Feedback re Recent Announcement

I wanted to separate this out from the other thread as this is feedback specifically on the way this announcement has been handled.

Full disclosure, I won’t be cancelling, I am disappointed/frustrated. I am buying for a business. I am an international buyer (which specifically affects the fact that I will probably not be selected for a pre-release model).

I have always been impressed how @dan and the glowforge team have handled themselves and their communication. I’m sure some would disagree but it has always seemed as if they have been very careful with their announcements of both good and bad news. But this recent announcement has seemed like a massive own goal (Just realised, sports metaphors are not universal. A massive error of judgement).

I’m not sure how others felt but to me, everything in the last few weeks leading to this announcement has felt positive. Lots of details have been released, lots of teasers, lots of details… in other words, lots of positive buzz. I have been getting excited about finally receiving my Glowforge. My customers are also excited. To come into work today to find another, lets be honest, long delay was a real kick in the teeth. I feel like a child who’s parent hinted at letting them open a present on Christmas Eve only to find out the present will not arrive until the New Year.

To add to this, from Dan’s email, it appears that this delay has been evident since early November. That is not what I wanted to hear.

I believe that feedback should be constructive so let me be blunt. I would like to see regular updates (monthly at least) to reassure me that things are or are not on schedule. These should include bad news if it exists. I believe I understand why you gave out news of the pre-release shipping (which is just an extension of the beta programme) but I think this was unwise an has backfired a little. It may create more excitement fro seasoned users but it will also create a degree of jealousy and mistrust. I wonder how many others are annoyed that some people receive ‘special treatment’. I think this could have been handled better and possibly post-announcement.

In conclusion, I’m left feeling that this is likely going to be the last delay I accept. Not because I think there is a better product but because of the principle. A years delay means you probably brought this to market too soon. My goodwill levels are beginning to run out and the way this announcement has been handled has not helped to top them up.


I am sure that was deliberate and the reason why the delay has been announced at the last minute. They had to get a couple of pre-release machines visible first and it looks like they only just made it. @marmak3261’s machine was shipped overnight I believe.

At the point it was announced that pre-release would ship at the end of November it was obvious there would not be volume manufacture in Dec.


In hindsight this makes sense, but at the time I believed this was for other reasons.


They were waiting on authorization of some patent applications. (Which they just received.)

I’m not making excuses for them…everything has been very positive lately and the delay announcement is a big let down for all of us.

But i believe I will continue to stick it out…that machine is more than I bargained for.


Since they apparently now have patent pending protection, I’d be very interested to hear what aspect of 3D engraving they claim to be patent-able. Haven’t others been doing 3D engraving for a long time?


If you believe that was the real reason I think you will believe anything. The machine has always claimed to do hi res 3D engraving so showing an example doesn’t have to wait for a patent application. They aren’t disclosing whatever novel technique they used to make it.

It was the removable head. The engraving has been planned all along.

I don’t think you can patent a removable head as my 3D printers have had that for years and there was no compelling reason to mention it other than to try and soften the blow.

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You could certainly patent one with respect to lasers since it’s going to have hardware like a lens array that no 3D printer needs.

Other laser engraver/cutters (which is exactly what the Glowforge is, not a printer of any sorts) have removable heads so I don’t see how they could really patent it, at least not easily.

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If it’s an issue, they’ll be challenged. I haven’t used other cutters with the removable heads so I can’t speak as to whether they’ve changed enough stuff to make it worthwhile. It doesn’t matter much to me either way tho.

Dan’s post said he came to his realization sometime in early November, but we’re only hearing about it now – conveniently just after black Friday / cyber Monday sales of potentially competing products.

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I don’t know of any other laser cutter/etcher in the world that does multipass autofocus engraving. Go :glowforge: - Rich


Thank you for taking the time to give feedback, Glen. A friend of mine makes fun of my total inability to get a sports metaphor right, but I got that one, and I agree. We’ll be thinking about how how we keep people updated in the future.


There has been no shortage of accusations regarding the planning and execution, but it occurs to me there is a fundamental underlying strength in the plan that in my perception hasn’t been appreciated for it’s significance.

I have read of Kickstarter and crowd funded efforts that failed, and the funds evaporated. This was my main reservation to getting involved in one.

To structure the design development to be funded by the venture capital, and reserve customer funds for production was the smartest piece of foresight, and instilled a fail-safe in the program for us, the customer.
Say what you will, but that alone speaks of integrity and responsibility - by design. :+1:


now you do


Well, I know that they do 3D engraving, but are they multi-pass autofocusing? GF has the ability, if I’m not mistaken, to do really deep 3D carving. Is that what these do? - Rich

Universal’s seems to go pretty deep, looking at the center of this flower thing, but the overall effect is mediocre:


Yes, that’s pretty good. Is that based on high power/wood type, etc? - Rich

Dunno, snagged it off their product page linked above.