Happy new year! It’s a blur of movement here at Glowforge headquarters as our teams are working to improve the software your Glowforge uses and deliver products to everyone. December was so wild that we weren’t able to post an update, so we’ve got quite a bit to catch up on! Without further ado…
You have chosen wisely.
The editors of Make Magazine have been printing with their Glowforge for two years. Now, this December, they included Glowforge in a roundup of all the laser cutter/engravers available on the market. We were honored and excited to hear back that they had selected us as their Editor’s Choice!
The whole magazine is a must-read for creators who are thinking about adding a new tool to their arsenal - it’s packed with reviews of 3D printers, waterjets, and more. You can subscribe, which includes the December issue, here.
If you’re waiting for an air filter or international shipment, you can read the latest in these threads, which have been updated today:
Introducing the Compact Filter
As we’ve seen delays delivering the Glowforge Air Filter, we decided to partner with an air filter vendor to create something new - the Compact Filter. It’s been completely customized to be the perfect partner for your Glowforge with upgraded fans, higher quality filter media, and an improved power supply. It sits on the floor near your Glowforge, and is about the size of a recycle bin. We plan to sell them for $995 as an alternative choice to the Glowforge Air Filter many of you ordered.
In fact, I had the joy of using one for two hours in a public school library this morning for Career Day, and it was delightful!
We have a small shipment available for delivery. If you’re a Glowforge Air Filter customer, and if you’d like to be one of the first to try the Compact Filter, you can sign up to exchange your Glowforge Air Filter order for a Compact Filter. Read the air filter update for more details.
If you don’t opt for a unit from this batch, don’t worry - we’ll offer other chances for you to either purchase the Compact Filter or exchange your Glowforge Air Filter for one.
Glowforge and Joann
You’re one the first visionaries who could see the magic that Glowforge could deliver. On December 19th, we announced a very special partnership to share with many more people what you know already - and to make it more convenient for you to pick up Proofgrade materials.
Today, you can buy Proofgrade Materials and rent time on a Glowforge at Joann in Columbus, OH, and purchase custom prints to go at their new Custom Shop in the Natick Mall outside of Boston. We’ve been hearing incredible feedback on our partnership, and are looking at rolling out to many more of Joann’s more than 800 locations.
Seeking Glowforge owners in LA
We’re on a star search! We’d like to create a few spotlight videos showing amazing Glowforge creators like you. If you’re in the LA area and are interested in appearing in a video about Glowforge, please email email@example.com. Tell us what you do with your Glowforge and include either a few pictures or a link to your work online (for example, your Instagram page or a website with your work).
Entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, parents - we’d love to hear from you, no matter what you use your Glowforge for.
Libraries, Maker Spaces, and other public Glowforge owners: We want to tell people about you!
We’re constantly being asked by people where they can see a Glowforge in person. If you have a Glowforge printer in a public space, please let us know! We’ll make note and send people your way. Just write to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know where you are, the name of your organization, and whether there’s a charge or membership required for using your Glowforge so we can pass that information along.
From time to time we’re able to lavish attention on one of our amazing customers with our Customer Spotlight. It’s totally unfair, because you all deserve it - the work we see every day is magnificent. But today’s spotlight is a New Orleans designer (by way of Scandanavia) named Akkika who has created an unbelievable line ranging from engraved paper to plywood purses. I think you’ll agree that her work is something special.
See our Customer spotlight to be inspired!
Of course, every Glowforge customer spotlight means promotion, marketing support, and a $1,000 Glowforge gift certificate. Would you like to be next? Keep printing, and:
- Tag your social media posts with @glowforge
- Include your referral code in your sharing.
You can find your very own referral link here:
Speaking of referrals…
We’ve passed One Million Dollars in referrals. Did you get yours?
At Glowforge, we would rather spend our marketing budget on our customers than anything else in the world. But we can only do that if it works.
Turns out it does.
