I’m getting ready to move my glowforge (5 hour drive). I have all the inserts and foam, but I can’t find the original box. How vital is that to it’s protection? It will by lying flat in the back of my car.
All depends on what it hits, the orange bits are certainly needed for cases of acceleration (hitting a bump or going around a curve) and the glass is very tough if hit by a broad blow (like a fist) but hit by a sharp pointy thing (even if a wide-angle like a rock) that makes the slightest scratch, the whole window turns into sharp gravel, so protection there would be a good idea.
Beyond that most of the packing design is if fallen off the back of a truck it could probably survive and you will be more careful than the average warehouse worker. However, think of the box as $250 lying around and it will cost that and the time to get it if your Glowforge needs to be shipped back.
If you have the inserts, then you could make your own box. Just source some large sheets of cardboard from a big appliance and fold and tape. Put an extra layer on the bottom and an extra sheet on top and make sure the sides of the top fit around the bottom. That will give you a bit of assurance.
Without going further into Beyond the Manual territory, I’d put it in its foam cradle and wrap with a good quilt after putting something flat on the top glass so that in case something drops on it, you don’t damage the lid.
@jessica.kellogg11 the Glowforge shipping package and box is designed to keep your Glowforge safe. It’s the best way to keep it safe in your case of moving your Glowforge. If you do end up needing to send your Glowforge back, you will need the original box. Shipping your Glowforge in different packaging will, unfortunately, void your warranty.
And as a reminder, we do sell a replacement. Pricing is $249 and can be purchased here: https://store.glowforge.com/collections/spare-parts