Lid not flush with top

So I received my Glowforge basic today! I couldn’t be more excited! I do have a question regarding the lid though.(the question is at the very end) I also thought I would share my experience for anyone interested.
This is how it arrived.

The UPS guy can’t read the arrows pointing up apparently. I would have corrected it, but my arm is in a sling from shoulder surgery, so I had to wait for people with 2 good arms to help.

The box was a little rough, the bottom looked like it was going to fall out, and it was missing all but one of those clever white handles. (Will I need those to ship back for tube replacement?)

I was actually able to see the glowforge through the handle holes. I was surprised there wasn’t a protective film on it, but it arrived in decent shape.

I got it unboxed (with help again) and gave it a once over. I did notice a few aesthetic imperfections. This is a small scratch on the front. With the surface finish of this thing though, it is bound to get many more after years of use, so I am not really worried about it.

I also noticed this “residue” on the top of the left side glass. Seems like a silicone or glue type residue. Again not a big deal. I may be able to rub it off with my finger. Not sure if there is a “safe” solvent for this. After waiting 2 years, I am happy that it’s sitting in front of me. The QC at Flex could maybe use a little improving though.

Turning it on for the first time was impressive! I was amazed how fast those bubbles disappeared. As someone who has had to tip a k40 laser cutter on its side to get rid of bubbles, this thing was beautiful to watch! Shortly after though I did get the amber light that indicated that it was too warm for it to “finish” printing. I wasn’t printing, so I think that is just a general temp warning. I was a little worried about that. I believe it was about 81 or 82 degrees Farenheit in there. After a quick trip to the hardware store, and a new air conditioner in hand, I was back in business!

Anyways I cut the glowforge “ruler” and it worked flawlessly! The one thing I did notice, and is also the point of this post, is that the lid is not exactly flush with the top. The top lid and sides are made out of some pretty thick glass, so I am not exactly sure how this is possible, but it seems like either the lid, or both sides of the machine are slightly bowed. I am thinking it’s the top of the sides. I will place a yard stick on them tomorrow to be sure. The lid sits flush in front and back, but at its midpoint the lid is about 2 to 2.5mm higher than the sides. I tried to take a picture, but I am not sure if it will convey it properly. All I really want to know is if this is normal (within tolerance) or if this is a slight defect that I need to fix. It cut the ruler just fine, and it looks like it gets a good seal, but I still wanted to check. Anyone else have this problem?


Grats on the forge!

Most of the PRUs I’ve seen have lids that bowed like that


My Basic unit has the exact same bow in it.

Also I had the same residue when I got my machine. I think its just coolant spilled during manufacturing.


Awesome that is great to hear! I really didn’t want to have to ship it back. I can’t wait to use it more tomorrow!


So does my pro… same gunk on top too. Scraped most off with finger then promptly forgot about it and got busy.


Steve Jobs would have been fuming. He spent a lot of his energy on the packaging. I think unboxing videos were invented for Apple products. The packaging for the iPhone is incredible.

But, I glad you got your laser and you can start using it.


Congratulations on the receipt of your Glowforge … and getting it set up for your first cut. Awesome!


I have confirmed with Support that this is not a flaw. I’ve also confirmed that, aside from my unit, others’ units show the same bowing. Not a “problem,” apparently, but a “feature.” :wink:


The new handles seem to be a fail. Has anybody received one with all four still in place?

There is still not enough tape in my opinion. It needs to loop all the way around and stick to itself to be strong enough. Just taping the seam with very little overlap at the ends has no strength at all.


Yup my basic lid doesn’t create a completely flush transition between the sides and the lid.

My lid isn’t flush, either, but it does seem equally so on all points, so I assumed that was how it was engineered. My left corner sticks a little bit upon closing, so I have to push it down a little more to get it “shut,” which I’m not thrilled about, but otherwise, it works like a charm now.


I had 3 of 4 still in place…with this new info, guess that was pretty good.


Thank you for the detailed review. This is helpful.

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The lid on this PR is like that also, but the seal is a rubber skirt along the edge below the flange so it’s not relying on the lid to seat on the flange.

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I’ve often wondered how Apple would have designed the packaging for a 70# laser this size. The small stuff is easy, but you know they would still figure out a killer way to package something big, too.


I still have the box for my big LED Apple Display. It’s got a lot of empty space for safety, and the inserts are pretty well engineered.

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Mine arrived at work like that too…it ended up all ok in the end. I also had to wait for help to carry the beast of a box…and my arms barely made it around to each of the handles.

When I first powered it up, the laser sled was making some jerky noises and not moving anywhere…I gave it a roll back and forth and it happily calibrated itself after that. Not sure if that was a result of arriving on its side.

but yay laser cutting!


my G5 tower came in a box with 3"-thick formed styrofoam inserts. There was zero empty/negative space inside. I’ve been using that box to move that tower ever since. It’s in there now, actually, in case I need to pull it out for some reason.


Just look at the packaging for their largest products: iMacs. I worked at Apple during the “packaging renaissance” (which started the unboxing vids), but let me tell you a big secret on Apple-style packaging: IT’S BLOODY EXPENSIVE. They are also designed so the cost is spread out across [potentially] millions of units. I’m not sure how many Glowforge units are going to be made, but large-scale “perfect” packaging in that style in low production volumes… you may as well tack on $100 or more for the box and molded parts. There’s a happy medium to be found. Clearly, the weak link is the fragility combined with “I can throw this in the truck, right?” shipping.


That’s crazy - but it shows.

GF has always had an uphill packaging battle due to size & weight, and that inherently a 2-person move that probably rarely ever gets 2 people. Sometimes I think being a packaging designer would be interesting - but not with the GF. LOL