I joined a couple of laser cutter forums and rarely does someone have something positive to say about the GF. Most comments are claiming it will burn your house down. These same people are the ones who will recommend buying a cheap Chinese laser with shoddy wiring and pirated software with malware and viruses. They claim you just need a weekend to rewire it and need to upgrade the power supply and download this pirated version of Corel Draw that is malware free. Uhhh. Anything I buy new better work out of the box or it will be going back.
People hate change. Something like the Glowforge comes along and the forum members realize that if it’s a success, they will no longer be the only ones making things with laser cutters. Their place in the world is being threatened. You won’t have to know how to align mirrors, replace power supplies, align materials, or upgrade/fix chillers. So they are going to be on the defensive and be negative about anything that changes their stats quo or comfort.
The manufacturers who are competing against Glowforge are going to trash GF as much as they can, so they don’t have to sink money into R&D to develop similar features. How much have laser cutters changed in the past 10 years? Maybe overall size and price.
The same thing happened when the Mac launched, CDs launched (there were stories about CD lasers were going to leak out of the case and burn your retinas), the iPod launched (was going to ruin your hearing, like a walkman wouldn’t), DVDs launched (VHS & laserdisc users were bashing the CD technology and picture quality). 100+ years ago, there were even people who trashed the first automobiles claiming that horse and buggies were far superior. I’m sure boat builders, horse breeders and wagon builders trashed the first locomotives.
I still laugh when I remember some computer people I worked with in the 90’s complaining when computer mice came out. They trashed the technology and said that a point and click device was worthless, everyone should just use the keyboard commands. These were the same people who trashed Windows and Mac graphic interfaces, saying DOS was far superior.
The most recent of these incidents was when the iPhone launched. The industry laughed at the touch screen. Blackberry users trashed the technology. The first iPhone was not perfect, but it was a game changer. Look at where we are now.
Do I expect the Glowforge to be perfect? No. I expect there will some quirks after launch, just like all new products. I’m confident the GF team will get those ironed out over a couple of months. Do I expect Glowforge to turn the laser cutting industry on its head? Yes.