My Glowforge Journey


#1

Though I haven’t gotten my email yet, glowforge.com/account shows today as my estimated shipping date. My Pro purchase confirmation mail came in 2015-10-01 at 11:16 a.m. PST. The banner shows they’re up to day 10 on shipping Pro’s so I’m not sure why I haven’t received an email yet, but I expect it to be incoming soon. I’ll reply to this thread with updates, pictures, and first prints when I get the machine in. I’m happy my wait is finally coming to an end (well…ignoring the air filter which is showing an April shipping date) and am looking forward to sharing more with the community here as I experiment and learn on my own glowforge :-).


Proofgrade shipping email received - how long before the real stuff?
#2

As I began to lose hope that they’d make the cutoff for today, I checked my mail one more time to find the golden ticket email waiting. The email was received a little before 5:30 PST. I just completed the click through to accept delivery now.

One thing I probably just missed on here but had wondered about was what the “$150 of proofgrade materials” would be. I’m sure others have posted it, but in case anyone else has been wondering about the same and also missed any previous information here’s what that includes:

Four 6"x12" sheets of Medium Maple Hardwood
Four 12"x20" sheets of Medium Maple Plywood
Three 12"x20" sheets of Medium Draftboard
Two 12"x20" sheets of Medium Clear Acrylic
One 12"x20" sheet of Walnut Veneer, with 3M tape
One 12"x20" sheet of Maple Veneer, with 3M tape
Two 5"x10" sheets of Standard Natural Leather

I’m a little disappointed with some of the catalog pricing. $40 for a basic wallet design seems a little steep to me. I was expecting things to be more in the range of a couple bucks for a print or maybe $10 for unlimited.


#3

Yeah, it seems like there’s a mixture of good and bad deals in the catalog. I’m sure they’re still tweaking the pricing, though, based on what’s selling and what isn’t.


#4

Thanks for the update on what’s currently in the starter pack. It’s changed a few times, I think. (e.g., no Draftboard in the early versions)

The catalog is pretty limited at this point, and of course there aren’t any third party designs yet. I imagine that when there are third party designs added the competition will drive prices down some. (But perhaps not too much; I bet Glowforge won’t want pricing wars eating away at their profits.)


#5

The banner is showing Day 6 and 1 st October is day 8 so I am totally confused. Anyway good to see you got your golden email.


#6

I refreshed and it moved on to Day 10 so it seems it doesn’t update while you navigate around the forums.


#8

I noticed that too but some of the things that where in the promotional video that I thought we were supposed to get as one of the delay bonuses either have not been posted or they plan to post later ie. The drone and my wife was really interested in that doll house of course one item that I wanted was the candle holder that was on the tested video I saw just before the campaign started. So I hope some of the promotional video designs are still forth coming but maybe @dan covered that at sometime and I missed it but might be nice to have reaffirmed.


#9

From previous posts it seems it’s still coming. From a couple of weeks ago:

https://community.glowforge.com/t/who-else-is-hoping-for-some-kind-of-news-on-the-design-store/10306/13?source_topic_id=12826

#10

Thank you I kinda figured over all these posts I may have missed it. Besides I suspect I’ll see my Pro delivery is right around the corner as I’ve already received my proofgrade delivery this week.


#11

The anticipation grows. I just received shipping notification from glowforge that my proofgrade materials are on their way and scheduled to arrive within about a week. It also had my inventables gift code. The shipment didn’t show up in UPS My Choice for me because I had a name mismatch (I go by my middle name and can never remember if I submitted something under First, Middle, First Middle, or FI Middle). If anyone else has variations of your name, you can add these in the settings for your My Choice address. If you’re logged in, click the drop down in the top right. Click on addresses. Find your My Choice address (it has a type column that should say My Choice) and click edit. From there you can add additional household members and name variations for each member.

One thing to clarify is that in the list of materials in my original post, I mentioned 3 draftboards. One of those is meant to keep for trouble shooting. I know that’s been announced and is probably common knowledge, but the email really stresses it, so I figure I should call it out.

I also picked up some non proofgrade materials from amazon and tandy leather outlet. 45 sheets (1/8" x 12" x 12") of baltic birch for $60 ($1.33 /sheet): https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B013NT3OAC

I of course haven’t tried lasering them, but I’m happy with the quality of the face. I was a little concerned since they are graded as B/BB but I haven’t come across any big knots or anything in the first 5 or 6 sheets. They’re unfinished of course and need some light sanding with some fine sand paper.

Sidenote: always replace www. with smile. when shopping at amazon. They donate a portion of proceeds to charity. You can even choose the charity. For example, we have it set up to donate to a local food bank in our area. You can even add the “smile.” in the url at checkout, so long as you do it before you press buy.

