Glowforge 2 Speculation


#1

As we wait for our toy to arrive for Christmas, I am starting to wonder what will be the successor to this great machine… What kinds of features would you guys want, before even knowing what the Glowforge will do?
Here are a couple things that I could think of:
Lathe
deeper bed
more power!
cuts metal
angles other than 90, so you could bevel your cuts
removes rust from metal


When will second run production models be expected to roll out?
#2

makes coffee
does laundry
feeds husband
massages sore muscles

(well, you asked!) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#3

More powerful, of course, but not so much it looses it’s self contained footprint. I think deeper bed and lathe are a given. For me a way to cut at different angles would be the next revolution for laser cutting, and I think the optical alignment system may be the bridge to get there. The option of an actual network port would be good too :blush:


#4

yes, exactly that!
it’s fun to dream :grin:


#5

I’d love to see v2 have a redesigned filter that would allow for a media change via a slide-out drawer or cartridge rather than needing to disconnect the machine’s exhaust hose & lift a rather large, bulky, expensive & somewhat heavy piece of equipment off of the top of it.


#6

Deeper bed so that you could engrave cups and rounded material like jars and bottles, or Christmas wise, ornaments. Plus, the cutting and engraving metal, that was a disappointment, but one I could live with


#7

More power would certainly be interesting. It seems like they are really pushing the existing methods of cooling into new realms, as compared to having a bucket of water sitting next to the machine.

The biggest thing I’d like to see is more Z-depth and rotary but you start to get away from the desktop type footprint at that point and into industrial-sized standalone equipment.

I think previously mentioned were an interest towards developing a fiber laser.


#8

I want a GF Mini with a diode laser array and a crawler attachment so that it can cover an unlimited object size. (And gecko feet on the crawler so it can zap upsidedown.) And a battery pack.


#9

I get the sense that if you want a CNC to cut metal at home, you need a mill or possibly a water jet like the Wazer.

The power required to cut metal with a laser (especially with CO2) is probably beyond what a typical household outlet can safely supply.


#10

I would see a split in the company. One group does refinement of the Glowforge itself for successor models (with little tweaks like more Z height), and another works on a new product to be innovative for bringing from factory to household.

Wazer already did waterjets, and CNC routers are very well covered. So I would guess maybe Fiber lasers as a semi-easy transition to a new field. Or maybe something which can serve as support for the Glowforge (finishing or joining techniques that are hard to do by hand? Cannot think of any way to automate a wide array at once though).

I am not sure if there are any decent injection molding options out there. The AnyForge (allforge?) thing did not look very promising, but I haven’t checked back on it in a long time.

The only reason I don’t lobby for “Don’t do that! Forget new machines, just keep working on this one to get it more amazing!” is that currently the company has many employees who are phenomenal with hardware innovation, and once the hardware on this model is finalized… what on earth are they going to do?

Ideally, nobody is over-specialized, and most can transition to software development to get the nifty features we are waiting for out of the Hopper and into reality. But if I am honest with myself, I do not believe too many people are equally skilled in hardware and software, while also finding enjoyment in working on both…


#11

I want it to turn to my Glowforge 1 and say “So you’ve been here since December 2016?”…


#12

Of course, as most of you know, I would vote for a variable power blu-ray based Glowforge Nano as an enabling technology to produce new tailor made graphene based sensors, 3D memory storage devices, supercapacitors, etc. With it we could make cellphones that could sense the composition of your breath, detect carbon monoxide while you sleep and alert you, and detect bio markers like blood sugar, oxygen saturation, hormone levels etc.


#13

More z depth would have a big impact on shipping cost. I’d settle for a removable base.


#14

Z-depth, Lathe, and a larger passthrough slot options are the only things that I know I’m going to definitely want in the future… I do a LOT of work with material that is approximately 1.5 inches thick. If the GF passthrough would have accepted up to 2" thick material, I would have upgraded to Pro many months ago.

I also make wooden mugs (approximately 4" Diameters) and being able to engrave them after I’ve made them would be AMAZING. As it is, I’ll have to laser the pieces before I assemble it and make sure I’m precise enough to put them together so that the image is not shifted or distorted.


#15

I want my Glowforge 1 to be rock solid, then I’ll speculate on the next model more, but my quick thoughts on the professional side of laser engraving:

  1. Speed is money: More power and faster engraving and cutting are the key feature improvements every laser manufacturer is striving for, because professional engravers make their money in saved time

  2. Software: GF will almost certainly blow the competition’s software out of the water. Unless GF has a huge UX miss, continuous improvements in software will be a big deal if they speed up time to the job

  3. Z-depth: 1.5 inch depth is a joke for professional engravers.

  4. Price-point: There are other lasers out there with similar power and higher speed than GF for the 4-6k range, but they’re terribly hard to use and require lots of tinkering. Professional level machines are 4-20 times as expensive. If GF is shown to be reliable and can build a professional level machine with items 1 through 3 above and a lower price point (as they’ve done with GF1) they’ll be well positioned to take on the professional laser market.


#16

Great info, thanks. I really didn’t consider cutting metal until it said I couldn’t. I don’t know how much I would use it. There are thousands of things that I have lined up for the Glowforge before I need to think about it, so I am good. Thanks though, all good info


#17

That’s really the only thing that’s been mentioned that’s new to the industry (except @Jules request for coffee/laundry/etc :slight_smile:)

Deeper beds, Z-height adjustments and rotary engraving are all available in sub-$1000 lasers now so I’d expect those to be a “must have” just to stay in the game. Variable angle engraving/cutting would be very new & different. Kind of a laser 4-axis CNC where the head and table move in conjunction with each other to allow for exotic cuts that aren’t available now.

Otherwise FSL will likely be the predominant player with their Muse (should it deliver next month as promised at a similar price point). GF will need to raise the bar for the tech & usability for version 2.


#18

Well, I hate to bring this up after the price increase. Dan mentioned several months ago that it was 2" with tray removed.

From the specs page:
Maximum thickness of material with tray removed: 2″ (50mm)


#19

that’s the enclosed bed area, though, not the passthrough.


#20

That’ll teach me to read this forum before a cup (or 3) of coffee. :coffee:️:coffee:️:coffee:️

I agree with limitations on passthrough material depth.