Glowforge down after 3 months - refurbished one is being offered?!

So, my orange light went on after 3 months of owning my plus… did all the trouble shooting with glow forge support and now need to send it in… Glowforge wants to send out a refurbished one.

I am not 100% sold on the reliability - especially after three months of owning one. They will not give me detailed information as far as hours run or projects made on the refurbished one they want to send. I am concerned because if they have done “extensive testing”, it had a prior user that it broke down for, and the laser tube lasts 10,000 hours (or less). How do I know what I am getting? Is this one going to break down after three months like my brand new one? Do I have valid concerns or am I over-reacting to the “refurbished” after I spent good money on a new one?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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When you buy anything new, it is no longer new the moment you open the box. If there are any weakness it will be found pretty quickly. Such machines are repaired to the best possible, and aside from extra beauty marks are then in better shape than new.

In the case of Glowforge many of the complaints are a lack of understanding rather than an actual problem with the machine, so “refurbished” is virtually new and hardly broken in. This is much faster than spending the time thoroughly testing your machine, fixing any problems, and sending your now “refurbished” machine back to you.


Well that is a good question though about the tube life. If it was returned fairly new then no problem but what if it is already 2 years old and something malfunctioned requiring it to be sent back? You could possibly have next to no time left on the tube and you don’t know it. I think they should let a person know exactly what they are getting. Total hours maybe?


“Total hours maybe?” Would be nice if I could see that at all, even on my perfectly functional machine.

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I agree.

They’ve never had the ability to track hours - or never implemented it - whatever makes you happier. I’m on year 3 of my replacement machine and it’s doing a beautiful job. Whoever got my refurb got a perfect machine because I was a dumbass and rather than try to do even more tech support over the phone they let me do an exchange.

Technically every single one is “used” because they thoroughly test each individual machine before shipping it out.

The biggest difference is time. If you get a refurb they’ll mail it out ASAP (usually 2 or so weeks). If you require yours be repaired then it could be almost any amount of time. Late last year they commented they were switching to a new repair facility and that they would offer refurbs while that was happening. As they are still offering refurbs its likely they are still in transition.

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I’m on year three of a warranty replacement. Seems like a no-brainer – keep broken unit or accept working refurb. Problem solved.


I can’t address the tube life/hours question. But, I was really concerned about receiving a refurbished unit when my original crashed on me. But, the unit I got was immaculate, and I’m 2 years in and still in love with it.



Chuckle! That’s good! :smile:


Thank you all. I will go ahead with a refurbished one. I am just disappointed that after 3 months my new one crapped out. Owell.


The same thing happened to me, but I don’t think my first one lasted even 3 months.

The one they sent me has been perfect ever since, no issues at all.

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I would not have any problem at all with receiving a refurb unit. I think people overestimate the actual difference between a factory fresh unit and one that’s been refurbished – the actual difference may be incredibly minimal or indeed nothing. In fact, it may BE a refurb because it was new and had a manufacturing issue, hence the return.

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If they can tell me how far my print head has moved in the last year (11 trips up the empire state building) in the email they sent out today, they can extrapolate how many hours on the laser as well. :slight_smile:


So you’re on the “never implemented” train.

In most cases, refurbished units are actually more reliable than new units, because every component of a refurbished unit is thoroughly tested. New units are not always tested.

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Good point!

I received a refurbished unit, it was immaculate as well. I have been very pleased.


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