From tandy outlet (https://www.tandyleatheroutlet.com) I got a bunch of the scrap boxes of various kinds, including some ostrich leather. I’ve never done leatherworking, but it’s one of the reasons I got the glowforge, so time to jump in. I’ll report back with I get the materials in with quality and size of cuts. I felt shipping was very reasonable ($13 to US for orders under $100). I got 20 lbs of leather and some odds and ends stuff for under $90 shipping and tax included.

Thanks for following along with my journey as I wait and prepare for my glowforge :slight_smile:. Can’t wait till I have more to share.


#12

The proofgrade and leather has arrived!

I bought a few different sets of leather scraps from the tandy outlet: black veg tan, black deertan, calfskin, and ostrich leather. The ostrich leather was the only one “packaged” in a sealed bag, the others were put in the box with packing paper dividing the lots and weren’t labelled so I’m making my best guess as to which is which. For scale, the tape measure in each photo is pulled out to 20", though sorry for some skewed angles on my quick and dirty photography…the pieces closest to the camera may be smaller than they appear.

I got the tobacco colored ostrich leather - 1 lb for $10. This was the most disappointing lot. I was expecting smaller pieces since it’s more of an exotic leather, but the scraps are very small and will be difficult to find uses for. The leather is soft and thin, so it’s very pliable. I love the color of it, but I just wish it came with a few slightly bigger pieces. The pieces are connected in 2 or 3 large chunks, but as you can see in the picture below, the connections are so thin that it doesn’t really help. There are definitely usable pieces, but you won’t be able to make a wallet out of this unless you want a bunch of seams. Thickness is between .5mm and 1mm averaging around .75mm. This is one of the ostrich chunks.

What I believe to be the calfskin leather was labelled as “assorted colors” with browns and black being shown in the sample picture, but I received all black…which makes my leather collection somewhat homogeneous. It was also fairly thin, measuring around 1mm. It is very smooth and has a nice finish to it. It’s not quite as soft as the ostrich. Still pretty pliable, but it holds its shape more than the ostrich or black veg. It came in good size pieces and was 2 lbs for $10. I’m happy with the leather here, but really wanted some brown. The backside of the skin isn’t as soft as the ostrich or black veg and has a slightly suede quality to it, but isn’t as soft as suede.

Next up is the black veg tan. This is closest to what I was expecting. Soft, supple, textured leather. Very pliable like the ostrich leather. Thicker than the ostrich and calfskin coming in around 1.5mm, though it feels a little thicker than that in my hand. I think it may squeeze a little more with the calipers giving a thinner measurement vs the other pieces. The size of the pieces was more of a mix here. I took photos of some of the larger pieces. This lot was 10 lbs for $13, but the leather is heavier weight than the calfskin so it doesnt seem like 5x as much.

Final is the deertan leather. This had a similar look to the calfskin - smooth and a little bit of a sheen with a slightly softer back than the calfskin. But it was much much thicker. Most of the pieces were measuring 2.5-3mm. It also was the most uniform of the lots with the pieces being mostly cut into rectangles. It’s very stiff and isn’t pliable like the others. I bent some of the pieces around and I think it may soften up with time. 5 lbs for $15.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the value I got. You won’t be able to make any bags out of this stuff, but it will be good for smaller projects. Best value was probably the black veg tan (though I just checked and they seem to be out of this one for now). I’ll definitely keep an eye on the outlet site and plan on picking up some more browns. I may try the deer leather next time. Feel free to respond with any ideas for projects to use these sized pieces on.

As always, thanks for following along with my glowforge journey. Still no shipping information on the machine itself, but I’m hoping in the next week or so I’ll get a shipping notification as 3 weeks seems to be about average from what I’ve read from others.


#13

Well boys and girls, we have a big update tonight. I have my glowforge date. And it will be arriving Thursday. I almost didn’t check UPS choice because I haven’t gotten any emails and have been disappointing myself over and over again by incessantly checking the UPS site. But who are we kidding…of course I’m gonna check it, only to find 2 new line items labeled “glowforge”.

I’m super excited and had to jump over here to vent some of that excitement. As I said a couple days ago, I was expecting this week to be my week, but you never know. I’m glad I was right :smile:. Can’t wait to post some pictures of my first prints. I’ve been working on designing a custom box for my inks.

Guess I need to hit up home depot to get some glues and whatnot. Oh man…I’m pumped.

As always, thanks for reading! Out.


#14

A short sad update today. On the day that my glowforge was set to arrive, I get a notification that UPS messed up the sorting and delayed my delivery by a day. Hopefully nothing more will happen to delay it further. Thank you for sharing in my mourning for this lost evening of fun.


