I just tried buying some proof grade materials on the Glowforge site but it’s just announced you no longer ship to the UK. This means I no longer get the subscription discount as that doesn’t apply in Hobbycraft. So apart from access to ‘faster’ servers, what do UK Glowforge owners get from subscription benefits? Also, if Hobbycraft stop stocking Glowforge materials, where does that leave us?
Welcome! A lot depends on what you expect to do with your Glowforge. If you have some sort of a store to sell things you make with your Glowforge and need a wide variety of stuff to fill it, the subscription is a goldmine of excellent free designs you are able to make and display.
If you are selling only your own designs in a gallery then the free designs are not so interesting. However, if you are personalizing what you make with the person’s name etc. then the GFUI ability to change the text while keeping the font etc. is a big time saver as even with a graphic editor you would have to reload the design each time you changed something.
In terms of other conveniences, I am not sure what recent things are subscription only as I am on subscription but even just the convenience is worth it for me plus they are always adding new stuff to both subscription and non-subscription.
FYI, this is a forum of GF users, not GF staff. It sounds like you may be looking for an official answer from Glowforge here, and they don’t read the forum as a rule. You’ll need to email email@example.com for an official response.
You don’t need Glowforge materials. The only ones I have are what was granted to founders and I rarely use them. I get my materials from local hardware stores. The only exception has been when they had a huge discount on acrylic to make ear-savers.
As to other “benefits”, the built-in design app is terrible and completely unnecessary. The UI is just a layout tool. The only thing that might be helpful is the free designs if you’re not able to make your own.
I am talking about designs you simply use in the GFUI. Just using and selling those would easily pay for the cost of Premium. Many need the same thickness of PG wood but all acrylic is the same and most designs are not relevant to the thickness of the material.