Glowforge Plus?

I may be the odd person out here. But I’m really excited that they are offering more models. In my head, the bigger the base of users, the better features and options we will get in the long run. I guess I’m just selfish!


I honestly thought it had the better cooling since it had the higher power tube, until I took the time to read through the full update. After hearing it was just a speed and power increase my interest dropped a lot. The better cooling is what I wanted out of the pro, I just couldn’t justify the extra cost for that piece


You know what accessory I would like? A different lens that is calibrated to zero at the bottom of the GF. Swap in your “deep lens”, and viola, no more dumb math to cut/engrave without the tray.

Of course… physics comes into play, I don’t know if you can get a lens arrangement to work that will focus across the 1.8" or so inch range that this would imply. That being said, I’m not a optics engineer, so someone more well versed than I might have a different opinion here.

(Secret hope: this existing setup can focus that whole range, but the software prevents it for now. I don’t have a lot of confidence in this idea, but it’s a nice little dream…)


I looked at that. Measured it against all the I don’t want to/can’t keep my glowforge location that cool basic threads and decided it might be nice for some people but the absence of the active cooling setup means it’s just not much gain over the basic. and we probably won’t see the plus plus I’d live because there is insufficient differentiation from the Pro with that setup to justify another model.

I expect people want more power but need more temperature range. If you’re temp challenged (no air conditioning) then more power may well not provide you anything because that will create more heat which will trigger the temp pauses.


Assuming that the pro tube doesn’t have different efficiency from the basic, you’d expect the heat generated to be roughly linear like the power, so we’re talking about a wash, maybe? In theory, the increased heat generated is offset by shorter runtimes that the pro tube would allow.

I’m no optics engineer either. The lens basically is like a monocle lens. I believe Glowforge went with a 50mm/2” lens. It has a set, or ideal focal distance from the lens. The autofocus is achieved by moving the lens up and down inside the head.

So you could achieve a different focal range (lens design + movement in the head) with a different lens. It has a host of differences though that come with it and alter the behavior. A longer lens, so to speak, generally increases the spot size - so you’d lose detail on engravings, larger kerf, etc. but it should also cut thicker materials better (take that at face value and not considering things like internal reflection) - because the beam stays in convergence for a deeper/longer period.

You could also go the opposite way and have a shorter lens that would allow for even finer detail, but with less cutting capability.

The 2.0”/50mm lens is basically a good all-purpose lens.


Not sure that’ll be the case - the GF power settings aren’t really linear and the delta between Full 40 and Full 45 is unknown since we don’t know the watts they’re pushing.

It’s like when you’re running out of gas in the car - are you better off driving slowly for more mileage but longer time or faster for less mileage but get to the gas station faster? :slightly_smiling_face:

I expect the answer would be situational and based on what you’re cutting. So in making a pick for features, go with power because that’s what people think they need. Realistically though there’s not that much difference for the average user. You really want to get to 60/80/100 watts for real speed or cut capacity improvements and I’m not sure if the tube on gantry design lends itself to faster speeds than we’re seeing.

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I don’t know about faster speeds for the gantry (than what the max are) but there should be plenty of leeway in cutting speed for thicker materials (if you were to go, say 60-watt). But, that would just be hypothetical speak because the power output is in almost direct relationship with tube size - so 60 Watts ain’t happening (is my guess)

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I tend to agree. The Redsail’s tube is much longer. The mainstream vendors provide for extension boxes that cover the end of the tube when it all won’t fit inside the machine.

There are some very tricky ways to make higher power tubes in the same length (diameter does expand though) but as you can guess they make for very expensive tubes :slightly_smiling_face:

To clarify for the readers at home. By ‘tube size’ is meant ‘tube length’. To get more power out of the tube, the tube has to lengthen. With a CO2 laser, increasing the diameter of the tube, or increasing the pressure of the gas, has deleterious effects on maintaining the population inversion that is necessary for successful light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.


uh… yeah… much clearer.

Of course, I know what a “population inversion” is, but in case someone else doesn’t, why don’t you explain it? :wink:

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But not entirely correct. A CO2 laser tube is not a single tube - it has chambers. You can increase the outside tube diameter without increasing the internal volume or changing the gas pressures. Expensive higher wattage tubes with the same length are larger diameter but there is more internal plumbing inside to properly route the gas discharge (which is one reason the diameter gets larger).

And then of course there are the metal tubes which have their own design geometry (& prices :slightly_smiling_face:).

This won’t be much consolation to you but… There were three price increases post-campaign… $1995 to $2395 to $2995 to $3995… and it sounds like you at least got in on the second increase to $2995 in late 2016.

Could be worse? :tired_face:

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Lol, the more you know hahha. I ordered March 30th 2016, which hardly counts as late 2016, but whatever :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: see below, but so there’s less confusion: I order in 2017, not 2016. Sorry all

Well, then that means you are incorrect about having paid more than the current pricing. :slight_smile:

Pricing in March 2016 was $2395. I ordered in February 2016 at the same price.


My account page says otherwise, as does my credit card…

Oooooooor I’m dumb…

I ordered in 2017 ROFL. I get my years mixed up…

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it all seems so long ago, LOL! :smile:

so you can get different lenses for the industrial lasers. and they’re often meant to deal with different thicknesses or finer detail.


those machines create focus by changing the bed height. and they tend to have much larger ranges in the bed heights (mine accommodates up to 9" tall). there’s a lot more flexibility to do this kind of focusing because of that. with the GF head, your focal chances are minimal.


Also, most of those are already in your Glowforge tube - to pick two visible examples, they have metal ends, and a catalyst applied. Our lasers cost about 3x as much as similar lasers that do not have the variety of performance and lifetime improvements.