#15

Well, there’s “messed up” and there’s the guy that knows somebody else has the route tomorrow and for some reason, “that box” doesn’t fit on the truck.


#16

Somehow the 2 boxes got separated. One ended up staying in California while the other one made its way here to Washington. The machine itself was the one that got left behind, but the weird part is that the 2nd box that actually made it to Washington is the one that showed a sorting exception. My theory is that they had to put an exception in their system to avoid having it delivered without the other box.

In any case, it now shows out for delivery so things are looking good for today :-).


#17

UPS delivered today. They had given a 3 pm - 7 pm delivery window, but it arrived at 10 a.m. Thankfully my wife was home to sign for it. I woulda been rather upset if I had to wait another excruciating day because they didn’t hit their delivery window.

But I can’t complain, because I skipped off from work after lunch to get Gary set up. Setup was a breeze, even after taking time to read the safety precautions. I got stuck on calibrating, but a quick forum search, a little bit of manual head nudging, and I was back on track.

First prints are never the most exciting to read about and mine are no different, but its still quite exciting to watch your machine make something really cool out of raw materials. Started out with The founder’s ruler on proofgrade maple hardwood.


I really only wanted to use proofgrade for the first try. After that I knew I’d just be playing around and didn’t want to burn my good material. I had sanded and finished a single side of 3 12x12 Baltic birch plywood pieces. Having only finished one side they warped pretty badly (moisture flow being sealed only on one side means that side doesn’t expand or contract as much as the other). So I decided to burn through some of those. I didn’t bother masking because I have a large roll of transfer tape coming and didn’t want to burn a bunch of painter’s tape on just messing around prints. Another catalog item in the pen carousel.

And then a dragon from the folks at makecnc.com. The file came in for 6mm or 1/4 inch. I just did a 50% scale on it, and everything fit my 1/8 in plywood great. When I do a more complicated one, I’ll go in and add some engraved details for scales and whatnot.

He’s standing on a piece of cardboard where I tried to cut out the pen carousel using some cardboard settings posted on this forum. YMMV holds true here as it didn’t completely cut all the way through for me. I should also mention that with the warped wood, parts of the cut were being elevated off the bed. I was concerned about alignment and focus. Neither proved to be an issue. In fact, on one part of the cut, it made some interior cuts, followed by the exterior cut. So the inner pieces fell down flat onto the bed and then the rest of the piece was cut free to fall on top of them. I thought it may get stuck, but it fell directly into place around the already cut pieces.

My last bit of fooling around was just grabbing some icons from the noun project and cutting them into some of the scrap cutouts from the pen carousel. These are 15mm in diameter. The pictures don’t show the detail here but I was amazed. Particularly with the alligator. I tried to get a better shot but my phone won’t focus in tight enough. I’ll get some better pictures next time with my DSLR. I almost didn’t post this picture, but figured it’s better than nothing. The two that didn’t come out great were very detailed and scaled down way to small. I didn’t really expect them to work out, but wanted to push the machine.

Overall, I’m very happy. That said, this is very much a beta product. The inability to reliably position cuts and engraves is severely limiting. I know people recommend the jig method, but the entire selling point of this laser is to NOT need to do that sort of tinkering. But with the knowledge that the positioning will be addressed, this is an impressive laser. I’m already enjoying the jealousy of my friends. I can’t wait to start printing some of my own designs up next. This will be my last update on this thread as the intention was to catalog the timing of the final leg of my Glowforge delivery. This is really just the beginning of my Glowforge journey, and I’ll continue to share with the awesome community here.

For those of you still waiting here’s a big picture of what my timeline looked like (taking delivery in WA):
Received golden email on estimated date.
1 week later I received shipping notification for proofgrade materials.
1 week and 1 day later I received the proofgrade box
2 more days and the Glowforge showed up in UPS my choice scheduled for delivery in 2 days.
2 days later, ups updates my status indicating an error in sorting (only one box made it out of CA) delaying my shipment by a day.
The next day (today) I received Gary.

Thanks to all who followed along my journey with me!


#18

What a great assortment of projects! You’re going to get a lot of use out of yours! Congrats! :grinning:


#19

Thanks :-). Getting a reply from Jules feels like getting acknowledged by a celebrity.

I should have also mentioned, I used medium draftboard settings for the baltic birch. On the carousel, one piece had a triple pass engrave and I think it went a little too deep. So the power could probably be scaled back some.


#20

Congrats! Very glad to hear that you’re up and running!


#21

I usually use the maple ply PG settings on Baltic Birch. But the Draftboard ones usually work as well.