Feb 2017 Update

It’s been a wild month! To start with the most important topic: our schedule (here) is unchanged, and we continue to deliver units of ever improving quality to our testing partners, folks like you, and a few famous customers.

In fact, every review of Glowforge to date has been by a paying Glowforge customer, including the latest by Matt Stultz, the 3D printing editor for Make Magazine:

[The Glowforge Is Almost Here and it’s Worth the Wait]
(The Glowforge Is Almost Here and it’s Worth the Wait - Make:)

and Bob from from I Like To Make Stuff (@iliketomakestuff on the forums):

At some point we’ll have press units out for review, but right now, the only folks receiving Glowforge deliveries are preorder customers like you.

Meanwhile at the office, it feels like we’ve turned a corner. This month we put an end to our most sticky problems - a batch of bad tubes that was’t able to engrave well, a bug that was causing the machine to reboot occasionally during prints, and a supplier problem with a linear system component that was causing wobbly engraves.

There’s also piles of work that just keep things out of your way. We’ve fleshed out our suite of tests that let us spot hardware problems sooner - identify subtle defects when parts arrive, and spot a wider variety of problems at final inspection. Our web service logged 4 9’s of uptime (99.997% available) last month. Boring stuff, but things that we worry about so you won’t need to.

There’s a lot more, but if you don’t have time to read through everything, let me suggest this resource:

Best of the Glowforge Community: Weekly Highlights

Our community curates some of the most interesting highlights from posts each week, including examples of what Glowforge units in the field are printing, details about process, and cool design ideas. It’s a great way to binge on a bunch of Glowforge info & get up to speed on the best of the latest.

Finally, I have a story to share. I was at a small conference last weekend in Chicago. Glowforge customer Max Temkin lives close by, so I asked him to bring his prerelease unit from his office (Cards Against Humanity) to share. Folks were printing cool stuff all weekend, but something happened that made me so happy I had to share it with all of you. (Please excuse the terrible video quality, as it was noisy and I was just recording tidbits on my phone.)

One of the conference attendees, Liz, had recently decided to learn viola and brought her new instrument to the conference. Someone at the airport was careless with it, and the bridge - the portion of the instrument that separates the strings, and holds them away from the main body - snapped in half.

I didn’t know Liz at the time but saw she looked upset, and we asked if there was anything we could do. As luck would have it, the bridge was maple, and we had Proofgrade maple on hand. We decided to try using the Trace function of the Glowforge to see if we could reproduce the bridge - a tricky matter, since both the top and the feet had to curve at precisely the right angle. We carefully pressed the split halves together, set it on the bed of the Glowforge, closed the lid, and clicked “Trace”.

Then we put in some maple and asked Liz to hit the button.

It took some fussing to get the new bridge into place. A small crowd had formed, watching as she gently nudged it into place and started tuning.

Finally, she got to try it out.

I cannot tell you how excited we all were. The whole process took just a few minutes, from start to finish. Her musical instrument was whole again.

This is what we come to work for every day - to give you this magical superpower. To make things. Beautiful things, practical things, wonderful things!

Thank you as always for your patience. We’re working long hours to make sure your we meet our schedule for you, and that your machine is as great as you deserve.

We can’t wait to ship you your Glowforge.


Thanks for the update!


LOVE hearing about this! Thank you @dan


Thanks @dan! The story about the violin is very cool! hopefully she keeps the bridge as a permanent member.


Fantastic! (And what a handy thing to have on hand for emergency repair!) :grin:


At first I looked at the title and was like “Wait a second, its not Feb 17th. That’s my birthday!” before realizing that it was the year and not the day


Thanks for the update and cool story Dan! So amazing!


What a great story! Thanks for the update, @dan!


That is the kind of use case that gets me excited as an engineer. Well done


That is so kick ash


Great example of a great innovation! The trace function Rocks!
No file to prepare. "Drop this in, scan it and cut me another - ‘Dropforged’!

I could name it Dropforge:sunglasses:


No one made the pun, so I will…

Then we put in some maple and asked Liz to hit the button and… Voila! Viola!


Thank you for the update, Dan. I really LOVED the story about being able to repair her viola. I can only imagine how upset she must have been before that, and must have been elated after the Glowforge created a new bridge for her. Great story…great Glowforge!


Man, every musical instrument repair shop should get a glowforge. I imagine since most are hand made, they are highly unique. The ability to do that repair in minutes was such a great example of the power of a GF. Great story! Can’t wait.


Thanks for the Update.

Are the units being delivered to the testing partners still going through the Glowforge office before being shipped out?

While I appreciate the link to the “schedule”, it’s more like a completion date than what I would call a schedule. Is the schedule from the December 16 update still accurate? Specifically the following information. [quote=“dan, post:1, topic:3657”]
This is our new plan. 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. All orders placed before Oct 26, 2015 will be shipped by July 31, and all subsequent orders by August 31.

Thanks again for the monthly updates. They are definitely appreciated.


A couple of things…
One, bridges are super cheap and aren’t even slightly rare. Every musical instrument store has tons available for all common string instruments.
Two, my Dad has owned instrument repair shops for decades. One thing he’ll definitely use my Glowforge for is cutting cork for instruments. Also making new tool organizers for all of the repair tools. It’ll definitely play a part in musical instrument repair immediately.


Maple we’ll get a chance soon :smile:


Thanks for the update @dan!

Any plans yet for the Chicago Maker Faire?
I missed you at New York in October :wink:


The Glowforge, the swiss army knife of lasers.


i will believe these aren’t a Dale when i actually see them shipping.