Losing Faith in this company

I’ve already created a ticket with glow forge so I’m just looking to vent about my situation at this point. I emailed them about the issue, told them I ran through all the tests and they said it was the “black cable” no diagnostics were run even though I requested them. This is my 4th unit since Sept. of 2018 1st unit had a camera issue and was a basic not a plus. Second one was refurbished so I made them send me a new one, third the FedEx broke. 4th arrived Feb 13 of 2019 and now I’m screwed. I was this company’s biggest cheerleader and now I’m debating getting rid of this machine for a Muse which has a 3D camera that can print on curved objects, just as beautiful as the forge but from a well known laser producer. I’m sorry Glowforge but this is honestly the last straw with this machine. Even looking inside all of the wires in front of the fan are exposed which will certainly lead to issues down the line. If the machine is considered “aging” at 12 months old its really not worth the expense. The idea is great but until you can have a truly reliable product (and a better warranty) ythen I will no longer be singing your praises. I depend on my business to feed my kids and now my machine is literally making me lose money every day. Phone support would also be a nice option but we all know that will never happen.
Trading in all of my referrals for cash to help purchase my Muse!!


I don’t think you’re actually looking for advice, so I’ll just acknowledge you and wish you well with your Muse.


Yeah, hope you enjoy it.

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I have a GF based business, and I now have two machines for the event of one going down. I’ve had 3 machines sent to me for warranty, the third machine needed repair work and so they repaired it for me at the very end of my warranty. It since has had two separate issues after the warranty expired, the board in the back of the machine where the black cable connects (which was due to my careless cleaning habits and time) and the latest issue was the accessory board where the exhaust fan connects, died. I was able to diagnose those issues myself, and so asked the company if it would be possible to have the parts sent. They were more than happy to source both parts, which was a happy surprise, and I was able to repair the machine myself. My second machine also had issues, but just once, and I was sure that was due to the shipping.

Totally with you when you say that this machine may not be up to a self made business, but they also aren’t selling them for business purposes. You chose to take a hobby machine from a company that wasn’t as established as others, and depend on it to make help make you money. It’s great to see the hundreds of businesses who are running smoothly with this machine, it really is, but we’re all taking risks by doing so. If you rely on one tool heavily to be successful, it’s not on the company if your business suffers, it’s on your lack of planning. Not to say this entirely applies when you receive machines that are DoA or have faults early on, believe me, as I mentioned I’ve had plenty of problems with my machines, but it’s important to grasp what you’re getting into by basing a business on a single tool. Imagine a mechanic only having one wrench and breaking that wrench, it’s a similar concept, just different money figures for the tools.

So definitely, if you’re looking at having a reliable laser business, and you’re wanting to be ambitious and feel comfortable, there are other companies with long track records that will take care of you, and ask double or triple the price. Just up to you if the investment is worth it.


My lack of planning really comes down to not having the room to stock inventory in my house and the fact that a lot of my orders are custom pieces. I honestly didn’t expect the items made with this machine to sell as well as they have been, so my becoming dependent on it was a fluke. I do have a CNC machine on the way so I know I will be able to supplement with that until my machine is fixed.
Its nice the they sent you the pieces to fix yours, I unfortunately had to pay for mine, which is fine but my frustration is that this is a known issue with these machines and I feel like it is a manufactures defect and not something of my doing. My business is not solely GF based but it has become an integral part of it nonetheless. I was honestly considering buying a second unit and upgrading from plus to pro, but the unreliability and obvious design flaws are why I’d rather spend the money on a completely different company at this point. I just feel like this company is too new and we are paying the price for engineering mistakes.
I also agree that there are other companies out there and yes double the price but 10x more reliable in the long run. The way I look at it is even with a computer you can buy a Mac or a dell, both will do what you need them to but the Mac will outlast the dell by years (of course you will get the few that go the other way) to me the investment is worth it and Glowforge proves you get what you pay for, if the leading laser is 10K at least you know you’ll get more than 12-18months out of it.

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We understand your frustration. My machine has paid for itself and been flawless for more than 2 years now, so I can only imagine the pain, but my experience has been the opposite.

My impression is the Glowforge is closer to a hobby class than professional. That’s not to say I haven’t put a commercial load on it, just that I wouldn’t necessarily stake my professional aspirations on it, I mean it is (a basic like mine) a quarter of the price of an entry-level pro laser.
The glowforge was designed around making this tech available to the masses, inexperienced users like me. That’s not to say it’s not capable.
Raymondking is an authority on the premise of basing a business on the glowforge.
The “fluke” of your ideas doing as well as they have I would think should encourage you to charge!
Good Luck!

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The amount I produce is certainly not commercial or industrial with my plus or I would have purchased an epilogue, and I agree that is an “entry level laser” but all of these problems in the first year? I’ve asked glowforge to run the diagnostics but no return email yet. I use the machine a couple of times a week, not constantly of course there are days it runs more, but my average per week is no where near commercial use.
It honestly frustrates me that I keep hearing the its a “hobby” class excuse, but that does not justify a poorly engineered product. I also have a silhouette (vinyl cutting machine) which I also use for my business and in 4 years have not had any issues with. This black cable issue (according to an employee in another thread) was a group of machines that went out, and they are all breaking at or right after warranty. the solution other than replacing the cable is to cut a straw in 1/2 to protect the cable (which is obviously too short, OR to not open the machine all the way, which means holding the lid at an angle while loading your material. I could see these issues in 3-5 years but not in 12 months and 2 weeks. Again this is a clear engineering issue and glow forge is making customers pay for their design flaw, just as the motherboard left unprotected in front of the exhaust fan is a ticking time bomb for repair.

My asking has nothing to do with this thread, just looking for information. The forum members give advice as best as they can. Sometimes it’s a parroting of the official line, sometimes it’s an educated guess. I have not seen where an “employee” of the company recommended the straw trick or not opening the lid all the way. I believe both the straw recommendation and the lid opening recommendation were forum members and not staff members. If you remember otherwise please let us know so that any future advice is accurate. thanks.


the diagnostic came back and my camera is also not working properly

Dang. Sounds like the lid cable again.
Sorry your experience has been bad, but I and many others have had no issues at all. Wish yours was the same. I can imagine the frustration.

Support wouldn’t have been able to answer your query without checking the machine logs, so they just specified what the logs reflected.

You are not alone, there have been at least one person who has had 4 machines replaced and one or two with 3. They are still here enjoying their glowforge, and I don’t think any of them regret their purchase.
I certainly understand why you might question yours at this point. Better luck to you.

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