Waiting for my GF I got to thinking about where to put it and how to protect it from my cnc dust in my workshop. Also wondering over time what are the field replacement components if any for it, like a PC. What components are there, and are they available to replace by an owner? Fan, stepper motors, belt, circuit board etc?
The biggest one will be the laser tube. Originally, they were going to require that you ship the unit back when you needed any service including a tube replacement. They have since stated they will provide an option for you to replace your own tube. They recently added a “spare parts” section to the Glowforge store. Right now, it only includes things like lens, mirrors, and the crumb tray. I suspect they haven’t given much thought yet to have owners replace boards and motors but I could be wrong.
Stepper motors never wear out in my experience. Belts do on a 3D printer after about three years of continuous use. They seem to be standard GT2 6mm belts so are readily obtainable.
The electronics would most likely only be obtainable from GF.
Fans wear out eventually. As long as they are standard parts it should be easy to find suitable replacements if they have manufacturers part numbers on them. If they are custom made for GF you might only get them from there. I don’t know how easy it is to access them.
Also water pumps wear out.
Good post, and great questions.
These items are in the Glowforge catalog for purchase.
Laser head mirror
Laser head lens
So Glowforge must be thinking that these are replaceable items.
There was at least one example posted here where someone received a replacement module and instructions, rather than having to send the whole unit back. I think they said they were trying it out.
I believe it was the module that holds the head. Pretty certain it was on of the wheels on that assembly that slides the head of the gantry that broke.
There are two primary parts that may need attention.
First, if you get a model with the air filter, is the filter cartridge. It’s difficult to estimate how often the filter cartridge needs to be replaced because it depends not just on how much you use it but on the material you use. Hardwoods aren’t very taxing but plywood might be, depending entirely on the glue (which is usually hard to figure out). It’s just going to vary a great deal, with light users pushing past a year between changes, and heavy users who are cutting nonstop turning them over as often as every month or so. We’re working on filter pricing, but we expect it’s going to come in under $250.
Second, for every model, is the tube. The Glowforge tube is custom made - it’s bigger than most desktop units (850mm) and has some modifications for longer lifetime and smaller spot size. It’s rated by the manufacturer for 2 years, but we’re doing lifetime testing now to dial that in a little more closely. The tube is covered under the warranty. Out of warranty, we’ll replace it and realign it for you for $499, including roundtrip shipping in the US. We’ll also have a replacement tube part available for purchase.
Replacement Filters for Air-filter