Glowforge shipping date, beta releases, and bonus materials

This email was sent to all pre-order backers on 4/19/2016, and is copied here for discussion and future reference.

We have a lot of news. So much so, I’m going to start out with a short summary before I get into the details.

  • Due to schedule delays, we plan to ship your Glowforge by December 2016 (for orders placed during the 30 day pre-order campaign) or March 2017 (for orders placed subsequently) instead of our original date of 2016. New orders will ship after yours.
  • We feel terrible about this delay, and by way of apology, we are including $200 of extras.
  • Your Glowforge will ship with $150 worth of Proofgrade™ materials as a free bonus.
  • Your preorder will include a $50 gift certificate to the Glowforge design catalog.
  • You will receive Glowforge Founder status.
  • Your Glowforge Founder status entitles you to a 10% discount on all catalog and materials purchases.
  • Your Glowforge will be assembled in the USA.
  • You can read beta user reports the forum now.
  • You can see Glowforge printers in action at Maker Faire Bay Area, Seattle, and NYC.
  • I will be answering questions live in our forum all day today, and in a live Q&A tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11:30 AM pacific time.
  • Should you decide that you no longer want your Glowforge reservation for any reason, you may cancel and reverse all charges at any time until your unit ships.

If this seems like a long update, well - it is. We heard you loud and clear that we were sending too much email. So as of our last email, we moved regular updates to and save only big updates for email. Like this one.
But first… I apologize. I worked very hard to deliver your Glowforge on time, and I am sorry that I failed you. Our team has been amazing and done everything possible. This is on me.

Schedule delay

When we launched six months ago, we scheduled our production with room for delays, but we’ve just made the painful decision move our shipping schedule for pre-orders to 2017.

I know that it’s important to you to get your Glowforge order on time. It’s important to us too. In fact, it’s what we think of every day when we come into work. It’s what we obsess over when we’re building schedules and running tests. We think about the trust you placed in us, and how to best pay it back.

And we know there’s only one thing we can do that’s more important than shipping on time: shipping the incredible product that you deserve.

It’s been an intense six months since we completed our crowdfunding campaign, and while there have been many ups and downs, we hit one problem we just couldn’t get past in time - our power supply. Although it was scheduled to be complete in November last year, we’ve only just received units that met our stringent performance, safety, and reliability requirements. For that reason, we’re only now releasing beta units.

We could hit the gas and start churning out huge numbers of printers in time to meet June. We would love to do that. We want you to have your printer. It makes us feel terrible to contemplate letting you down.

But we’d feel worse about compromising on quality. We just got this power supply. Everything has been working well together, but we haven’t had enough time to feel confident that it will meet your expectations.

We have dealt with many surprises along the way, and will doubtless overcome a few more before we’re done. We’re moving our delivery schedule to 2017 because that gives us enough room to guarantee the product is as good as you deserve. We are going to test our builds constantly, ramp production slowly, and deliver your amazing 3D laser printer in 2017.

You believed in us. You made this happen. You’ve stuck with us this long. And that’s why we’re going to do something extra for you. Actually, somethings.

$150 of Proofgrade™ materials, free

We wanted to make sure your Glowforge prints perfectly every time, so we developed a line of materials designed specifically for lasers, called Proofgrade™. We’ve commissioned custom plywood with laser-safe glue and no internal knots, top quality leather tanned without the use of harmful chemicals, and more. While your Glowforge will work with any laser-compatible materials, we’ve created these to offer the very best experience.

Proofgrade materials are not just the highest quality - they have special features designed just for your Glowforge. For example, you can draw directly on them. There’s a paper masking applied to the material, with a low-tack laser-compatible adhesive so it’s easy to remove. You may have seen the incredible tracing power of your Glowforge - not only can you design directly with a pen, you can cut the material in half just by drawing a line!

The paper masking also protects the material during the print process. It keeps the edges looking crisp and new so your print comes out perfectly. When you’re done, you just peel it off to reveal your perfect print underneath. Alternately, you can peel off some of it, and then paint the material before removing the rest - making it easy to add color and interest to your creation.

Best of all, the paper has embedded codes that your Glowforge can read. This is absolutely magical. You may have heard that with lasers, you have to cut and engrave test pieces over and over again to learn the right power and settings, and you have to do it separately every time you use a new material. As you’d imagine, that’s a frustrating, slow, and expensive process. Proofgrade materials do away with all of that. Your Glowforge recognizes the material, automatically configures itself, and prints perfectly.
Best of all, Proofgrade materials will be priced competitively with the same types of materials in stores.

Wait, no: the best part is that you get $150 worth of assorted hardwoods, veneers, plywood, acrylic, and more, included with your Glowforge at no charge, as a gift for your patience.

$50 gift certificate for our design catalog, free

As you know, we’re going to launch with a design catalog full of amazing designs, ranging from wallets to wall art, purses to picture frames, and dollhouses to drones.

