Is Glowforge a con?

Heck, I bet some people would buy it for a slightly higher price, say, the price of the GF plus the materials/all added bonuses (plus maybe a bit of interest for good faith). It’d still be a lot cheaper than they are now…


That’s what a good long con would do. Keeps the rest of the suckers in the game waiting because after all they can get their money back or sell it because others have.

(shhh…they don’t realize it’s just a small price to keep the con going - Kind of like Bernie Madoff :sunglasses::zipper_mouth_face:)


Shhhhh! You’re going to scare off the mark!



Dear all, thank you for your replies.

As expected some of you take a defensive/supporting perspective (mainly those who have received their unit), and the title was provocative. Others - its a kickstarter so what do you expect. Some talk about refunds etc.

But this is not about the money, my main frustration is the moving of the goal posts, yes we all have unexpected delays, but the way Dan/Glowforge have repeatedly ‘apologised’ for delays due to ‘x’ reason is only highlighting the amateur approach they have taken. As said above their latest excuse for non-US orders being delayed is country regulations, I’m in the EU, so this should be a standard for all member states. Surely this should have sorted at an earlier stage than this? Does this mean all units have only been delivered in the US and non-US customers have been sidelined? Is this an ‘America First’ attitude?

I want to use Glowforge in a business, I am trying to finalise a business plan and continue to convince partners, unless it turns up on my doorstep soon, the partners will give up and look elsewhere. I know ‘kickstarter projects cannot be trusted’ is the default position you should take, but having the backing of companies like Google and what looked like a more-or-less finished project was far from it.

My first post was born out of frustration, mainly frustration of yet again another ‘humble heart-felt apology’ which after two years (might be longer) of such ‘we are working really hard … blah, blah, blah’ just becomes an expected PR response. Now we have a pseudo-delivery date, which with the use of ‘expected delivery date’ means the date is again rolling and not fixed (as seen over the last few months). When I saw the March delivery date, I put June in my mind, now it says May I’m re-adjusting my expectations, by Christmas 2018???

I’m sure there are those who recognise my experiences, particularly those outside of the US.

That’s going to be much easier to respond to…the problem with venting frustrations is that aside from temporarily making you feel better, it doesn’t always get what’s bothering you across very well.

You are concerned because you are trying to start a business with this thing, and the constantly shifting target arrival date makes it impossible to plan for. I agree, that would be a nightmare of epic proportions.

I’m going to say something that people on this forum tend to react to in a very negative way, but it is not intended as a disrespect…there are certain situations where it makes good business sense to look at alternatives. This is one of them… if you want to actually establish a business with it, and you are international, and you can’t get a fixed date, it makes sense in your case to consider maybe getting a cheap fill-in laser to use and get familiar with the workings of, while you wait for the Glowforge team to get the problems worked out with international shipments.

I’m not trying to put you off of eventually accepting delivery on the Glowforge, because it is a wonderful well-built laser with a world of nice features, but if your business relies on it, you might need an interim plan. You can probably get a cheap local laser that will likely get you some of what you want to accomplish for a few hundred bucks, and fairly quickly. That will let you get started on your business development, or at least help you to get started learning to use a laser. (There’s a learning curve, even with this one…it’s just significantly shorter if you’re already familiar with design.)

The other thing that you can do to prepare for it and save yourself time once it arrives is learn to use your design software of choice while you are waiting. If you’re already an Illustrator or Inkscape guru you can obviously skip this step. If you’re not, then now is a really good time to brush up on it and create some files to have ready for the delivery. You can do that ahead of the arrival by reading the tutorials in the Matrix ahead of time, and playing with the design software: The Matrix

I get it…there’s nothing worse than feeling helpless, and the truth of the matter is, we are completely helpless to impact the date of arrival on the machines. They are going as fast as they can with what they have to work with. But there aren’t any guarantees, and in your situation, that is problematic.

Maybe either of those alternatives will help you to get a little more control of the situation.

And best of luck with getting your business going. :slightly_smiling_face:


I’m in the U.S. and still patiently awaiting my Glowforge delivery. I was not one of the first on the list but I was not long after them. Yes there have been delays but I know mine is coming and I keep checking back to see what others are already making. I have the “golden email” and just sitting back and waiting for the delivery and all the fun to follow.

