Filter delay

Just checked and my filter ship date went from July 3 to September 30.

Same here.

A suspicious number of dates have moved to the same day; the second time in a row that has happened.

Here’s a new theory: they in fact have the filters either built or ready to go to production, but they are trying to file a patent on some part of it they think is clever. The delay is actually a question of getting paperwork drafted and filed before the thing goes out into the wild. In which case the product that customers have paid for years ago is being withheld for reasons that benefit Glowforge but have less than zero benefit to those customers.

This is entirely speculative, but speculation is all you have in an information vacuum. It would explain why Glowforge pushes back estimated delivery dates back by months only days before the estimated dates. It would explain why they won’t tell us anything about the reasons for the delay, citing “intellectual property concerns”. It would explain why they are comfortable giving many customers the same estimated delivery date.

The only other explanation for all these things that I can think of is simple dishonesty.


Competency and effort are always an options. At this point it’s impossible to know enough to isolate a single failing.

One thing we do know, silence is never a good sign. There’s something being hidden, something I should likely be told to make a competent decision on waiting or not.

Mine was pushed back to November 30

I’m no patent attorney, but I think that if you have invented the thing and documented it, you can patent it. A patent application should hold you place in line at the patent office and unblock the assembly line. You don’t need to build thousands of gizmos first.

I think the more likely explanation is they just underestimated how hard it would be to build the thing.


Entirely true. My wild speculation was that they didn’t want to let anybody take apart their sooper sekrit design until they had their patent documentation in the pipe.

I’m just trying to come up with some kind of scenario that would explain Dan’s otherwise unaccountable claim that if he told us anything about the nature of the delay, competitors would be able to swoop in and beat Glowforge to market with its own brilliant filter design despite the fact that Glowforge already has it on the manufacturing line (or prototyping table, or the drawing board, or in crayon on a napkin somewhere). It’s not easy.

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I am a patent attorney, and the law on this has changed. Patents no longer go to the first to invent, but to the first inventor to file. It is still true that a patent application is enough to unblock the assembly line, but there’s a lot more urgency to get an application into the patent office than there used to be, and it’s more important to file before releasing the invention into the stream of commerce. That said, I think patent strategy is an unlikely source of delays in this case (but of course I do not represent Glowforge and have no real information on this, so please don’t bet the farm on anonymous internet speculation). It seems more likely that they are having engineering problems that they keep thinking they are about to solve, but the solutions keep not working. (Ask me about the seven years I spent working on my Ph.D., and when in that process I started getting actual experimental results.)


Unaccustomed as I am to people with informed opinions inserting themselves into these kinds of discussions, I am unsure of the proper form to deal with such an unexpected development. So I’ll thank you for weighing in and press my luck and ask for further informed opinion:

When asked such probing questions as, “is this a design or a production problem?”, Dan inevitably responds that he could not possibly say, as to do so would reveal vital intellectual property. Recognizing that you have no more information about the specifics of the case than the rest of us, given your experience in the field, does that make any sense to you?


I would say that the question is not very well formed, in that it can be difficult to distinguish between a design problem and a production problem. In addition, sometimes more information can be gleaned from an answer than the speaker intended. It is entirely reasonable to adopt a position of never answering any such question in order to avoid a scenario like this:

“Did Jane steal the cookies?”
“Did Steve steal the cookies?”
“Did Clarice steal the cookies?”
-No comment


Originally I was March 30, then it changed to June 30, I come today and the same BS as before, now it is not TENTATIVELY coming until Sept 30, WHAT is going on, getting the filter a year later? Can we get some clarification on WHAT is going on, THIS is SO not good. I been away because real life is happening and I can’t even rely on GF to deliver the rest of my equipment? CMON! We need it for acrylics!!! Did they ever even exist or did you guys come up with the concept and are still trying to work it out???

I ordered a basic+filter on the first day. Got the GF about a year ago and really love it. Decided to cancel the filter for credit when: 1) porting it out a window works so well, and 2) it became obvious that GFs would be selling at the local Walmart before a filter ever showed up.

It’s too bad the forum software doesn’t’ have an “office pool” function. (or maybe it does and someone can turn it on). Some sort of prize for the person who picks the time/date of the first post confirming filter receipt. Or maybe the time/date when the announcement is made that it’s just too hard to do and that refunds are in the mail.


:slightly_smiling_face: Never. They’re engineers!

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