Glowforge Pro/Basic Maintenance (Over time)

@Dan & Co.

Got a couple questions, After the warranty (6 months Basic - 12 Month Pro) expires - Let just say 12 months Basic and 24 months Pro how would the following be handled?

The GF (looks to be) using GT2 (or MXL) Belts, Overtime they tend to stretch. Is there a retensioner that’s end user accessible? And in a unforeseen of one snapping? Is that end user replaceable by a kit provided by GF? Or is that a send in for repair scenario?

Are the wheels for the linear rails standard (i.e V-Wheels or V-Slot Wheels) ? And are they made from delrin? (as these tend to either degrade or split over time) Have you guys thought about a replacement program for this? Or will you give the specs so the end user can source themselves?

On the Pro model will the ‘flap’ for the pass-thru be sold as a end user replaceable item? (I can see someone snapping the retention clips off) And the same question applies for the main lid and the hinges for it.

Calibration question- Is there a homing procedure that can be end user triggered? Or are the steppers in a closed loop configuration?

(This next question I searched the forums a couple of times and I did not find a clear direct answer- Just speculation) Is the water cooling loop on the GF closed loop or open looped, and if open loop is the fluid proprietary to GF or can other 3rd party GF approve fluids be used? i.e. The stuff I use for my VFD Spindle on my CNC.

And lastly- Will the power supply be available for purchase as a standalone if there is an unforeseen failure?

Also, Have you guys thought about a monthly/annual PPP (Product Protection Plan) for high volume users?


Good questions!
Regarding the cooling, it is a closed loop on both machines -[quote=“dan, post:6, topic:198, full:true”]
You’re quite right - it’s closed loop, but it’s active.
[/quote] and Dan (a few days ago) says the thermal testing looks good.

The questions about wear are a good point. Users like me will not be subjecting their unit to commercial duty, but many may. Vastly different uses, and so replacement schedules will be very different.
By the time I need new belts or wheels, you will have done it a few times.
Good points to consider, and plan for.

Very good questions that I would also like answers to.

Typed up a response to this question 3 times now. But the question is not really answerable at this stage in development. The Glowforge is not a DIY machine like the XCarve. There are parts that are clearly not user serviceable like the power supply. The Glowforge is also not under the same physical and environmental stress (metal shavings, etc.) as a desktop CNC. I guess the company will have to decide whether something can be replaced by the user without causing more trouble than what it’s worth. Otherwise, ship it back. Just because you or I can take every screw and electrical component apart and get it back together doesn’t mean it’s smart to allow the average purchaser to do so.


Regardless, I’d still like to know if it’s repairable or adjustable. This is not something I plan on tossing if it dies after the warranty or toss out and just get a new one. Even though the price point is attractive- this is not something I’d like to have to repurchase every couple years because of a small component failure.

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Understood. Wasn’t suggesting that you can’t repair everything or that Glowforge hasn’t planned on repair parts. You can’t have a warranty without having every part available. Just that the company has been very non-committal on component specifics and has said that spare parts won’t be available initially. All spare parts would only be going toward building the units, and warranty, for the foreseeable future. Doubt that any announcement as to what parts will be available is coming anytime soon. Also doubt they yet understand which repairs will be user performed and which are needed to be done by them or approved technicians. Given how close the design specifics are held I would be surprised if Dan told you the fuze sizes.

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@rpegg is, unsurprisingly, right on. We’re not sharing component details (like the cooling fluid) and we don’t plan out of the gate to have parts available for sale. I don’t know if that’ll change over time; it’ll likely depend on how much demand there is, and for what parts. In terms of questions I can answer:

  • We’ve designed with the belts we’re using before and have taken stretch into account
  • I’m not going to share the homing procedure, but I will tell you - there are no limit switches :slight_smile:
  • We have definitely thought about “super pro” usage, extra warranties, etc; we need to put machines out in the field before we know how to price them fairly, though. If we priced it now, we’d have to be conservative and overcharge, which doesn’t seem fair to you.

Being in a similar situation of launching a new product soon, and being pestered for a service plan, I asked, “it’s brand new, what’s going to break that isn’t in warranty?” and then I answered, “everything is dropable.” For those few instances we can take out of the inventory for production.

@dan this all seems reasonable. The challenge you are facing is you have folks who want this to be like their regular laser printer at home (black box, feed consumables into - get result out) and those of us who own X-carves and have endless debates about dust boot design. I’m the guy when the FiOS tech was installing the box and forgot his punchdown tool, my question was “110 or 66”, and I have a box with GT2 belts as spares, while others will stare blankly at this message and wonder what a GT2 belt even is.

It’s a tough crowd to please, as my wife (brilliant surgeon, technically incompetent) will just want to know about it in a black-box manner, while I want all the details. Since things like high-quality belts, idler wheels, etc are pretty available to all us makers already, unless there is compelling reason you probably won’t have to sell them yourselves (unless you use a non-standard material/size or something). But recognizing the community is split like this, once the product is out and in use, giving info on replicability will keep maker folks happy.


I’m the guy who Googles FiOS and punchdown tools to make sure I understand what geeks are talking about and am wistful when I don’t have one of my own.


hey! I don’t stare blankly! I am highly offended sir :wink: ! I happen to have finally gotten the hang of doing G O O G L E searches


apparently I’m that guy too lol :slight_smile: I wish I knew more, but all I can do is learn. and want. I do a lot of wanting in these forums…

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I used to stare normally, then I looked into the wrong end of a laser tube to see if the laser was coming out… do not recommend.

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_“I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.”

  • Richard Feynman_

Ooh, that’s a good quote, Me likey :slight_smile:


Thats a good one!
I like this one too:


He gave a lecture on culture here in Denver to a packed auditorium I was fortunate to attend.
Very educational and thought-provoking! I love that guy.

How poetic that Carl Sagan personally encouraged a teenageer to follow his dream of becoming an astrophysicist - a young man who eventually presented the next generation of “Cosmos” to the world and now carries Dr. Sagan’s title as “Showman of Science” forward.
For a teacher, igniting a young intellect is the highest achievement. Dr. Sagan would be so very proud.
There is a legacy!



Was reviewing the discussion from last night about homing switches. Wasn’t able to comment at the time. I can think of a half dozen ways to determine head position without homing switches. Standard desktop printers use some interesting techniques. But Dan mentioned one registration technique that they use below.