I wonder if many who post to this forum know how frustrating it is to read about what you are creating with your Glowforge when our Glowforge is who knows where and is coming who knows when. We operate a makerspace for kids and have been talking to our 7 to 15 year old makers about the Glowforge since October 2015 - “It will arrive before summer 2016” we initially told them. Then it was “at the end of the summer,” then “December 2016,” and now “the end of the summer” again.

Before you ask, YES, we applied to be a beta tester, to no avail. We have the space, we have the users, we have people clamoring to see what they can make with it, but all we do is wait, and read about so many of you who are making amazing things with yours.

Amazingly frustrating and disheartening. That’s how we feel.


not to say that your feelings aren’t important, but i suspect that most people feel the same way


It’s how I feel every time there is a delay announcement. :disappointed:

Ironically, the main thing keeping me going is those same beta projects, because I can look at them, and see my own projects coming. It’s terribly exciting to see all that we will be able to do one day.

Doesn’t make the waiting any easier though…you hit that nail on the head!


I’m a little surprised that we haven’t read more about the delays from bloggers and places like MAKE and Makerbot was slammed for having troubles with their extruders, and I understand the desire to ship something in perfection rather than something that’s buggy, but the maker community has been surprisingly quiet about this one. Seems odd to me.

I agree with you!

I just felt like venting this morning when I read about some of the cool things folks are making! I had an extra helping of self-pity with my coffee.


the problem with makerbot though was that they shipped a faulty product, and knowingly continued to ship it even after problems arose. while delays are frustrating (and i’m not a corporate cheerleader), this is at least a better tactic


As frustrating and disheartening it is to see the betas posts, it is also what keeps me waiting. It shows me the the GF is working in a positive direction and actually works … Sort of


For the most part, I like the beta and pre-release posts - it reminds me that there really is something happening, if that makes sense. I get excited when I see the things glowforge makes, but even more excited by things not-glowforge makes. Because I’m not-glowforge, too.

But it also reminds me that I don’t have a laser of my own and all those wonderful, fun things are things I cannot make. Its like watching someone eat a brownie when you’re counting calories. Sorry to all the wonderful betas, but very occasionally, in my immature moments, I want to throw your brownie on the floor so you can’t have it either.


I’m afraid this will get worse before it gets better - until the last units are delivered, some folks will have them before others.


I hear ya. We’re all in similar boats. Or, at least, riding the same sea!

But it’s funny, I feel the same as a couple of others here in that the posts from those who have them seem to both fuel my excitement as well as inspire me to think up new projects. When I get mine, I’ll have more to do with it than I originally thought! I’m already beginning work in AI to that end, so at least some of the wait time isn’t wasted.

Looking forward to a glowing future!

  • Tom
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An alternative path is to purchase a cheap (at least they will be cheap again in a little while) Chinese laser, like a K40, and then go about all of the rigamarole of adjusting and upgrading to make the thing work. (Cutting that Home Depot sourced honeycomb was grand!) And then lament .5 mm alignment issues because it was SO close. And then experience the joy of making one thing mingled with the agony (ok, kind of a strong word) of troubleshooting why your A+ software won’t take the jpg and just engrave it! (Needed to be 24 bit bmp, fyi.)

I honestly think that the Glowforge team should consider giving everyone who has ordered a Glowforge a free K40. In bulk, the price would no doubt be inline with the freebies. And few things would hone that desire for our 'forges quite like it!

All that to say, I am with you 100% in the “I wish I had my Glowforge, now!” camp. :slight_smile:


Careful what you ask for, sometimes the most expensive things are free!


I feel ya. I’ve got over 600 rabid students chomping at the bit, and a Dean asking where the expensive thing is, for over a year now. Every time I measure, mark, cut, and finish wood or acrylic I think about how much faster, easier, and accurate it would be. One day soon, we’ll see a new generation taking advantage of this new amazing technology (and taking it for granted). We won’t remember the waiting, we’ll be too busy keeping materials stocked and helping them fix their CAD designs.


Purely a hunch, but I would wager that any user with any number of kiddos around is excluded from getting a pre-release unit. I’m not saying that to be argumentative or anything, just that it would make sense from a liability standpoint. I’m likely entirely wrong.

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I hope not. I have littles. I’m not sure the liability goes much higher with a pre-release than a production copy; but I think 8 and 10-year-olds with adult supervision would probably be a bit helpful. Kids ask questions that adults don’t. Kids are full of ideas, and don’t have the vast experience that feeds preconceived perceptions.
Of course, I’m likely to be wrong, too.


I disagree. I think the more minds having access, the better. My 11 year old will likely use the 'forge most of all! (She’s the real artist of the family usually.) That would be, of course, with adult supervision. Although, with all of the safeguards built in, it seems rather child-proof. Plus, the idea is to get these things into schools, so…

To summarize, I don’t think children will negate pre-release unit shipment. :wink:

  • Tom

I think you don’t see the coverage from maker communities because maker communities will go with the cheap lasers that require tinkering. So covering Glowforge progress would be like covering Tesla progress. It is something they COULD use, sure. There are nifty things about it, absolutely. But it isn’t really a part of their community.

I had talked up my plans to use the Glowforge around town to get some maker spirit in the schools and broader community when I first backed. And then again each time we were coming up on a shipment promise. I’ve stopped doing that now. I look forward to carting my laser around and showing it off. But I don’t discuss it with anyone else anymore.


I hope you’re wrong here! Not from an argumentative standpoint, but because kids are the ultimate makers. As @cmreeder says:

Young minds don’t see the same creative limitations that adults impose on themselves. As such, I think that well supervised kids could be some of the best possible beta testers!


@thomas.alessi.jr @cmreeder @Drea

I based my thought on a couple of questions in the Beta User application that I didn’t remember correctly. (I thought that it expressly asked if children would have access to the machine.) I went back and re-read the application and it doesn’t ask that! I’m with all of you in valuing kiddos using the technology. It has been fun using the laser I bought to tide me over and hearing what ideas my kids come up with completely detached from reasonable expectations!