We were astounded to discover that fully one third of Glowforge customers bought their Glowforge from a referral link. That means someone just like you introduced them to what they could print. That’s probably why we just hit $1 million in referrals! And for that reason, we’ve decided to extend both the amazing referral discounts (up to $500) and the enormous customer payouts (up to $600) for 2019. We’d love for you to benefit from the checks we’re sending - you deserve part of our next $1 million in referrals.
It’s easier than it sounds, because most people haven’t discovered the magic of what a Glowforge can do yet. What you might think of as a quick and unimpressive print is mind-blowing to the rest of the world! Don’t keep it to yourself - share your projects on your favorite social media sites. And when you do, use your referral link so your new fans can save up to $500. You can find your personal link at:
Anyone who uses your link will get a $100 discount on a Glowforge Basic, $250 off a Plus, and a huge $500 off a Pro. And as a thank you, we’ll give you the same amount in return. You can even get an additional 10% by taking your referral payment in Glowforge credit - up to $600 per printer! We’ve written checks for tens of thousands of dollars to folks just like you, just for posting their projects.
Customer Success is listening, but sometimes the reply never arrives
The customer success team has been working hard to make your printing experience awesome. As part of that, we’ve been asking folks who contact support how we did and what we can do better. Based on your advice, we’re training new staff, improving our processes, creating new documentation, and doing more to improve every day.
Most importantly, we’ve been speeding up! This is one of the biggest requests, and it’s been a huge focus. As an example, I’m delighted we now reply to most support requests the same day. And we’re still working to improve!
However, we’ve discovered one really challenging problem: emails that don’t arrive. This has only affected a small number of messages, but it’s intensely frustrating for the people who are missing messages.
There are three things you can do to avoid having this happen to you.
- Create a contact in your email with “email@example.com” as the email. This will help prevent us from getting caught in your spam filter.
- Do a search for firstname.lastname@example.org in your spam folder. Every day we find new customers who are waiting on an answer that was swept away.
- If three days have passed and you haven’t heard from us, either your message or our reply got lost. Post to the Problems and Support section of the forum and let us know about the lost message so we can troubleshoot.
This used to be unusual, but as our list of owners grows, it’s happening more and more often. It’s heartbreaking to us when you have a terrible experience, and even worse when it’s because a message got lost in the mail.
Don’t lose your head
We continue to roll out improvements, large and small, to make your Glowforge even more wonderful. First up, your Glowforge has a small but powerful fan directed right where the laser contacts the material, called the Air Assist Fan. It’s under the laser arm, behind the Printer Head. When your printer head is sitting properly, the fan will push smoke away from the print area and give you cleaner prints.
When the printer head is not seated properly, however, the attached air assist fan will not be able to spin up to full speed. We’ve seen a number of customers who are suffering from this, so we added a helpful alert when this happens. Should your printer head not be making contact, you’ll see an “Air assist alert” in the app when you print. It will direct you to take your printer head off and put it on again, which will clear the problem right up. And if that sounds intimidating, have no fear: it’s magnetic! It’s easy and quick to set things right.
You know how delightful it feels to push the button? You know how annoying it is when you think your print is ready to start, but it’s really just autofocusing? Well, we fixed that for you. Previously the button will start to glow while your Glowforge is preparing for a print, calibrating, or focusing. Now, the button will only glow white when it’s ready for you to hit it to begin a print - no more false starts. This is in the process of rolling out now to all customers.
Just before the start of each print, the exhaust fans in the back-left and front-right of your Glowforge spin up to full speed so they can whisk away any smoke and fumes that arise during prints. We’ve added fan speed monitoring to ensure that the fans come up to speed before each print. In the unlikely event that the fans don’t reach the proper speed at the start of your print, the button will turn amber to let you know that there are more details available in the Glowforge app.
Speaking personally, not a day goes by when I don’t scroll through the #glowforge hashtag on instagram, browse the incredible designs in our community, or marvel at the latest print someone’s created. Also, my family and I print a lot of stuff (this week: sea monkey aquarium; last month: puzzles) because you’re all such an inspiration. Thank you so much for your genius and your creativity.
PS: As always, you can discuss this update in the discussion thread.