’re just making conversation.


My apologies. I thought that was the other Dan.

Ahh… that makes sense. I’ve done the same, usually with people who have similar icons.

gota watch for where it’s says, owner/regular, for it to say Staff instead.

We also have a handy little Glowforge icon next to our faces.

3rd party equipment like that is outside of our design and test parameters, so we recommend against using it. We have successfully used UPSs with our Glowforge units, but the ones we used were $2,000 each. We only have a hundred or so hours of usage on them so we don’t even have enough data to recommend those. (I asked if someone had the brand but haven’t heard back yet).

You’re welcome to do whatever you want with your Glowforge, but should you plug your Glowforge into a device that damages it, the damage wouldn’t be covered under your warranty.


Except the staff label and the little Glowforge icon aren’t reliable to identify all staff. Not all staff are labeled staff that way, and only a minority have the icon. (Data collected from the web page.) The only sure way is to click on the person’s icon and check for the staff labeling there. (And what is the half black - half white shield supposed to indicate? That icon seems to label staff as well, and seems to be reliable.)

1 Like

So a ups no not unless you get a large (computer closets sized at a minimum) most the retail models can only do about 800watts and that’s pushing it.

Also gf has indicated not to use a surge protector as they have already included suppression in the power supply of the gf so a extra suge suppressor has been noted to cause power delivery problems

1 Like

I’ll check names and profiles more carefully from here on out. I still think my original question needs to be answered: Could you tell us more about the “internal protection”?
For example, if a power surge breaks that protection without being plugged in to a 3rd party device, what’s the fix for that? Is that a user-replaceable part, or does it require service? Is it covered by the warranty? What about whole-house surge protection installed at the panel?
I can understand why running any large appliance off a UPS might not work well, but what about external surge protectors?

1 Like

I don’t think that’s correct. What staff member are you referring to?

How about the head of software?

Look at this post:

If you look at the about page you will find more.

Thank you

Ah… Yeah… You’re right. I think they’re only required to wear it when responding in Problem & Support. Not entirely sure though.

Where the heck’s my badge?!


Oh… uh… please report to HR. They uh… have something to tell you.