No matter how creative you are, it’s always inspiring to see what other artisans have done before. For that reason, we’re giving you a $50 gift certificate to choose your favorite patterns to print. These designs are crafted by experts to work perfectly on your Glowforge.

You’ll have a multitude of designs to choose from, so the only question is… what do you want to print first?

You will receive Glowforge Founder status

You probably know that Glowforge has become a phenomenon. We’re backordered for months, and more people are getting in line every day. Ultimately, this is because of you. You believed in us and made everything we’ve done possible. That’s the reason we’re buying more than $1.5 million of materials for you, why we’re giving you more than $500,000 in catalog gift certificates, and why we’re working so hard to deliver the product you paid for and deserve.

We want to recognize that one more way: we are giving you Glowforge Founder status. We’re dreaming up benefits for you, but for starters:

  • You’ll get a 10% discount on all of your Proofgrade™ material orders through 2017.
  • You’ll get a 10% discount when purchasing from our design catalog through 2017.
  • We’ll recognize you as a Glowforge Founder in your profile forever.

Your Glowforge will be assembled in the USA

We originally planned to assemble Glowforge printers in a second-tier factory in mainland China, where labor costs were lower, as a way to make the product more affordable.

We upgraded.

Your Glowforge is being manufactured by one of the best-respected manufacturers in the world, in a facility used for producing Fortune-500 consumer electronics products. They have an unparalleled reputation for quality. And the factory is in the United States. Parts are sourced from all over the world, then final assembly and quality assurance happens in the USA.

We’re building our beta units there already.

You can read beta user reports the forum now.

Prolific forum contributor Josh Kopel is posting up a storm with projects on his beta unit in the “Laser Made” department of the forum. We love this because we can actually see what real customers do with their Glowforge and what they print with it. This is helping us build an even better product for you.

If you applied to be a beta tester, we’re still adding new testers to the list - you don’t need to do anything else. If you haven’t applied, you still can right here. Our beta users get a stack of Proofgrade materials to experiment with, too.

You can see Glowforge printers in action at Maker Faire Bay Area, Seattle, and NYC.

As much as we try to focus our time on shipping, we love meeting you in person! Even more importantly, we want you to be able to see the machines, ask us questions, and know what you’re going to receive. So while we normally (regretfully) decline invitations to events, we’ve scheduled a few where you can print something on a Glowforge yourself.

We’ll be bringing printers to Maker Faire Bay Area (May 18 - 21), Mini Maker Faire Seattle (September 17 - 18), and World Maker Faire New York (October 1 -2), and we hope to see many of you there. We’ll also let you know when we’re planning to host another, larger open house at our new Seattle office sometime this fall.

I’m available right now for Q&A.

I’ll be in the community forum all day today, along with some of my colleagues, answering questions. (If you need to set up an account to post, you can find instructions here.) I will also host a live Q&A tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11:30 AM Pacific time. Check the Announcements section of the forum at 11:30 and look for “April 2016 Q&A with Dan”.

Should you decide that you no longer want your Glowforge for any reason, you may cancel and reverse all charges at any time until your unit ships.

I know you didn’t make the decision to pre-order your Glowforge lightly, and you’re eagerly awaiting the day a (very large) box arrives on your doorstep. But I also understand if you can’t wait any longer. We’ll cancel your order, reverse the payment, and give your place in line to someone else.

We want what’s right for you. We’d rather have you as a happy customer some time in the future than an unhappy customer right now.

But before you do, please read carefully so that you’re not disappointed later:

  • You’ll give up your place in line. All things being equal, we ship based on order date. If you cancel, there’s no way to get your order date back.
  • You’ll lose your pre-order pricing. You paid 40% less than MSRP. Our prices have already gone up once and may do so again. We will be unable to reinstate your earlier pricing.
  • You’ll miss out on the $200 of materials and catalog designs that you have received for being a pre-order customer.
  • You’ll forfeit Glowforge Founder status and the 10% material and purchasing discount.
  • Cancellation is irreversible. If you change your mind, you can come back and place a new order at the then-current price, but we cannot undo a cancellation.

If you do need to cancel, instructions are here.

Thank you

We owe you a debt of gratitude and thanks. It’s not everyone who can see the potential in a tool that the rest of the world can barely imagine existing. Together, we’re a ten-thousand-strong community of creators who will astonish the world with what we can do.

We cannot wait until the day when we deliver your Glowforge to you.



Thank you Dan (and staff) for your openness, hard work, and commitment to this product. I know that this must not have been easy for you all. I remain completely faithful in your commitment to providing an amazing product and experience. And thank you for you the extras. It means a lot.


I just want to say thanks for the honesty and for being willing to risk user ire to deliver a product that you can have confidence in. I would much rather have an update and a delay than a product that you are less than confident in. Keep up the good work!


Well…my June Christmas was just cancelled :frowning:
I understand delays…but such a major disappointment as I was counting down the days and was making plans on how I would be using the GF.