The 2nd post from the OP was a far more measured comment. The problem with venting for the sake of venting is what it does to others.

If a person already has a GF it sucks the joy just a little.
If they don’t yet have a GF it’s like calling them a fool.


Well patience might kill a cat but not a Glowforge owner, I have waited , It arrived yesterday , and OMG it is so Awesome , the set up was simply and we are printing already! It is worth the wait you will see!!!


You would have benefited greatly by doing much more research in this one of a kind forum before posting. Its clear you will never be happy with this company or product, you feel deceived and have zero faith even with the myriad of success stories in this forum.
Do yourself a favor and get a refund. This is clearly not a good fit for you.

If I knew what I know now I would have bought two GF pro’s during the original campaign, I think I will be kicking myself for that for the rest of my life.


I can say its not a con, and if you are intending to start a business around it. Brush up on your design software kung-fu. Have some digital designs up and ready to go. Or heck, sell designs in the interim.

I can’t tell you how to do your thing, well I can, but I shouldn’t because I’ve no experience in the matter from your end. But as a piece of advice I’d say to look into getting a different machine in the interim, or another way of doing your lazer designs… In essence the Glowforge is a Laser C&C. If you are doing stuff with paper, look into one of those paper/vinyl cutter machines. If you are doing wood, X-carve. If you can’t justify spending the money, then prod a scroll saw. Or get REAL good with an x-acto knife. Granted you may already have all that experience, and I’m just blowing smoke. In which case, ignore me, I’ll just be over here bangin rocks together.

Putting all your hopes and dreams for the future on a single machine and way of doing things seems a bit short sighted in my opinion. Which doesn’t amount to a whole hill of beans, I don’t know you, your life, financial situation, goals, dreams, location, or whathave you. But there is always more than one way to do a thing. Specialization is for insects, granted I am assuming you aren’t one of those, but if they ever were able to use the magic internet rectangles, boy are we in trouble.

In short, either get patient, or start looking for alternatives.


The cake is a lie.


Google Photos


I work for a medical company, and yes I know lasers are different, but… certifications take time. And they take a final product. So if a certification takes x number of months to complete, and they only recently (relatively speaking) got a final product, of course they aren’t going to be able to immediately ship them everywhere.

It sounds like they had to redesign a few small things about the machine to get it to pass some international certs, and they probably didn’t realize that until at least a month after the initial submission due to back and forth trying to get it to pass. It sucks, I know. It sucks from both ends.

P.S. I’m sorry for all the people telling you you’ll never be happy here, I don’t believe them. I think you’ll be really happy once everything pans out. But, like others have said before me, it may be prudent to look for interim options. To that end, I know many on this forum have had experience with other lasees that might fit your needs, and Glowforge has been really great about allowing open discussion of competitor options.


And now I’m gonna have to go laser some Albrecht Durer Woodcuts… YOU’VE PUT IDEAS IN ME NOGGIN!



If you do them as negatives and engrave deeply enough you can just print them using the engraving you just made. And they’re out of copyright by a few centuries, so you’re okay there.

not a con. mine just arrived at the house. unfortunately for me i wont be able to open the box til next week. :frowning: boo hoo. Nt sure I can blame Glowforge for this additional delay. :smiley: Even though I stuck it out and waited, I did have some trepidation set in when I got my first “shipping” email and the followup delay email. I was not happy camper.

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Do it! I have about four of his works under my belt. It took some file tweaking to get a really good engrave, but they are beautiful.


I for one feel your pain. I live in Canada and my delivery date has moved to May 11th. I ordered back in October of 2015. I also know a few Canadians have had there shipping address changed to a US one and have driven to the states to pick their Glowforge up. There is no issue crossing the border with it so I have no idea why the company seems to have difficulty with regulations regarding shipping. I order all kinds of stuff from the US and there is no problem having any of it shipped to me. So why does Glowforge have such issues?

Because in theory imports need safety and EMC approvals. It seems that you don’t need those to sell appliances in the US but you do in the EU and Canada.