Ok so you want a laser engraver, so did I. My son and I both put in to buy GLOWFORGE on a kickstarter. It took forever, I decide to buy from a different company ( I did not buy a cheap import I bought from a well recognized company) my son continued to wait. I got my laser in 1 week. It was up and running fast. Now here’s a needed fact I own a sign and graphic studio and have been in the business for 20 years. I know many programs I use a 3-d printer and multiple sign printers as well as a direct to garment machine, I use Adobe Illustrator Sign Cad Procreate Sketchup Adobe Photoshop and some other propietary softwares so I’m pretty well educated in operation. The laser I purchased was slightly more powerful, and could fit larger thickness objects. And it was over 1,000$ more than GLOWFORGE I used this machine for 3 years straight. Meanwhile my son received his GLOWFORGE and hit the ground running. I was amazed how fast he created and finished products ( he is a tattoo artist and really doesn’t have any knowledge of these type machines and software ) My machine was a real learning curve. I spent mor time adjusting alignment and mirrors as well as terrible re design to make the laser engrave then cut. The link would disconnect perpetually, the designs would mis align, the laser was incinsistant and results were a perpetual gamble. I was terrified to engrave on a customers personal things in fear of destroying them. So after about almost 3 years I sold that laser, my son had now purchased his second GLOWFORGE so he let me use one of them as I debated what laser I was going to buy. I had a spending limit of 12,000$ and was on the fence with my decision. He dropped of the GLOWFORGE I set it up and within 1/2 an hour I started my first print. It was an engraving and a die cut outer frame! The GLOWFORGE was so dramatically easier to use, I mean it was night and day difference from my previous laser. I see some videos on YouTube about the “downfalls’ of buying a GLOWFORGE and realized that whoever made these videos never had any other laser so what they felt was difficult or a downfall was literally nothing in the world of these machines! The GLOWFORGE bar none is the best laser for someone getting into this. Anyone can operate it with ease, their software is so user friendly it’s like a Tesla on auto drive, it literally takes 90% of pre prints and machine tweaking out of the equation, it is professionally built and is the only machine I would ever recommend. Needless to say my new GLOWFORGE pro is on its way! Now here’s the hard facts… you could have the biggest most powerful laser on the planet you could spend way into the 20,000$ market and the bottom line is if you can’t use it and you can’t produce quality work your business will fail before it even gets started! Don’t be a fool buy a GLOWFORGE and you will make money and the ease of use will let you accelerate in your designs and builds I am a working class guy, my name is Chris and my email is email@example.com feel free to call me and I’ll tell you why this is the only machine to buy!
That’s almost exactly how I felt. I’ve wanted a laser for years (decades) but never got one because if I have to spend time setting it up, it’ll never happen. It’s not perfect (no machine is) but it’s SO user friendly!
One bit of warning though - the forum is public so you probably don’t want to list your email. Anyone who has joined will be able to DM you, but if you leave it in the post a scammer could (will) scrape it.
when building the frankenforge, that was the biggest comment, just buy a cheap laser with a z-access, but its NOT a glowforge, and the power and flexibility of a glowforge
It is good to hear from you! I had not used more than CNC machines and had been disappointed with some of their natural limitations, but had been looking at lasers and 3D printers. I had used Autocad for many years and more recently Blender and Gimp so was reasonably able with graphics but less so with the mechanical issues with robots. My impression of Glowforge’s goal was aimed at just such a person, wanting to make finished work and not a tinkerer of machinery. The downside of that is that many problems are as mysterious even when fixed as before and not user fixable, but that was the choice made, and while I would wish it was more modular with “black box” parts rather than all one “black box” that is a quibble.
I found a 3D printer that I thought had the same outlook but I was wrong and have not made the first piece.
You may want to remove your email address since this is an open forum and the spam bots will crawl it.
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