It’s 5pm PST on my email day. Please don’t let me down


well we just looked. theyre the same motors in pro and basic. guess there must be something else upgraded thats not a motor… hmmm


Could be something or nothing at all. For example the electronic drivers could be more powerful allowing a greater reliable speed with the same motors. But not going to give any value to speculation.

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Pro Parts

They probably just up the motor current in software and pretend the hardware is different. It would not surprise me if the tubes turn out identical and the pro one is just driven harder with better cooling.

And are the mirrors, windows and lens really better? Not easy to test unless you have both types of machine and a power meter.


What are the physical differences that would be apparent between tubes of different power levels? Would this be a simple comparison of measurements?

The stepper current is set by the control board in software, so they could certainly increase the current through software alone. I suppose it wouldn’t be that hard to increase the speed at which they playback to waveforms to get faster moves.

If its just a case of software imposed limitations, that would make third party firmware start to look attractive.

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Normally higher power tubes are longer but in this case I think they have to be the same length as is there isn’t room for a longer one. If the diameter isn’t any bigger I don’t know what the difference could be, another turn in the cooling coil? Bigger mirrors?

In this case the power is only 12% more so it isn’t going to be much different if any.

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Interesting thing is that on the spare parts page they only sell one type of optics across the board. There aren’t options for pro or basic optics. That makes me think those are the same too. Now I really am starting to get pretty curious as to what exactly is different between the models.


A slot and some software configuration!


Maybe the different optics are in the tube?


Well I hope it’s not an overdriven 40w tube.

Somewhere in the sales documentation they mentioned better optics. If they are in fact the same, that will be a “Problem”

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Or, maybe an under-driven 45W tube.


I wonder about the contortions folks go through to make sense of their lack of information or knowledge. Y’all must continually pull brain muscles in the attempt.

Tubes are different.
Never once stated that the motors were different.
One mirror, two windows and a lens is nowhere near all the optics in the system.
The frame is this… , the electronics are that…, it’s all a scam… etc…

I know that nature abhors a vacuum but really.


The motors are the same.

And this is a fact:

And, I see the previous comments (mine included) as inquisitive or tongue in cheek. Not conspiracy accusations.


Sorry, I intended to type GF never once said the motors were different. Accidentally typed the same. Have edited the comment. My intended point was that because they are the same a conspiracy attitude is starting that there may be no difference in optics, or tubes. It’s spread across three different threads right now. The comment wasn’t specifically directed at you which is why I didn’t just hit reply to your comment. You were one of a half dozen. You might not call it a conspiracy theory, either way it’s suggesting a falsehood in the company statements for those items. Trying to correct the speculation before it gets established as fact.

The same thing happened with the motors. About a year ago forum members started saying the motors were different. I commented that the company never said the motors were different and was told I was very wrong. One forum member even stated they had talked directly to dan and knew the motors were different. I gave up.


I don’t personally believe there are any falsehoods from the company on these issues. In fact, I think its been pretty clear that there are a lot shared components between the two, which is pretty standard from a manufacturing perspective. Suspicious undertones aside, I do believe these discussions are coming more from a curiosity perspective.

(Sheepish Grin) I’ll be the first to admit that I approach most things with a skeptical view.


I dont think its a conspiracy attitude as much as it is trying to understand what the real differences are here, at least for me. Up until this point we have been told there are differences, and we arent seeing any right out the gate other than the passthrough slot.

I personally like to understand how all of my machines work in as much detail as possible. Now that we have actual machines out in the wild we can figure out (hopefully!) what the differences are between the two, since glowforge has not been willing to disclose that information beyond generalities


Same here. I’m curious by nature. Though probably unlike some, I wont be bothered in the least if it turns out that they there same in every respect except what the software lets you do. It could also be that the only difference in the tubes is that they’re segregated by test results post manufacture and that would also be fine with me.

The reason being that a good way to make a viable business that reaches as many people as possible is via market segmentation. You need to figure out how to have people who are willing to pay more to actually pay more so that you can offer the low end model at very low margins and keep your volume up.

So far, it looks like Glowforge picked the differentiating features well in terms of market response and those features don’t always (and hopefully not) cost as much more proportionally as the market values them.

It’s unfortunate that people will get their feelings hurt if they find out that the stuff they spent the extra money on didn’t cost the company very much especially since that means they’d probably get their feelings hurt about almost every purchase they’ve made in their lifetime if they knew more about how they were designed/made. It’s worth more because people are willing to pay more, not because it cost more.

Over time the premium features that don’t cost a lot work their way into the basic models as the companies search for new ways to differentiate.


Tesla did that with their battery pack “capacity”. They outed themselves during the aftermath of the last FL hurricane. They made an over the air update to all of the cars in FL with the smaller capacity batteries to open up the rest of the capacity - turns out you get the same battery pack for both range options they offer and it’s software controlled as to whether you get access to the full capacity or a throttled back capacity.

That lets them offer a premium differentiator between models while reducing net manufacturing costs as they only need one battery pack. Which to your point allows them to sell the cheaper model more cheaply than they could if it had the natural capacity of the pack they put in the car.


Also leaves open the option for hacking extra functionality later =)


And, offering products that can be tinkered with by their owners opens an additional market.

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