I am moving from California to Italy and I don’t want to leave my Glowforge behind… I have no idea how, what to do or which company to use for such a big package as a international shipment. Any advise?
I would really apréciate recommendations or information from someone who has taken their Glowforge overseas or works with (Fedex, DHL, etc), what company should I go for and what do I need to do?
Logistics aside… Have you thought of where the GF would be used? Are you now in a home and moving to an city apartment? Is the space large enough? Do you have a filter? Can you easily get filter cartridge replacements? Remember you can’t currently get PG materials internationally, and I’m not sure the shop for filter replacements is available with International shipping. Is venting an option? A lot of International users had issues with how their windows opened. Casement or Transom windows. If you vent will the smoke come in on the neighbors? Will noise be a problem?
Fedex will do it. If you don’t have your original shipping box and the devices that secure the laser gantry/etc in place, you’ll want to get them from GF. Anything else risks causing alignment issues because shippers typically don’t care about the package unless you pay a great deal and use a less commercial shipping company.
My thoughts on this subject have always been - it’s worth considering investigating the Glowforge warranty/local country warranty laws before moving a US unit overseas.
The EU machines (can) have different warranties than the US machines. If you ship it over, it gets broken, and you’re still under warranty, you’re on the hook for round-trip shipping overseas because the machine is under a US warranty.
I’m not sure what machine you have, how old it is, etc. but it could make more financial sense to sell it, and buy a new one.
I think that the power is different as well from plug to voltage to cycles. Selling and buying new would seem to be best as it would be designed to the situation there as well.
She’ll need a different cord, but that is all.
I’d be more concerned if her unit is CE marked. Only a concern, if it is a concern, if it’s inspected during import. I don’t know what the Italian rules are for personal property.
Here is a checklist of things I would check on before shipping overseas:
- Technology export restrictions (US) Unlikely, but might be caught up because of the computer components. My guess is the folks at GF would know.
- import regulations (Italy) You should be able to contact the Italian embassy (Washington DC) or one of the consulates (likely in either LA or SF) to ask about regulations or duties. Remember that the GF is likely classified as manufacturing hardware, not a household tool.
- Internet/wifi connectivity - make sure that the GF can connect to the wifi used locally and that there aren’t any problems reaching the GF server. Italy isn’t known for internet filtering but some countries limit international access or slow it down enough to interfere with certain communications.
Best of luck and be sure to let us know how it goes! Build up local interest and maybe GF will consider a European subsidiary.
Thank you all for your reply’s!
To keep you all updated and to have the best advise I will write a little about my case:
Bought the Glowforge on the 30day campaign (so I waited 2 years to get it) I was living in South America when I got it so took it all the way there… it worked for 7 months and suddenly stopped working. Since I had the 1 year guarantee I had to send it all the way back to the US to get my new Glowforge (since the one I had couldn’t be fixed). So the Glowforge I have now is NEW hasn’t been opened I just sent it to my uncles house in CA till I figure out what to do. Glad I did that because now I am living in Italy and will remain here for at least 10 years so I would really love to finally use my GF the way I planed to and pay up all the money I spent on shipping, customs and the GF.
I had such a bad experience because it only worked for a couple months but what else can I do now… my thoughts:
- GF is new but it doesn’t have the warranty any more so I have to pay for repairs anyway
- If I decide to sell it, Where can I sell it and for how much?
- Maybe since it’s a ”Newer GF” what caused mine to stop working has been fixed now? (They never told me what caused the problem)
- Maybe sell this one and buy a new one and have GF send it all the way here?
I have so much in my head, mostly very scared it will stop working after only a few uses, You must all think I’m crazy to want to bring it to Europe after such a bad experience but I’ve been searching similar options here in Europe and there is nothing even similar have a huge business idea so I need the GF
Would love to hear if anyone in Europe has had the GF for a while with no problems in the system or parts.
I’ve been a fairly close follower of the forum since its inception. There are definitely out of box failures and the sad-funny cases of the same person getting up to three consecutive out of box failures. There are counter examples of people heavily using their units for two years without failure. I think it is a risk, but a fairly small one.
If you have a great business opportunity, then there are more powerful CO2 lasers intended for business use. They are considerably more expensive, but presumably come with in country support for service and repair. Even if your unit works flawlessly for a decade, you could drop the lens while cleaning it and need a replacement shipped to you. Or an earthquake could tumble your laser onto some gorgeous Italian tile. All machines eventually break and you need a plan for when yours is down. If your opportunity is too risky, or you cannot raise the capital for the larger laser it seems to me that your decision is to abandon the idea or proceed with the glowforge and hope things work out. You only need things to go right until you can afford more equipment.
Have you asked Dremel if they have Italian distribution and support for their rebranded laser? It’s the most similar product to the glowforge of which I’m aware.
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