GF won't turn on... STILL

I posted this problem and 30 minutes ago and boy was it shut down quickly. GF offered a refurbished machine for $1000 USD because the machine is not repairable remotely, which although no doubt is a great offer but seriously, is this machine a boat anchor now?

Not powering on, if everything on your side (circuits, etc.) are ok, is indicative of a power supply issue. Whether it’s a capacitor or just a faulty switch, nothing on the power supply is user-serviceable.


So you are complaining about a Quick response? When the machine cannot be user repaired that is what happens. A refurbished machine is what your machine would be if repaired, and in many ways better than new in that it is better tested than new, as only experts test the new ones (and the refurbished ones after the nonexperts test created a problem that was solved, and tested by experts again)

Your machine also has value that is the price of a new one minus the $1000 which is far more than a boat anchor of similar weight in the water.


Not sure what the actual complaint is here. Your machine fails out of warranty but they are willing to replace for a fraction of the cost of a new machine?

As stated, the power supply is not user-serviceable.


No, not complaining about a quick response, rather that a comment post was closed down without a chance for discourse. The problem for repair is similar to what iphone users are finding… if you have an issue, the answer is “send it to Seattle for repair”, which can be a problem. Surely I am not the first person with this problem, so how about a more constructive solution that doesn’t involve me coming up with more than $1200(CDN) to repair a machine with very reasonable use that cost close to $8000CDN (cost, shipping, taxes, custom duties etc). You are right, a 100lb anchor is about $200 and, at this point, is just about as good as the Glowforge for working with wood. To be clear, I have had great success with the GF, it is a very good machine, but I would expect a $6000USD machine to not crap out after two years of reasonable use.

I think we would all agree. However, it is a machine and stuff happens to machines. Myself and several others have been fortunate to have our original Glowforges since the very beginning…with no issues, or at the least, very few issues. For me now, 4 years 5 months.


They closed the post because you had already sent them an email - it’s their standard procedure since a post in problems and supports equals a support ticket like an email does. When duplicate issues come up for the same user they combine them and generally favor email since, often, personal info is involved.


If there was a prior email exchange, then opening another thread here gives it a new support number so when they figure out that this or any other support issue already has a number they close down the new one and respond to the old one. So issues here are often shut down without resolution because there was prior conversation.

In your case apparently, the issue was closed as they already offered a resolution of a post-warranty exchange that it was now up to you to take or leave. I recently did exactly that paying ~$1000 as an estimated repair bill with shipping for an exchange on a pro. If it had still been under warranty the same thing would have happened, but they would have paid that bill.


That makes sense!

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It was designed with a 2-yr life expectancy.

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Thanks for taking the time to explain. It makes sense. I’m a bit frustrated though because the machine is used in my classroom. A $1000 repair bill is just not in the budget and if it is going to potentially cost that again in a year or two, the money really isn’t there. It was a very useful machine for my students but might turn out to be too expensive for the school. Not sure what the next step is because right now it is just a nice looking machine sitting in my shop.

3000 a year. wow. that is disappointing and surprising.

Many have seen more - I’ve had mine for over 4 years and all is fine - but it’s basically just an expensive tool for those that have the means.

I have had tools fail that would cost more to ship back and forth to repair than it would cost to just go buy a new one.

Heck, my dishwasher failed after only 2 years, and I live alone so it was only used every couple of weeks. The failed part alone cost more than a new (and better) machine, despite the fact I could have replaced it myself.


The weird irony often is the old, simple machines last so long. I picked up a 20 year old washer for $150 and it still runs perfectly. The Glowforge is a very expensive tool that sadly cant be used in my class anymore. I’m pretty shocked that Glowforge can’t offer a better support on a part such as a power supply, or set up a Canadian repair spot. We have a couple of really decent techs up here :slight_smile:

I haven’t seen that declared anywhere officially. They did say that the tube had a “life expectancy” of 2 years but that’s a $500 consumable repair and honestly haven’t seen any real activity on the forums of people having to have their tube replaced. That’s likely more of a rule-of-thumb based on the low wattage CO2 tube industry experience. Many (most?) last much longer. I’ve replaced only one tube in 10 years and that was on a not-GF machine.

The rest of the machine should last longer than 2 years. There’s nothing else of a consumable nature and the electronics aren’t all that fragile except the wiring harnesses (mostly user replaceable) and the belts/wheels (also user replaceable). The bespoke power supply is the most likely major part to fail and that requires a trip to the mothership & likely $1000.

The “2 year design life” is something I’d like to chase down though if you’ve got somewhere you can point me. It would be a useful thing to provide for folks who are looking to buy in and it makes a Trotec, Epilog or Universal a more attractive alternative based on TCO and lifespan.


I’ve moved your post to Everything Else since it seems you’re looking for discussion with owners rather than a different answer from :glowforge:

That being said - there are a number of folks on here who have done things that are way outside of what the company calls “user serviceable”. Do you need to return your old machine to get the replacement? If not - you could try to repair it. If you are, you can decide to try to repair it rather than exchanging (pretty certain that would void the return offer though). There are cheaper lasers out there, from more established companies, but none of them are plug and play - that was the selling point of the :glowforge: and why so many of us (including you) invested in a product from a startup. In another 5 or 10 years they may have repair facilities in multiple locations, and a supply chain that never runs out…but that’s not today.


Boy howdy, that’s the truth. Just saw a video with a guy whose Tesla Model Y was rear-ended. Tesla is cranking out Ys as fast as robotically possible, but it will still take a couple months to get the rear-quarter panels needed for repair.

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There are folks here that have run their machines hard for several years and never had an issue. I have had two replaced in four years. One by warranty and one since. For something like your washer, there are few critical parts. A much newer one would have more electronics, and more places to fail. The Glowforge has thousands of critical parts and it only takes one not working correctly to bring it to a screeching halt (with the owner doing most of the screeching)

I would really love for any technology to be made modular that even without repairing everything you could more cheaply (ship and) replace the module. There is even a political movement called 'right of repair" explicitly focused on that.

Still, $1000 to have a several thousand dollar machine is worth it even if you turn around and sell the machine. If you have a friend who would put up the money to replace plus what you can get, you would lose a lot less than keeping it for a desk ornament :grin:

Or you could put up the money yourself and never have a problem ever after that, or have a problem within the week (there is a 30-day warranty). If I had it in the classroom I would be very careful what parts I let the kids (or even adults) do with it as that is likely 70%mol of the problems, including my first issues. Think of it as more of a gamble than a cost of operation, and a gamble you have some control over the odds.

One of my previous Glowforge Pro needed a replacement tube due to apparent end-of-life. It went into service in October 2019, and by July of 2021 was not able to consistently cut 1/4" material any more. GF customer support tried tweaking cut speeds to buy me some more time with it, but by August of 2021 (22 months old) we all agreed it was not putting out enough power any more and I paid for the replacement.

My Glowforge usage is 80% continuous full-power cuts on full sheets of 1/4" MDF (thick draftboard or equivalent), for several hours at a time, multiple days a week. So a tube probably lasts a lot longer if you don’t run as hard as that. Budgeting at least $250 a year for tube life would not be a bad idea regardless.


I was referring specifically to the officially stated (by dan, at least) 2-yr tube life and this owners situation - being outside of the US, that means you’re pretty much done, as it’s impractical to ship it back for repair, and pointing out that $1000 is actually a pretty good deal, but shipping and duties has not been discussed.

In this case it appears to be the power supply but the reality is, if you got your 2 years, you’re doing ok.

Put another way, you have to go into it expecting no more than 2 years. We all know there are a significant number of owners (myself included) that have been lucky enough to get much more.