Not to compare the two (I trust GF), but this is my second ever crowdfunded buy-in and both have had significant delays. The other, The Grid, was a miserable failure on almost every level. I still have very high hopes that when GF does deliver, it’ll be worth the wait.

I just hope another competitor with a similar project doesn’t come along and tempt me in the mean time :slight_smile:

Good luck with GF…see you in 8 months.


Wow. Holy shit, I wasn’t really expecting the delay to be essentially a year from what the pre-order campaign intimated (yes, I understand the marketing, but it’s still what was suggested with the shipping by December tagline).

I’m definitely not the corporate cheerleader a lot of people around here are, but I really truly appreciate your owning up to the delays; it’s nice to see some bonuses being added too, even though it isn’t at all required - most crowdfunded delays don’t do anything to make up for it (honestly, most can’t, but our favorite laser company did close that $9M round on top of our pre-orders :wink: ).

A couple of questions regarding materials: I’d never planned on ordering materials from the GF catalog because I’d assumed that the markup would be more than I wanted to pay, and as a handy / technical guy, I’m not worried about it. The 10% discount might change things, but do you have any idea how that would play out across borders? I’ve had to order materials before and the shipping is just obscenely painful.

If we sell our GF and / or buy a future model, will we retain the discount? I assume it’ll be - at some future date when you guys have a store - tied to an account rather than a machine, but you never know (also, not asking for the discount to apply to future lasers, but not not asking, either :D).


Thanks Dan and Glowforge team for the transparency, hopefully it makes it to me in Seattle before my work permit expires on December 15th and I move back to Sweden.
I’m looking forward to seeing it in action at the Mini Maker Faire!


In an odd sort of way I feel a bit relieved that planned release has been postponed for 6+ months rather than just a month or two as that should provide enough time to make sure that all of the major HW bugs are worked out and that most of the SW features are in place.

Thanks for writing up that notification @dan - it couldn’t have been a pleasant job.


A question about the ship date. You say that all the pre-orders will ship by December 2016. I’m really early in line - does that mean I should expect a shipment in the beginning of December? Possibly as early as November? Or could everything be sent out en masse by the end of December?


Thanks for the update! The news is a bummer but I’d prefer to have a safe laser. Are you going to offer wholesale prices and quantities for your Proofgrade materials?




Thanks for the update. I was hoping for an early xmas, but I would rather it work correctly.

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Hey, so from what I understand they will be shipped out sometime in 2017. Yes, it sucks. But it means we get a higher quality product. :slight_smile:
Edit: I stand corrected. 2016 for preorders

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I’m extremely happy that you took the time to write the update and went into some detail on the background. Reading between the lines on your original kick-sale, I was expecting “early 2017” to be more realistic anyway so this doesn’t really shock me.

Keep chugging away, I’ll be patently waiting (though updates always welcome!)


Sorry for this post, but the german backers have a good alternative with the cheaper “Mr Beam II” now.

10% discount is nice, but if I have to pay for the shipping to europe, it’s not a good deal.
And after all, it’s not clear if the Glowforge will have the certificates for use in germany.


Thanks for the update, @dan! It’s not what any of us wanted to hear, but I for one would rather wait a little extra for a better product.

We’ve been hearing about power supply problems for a while, so I can’t say I’m terribly surprised. Obviously the power supply is extremely important, as literally everything else depends on it, and it’s something that needs to be tested well for safety and other concerns. I’m glad you’re taking every step to make sure it’s great.

Of course I’m disappointed. I’m so excited to get my hands on a Glowforge. But I’m happy with the way that you and the company are handling this situation. That discount on materials will prove useful, I’m sure. :slight_smile:

Real bummer, this. The wait had better be worth it, some of us had to take out small loans to afford the Glowforge and paying for thin air does not feel good.

Being across the border, I never had any intention of buying materials from Glowforge and the catalogue doesn’t really interest me at all. What are the chances of applying that $200 in reparations to the purchase price of my Glowforge, similar to the referral bonuses? Would help ease the pain for me.


The email I received said this:

Due to schedule delays, we plan to ship your Glowforge by December 2016 instead of the original date of June 2016. New orders will ship after yours, in 2017.

That seems like a clear statement of shipping in 2016. I’m of course disappointed it’s December and not June, , but I’m only looking to clarify this point a bit, not to lock down a date. I had the same question about the original “Ship by June 2016” phrasing they used.

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Thank you for the updated realistic release date. It’s not a date I wanted to see, but it makes the wait easier knowing how far out it is.

And the USA assembly is exciting news


I could complain more but it is what it is. I would have put my money on the bank if I knew it was going to be a year and a half from the original deposit though… My only question is does anyone have an idea of what the ACTUAL msrp will be. At this point I am debating getting my money back and purchasing something I can actually use and make money off if now. Is it really going to be $4000 or is $2500 more realistic?