New Pro Unit Arrived and some thoughts on shipping

Hi, Just recieved a beautiful Glowforge Pro in the mail Monday.

In regards to the shipping I have to say that that cardboard box it was in is not that great. I would have expected more since we have to keep all this stuff. It had literally one piece of paper tape holding the lid on and the handles were missing on one side. I watched it come out of the UPS on its side on a dolly and the top of the box almost opened and luckily the driver grabbed it before it did. I opened it before signing. I was shocked that the unit did not have anything protecting the center of the unit. Also there was no plastic or paper surrounding the unit under the foam. Last I couldn’t believe the lid wasn’t taped or held shut with anything.

With all that said the unit is fine and working flawlessly. It all just made me sweat a little after waiting so long and I could see where something terrible could happen.

The setup with extremely easy. The guide is not 100% accurate but it was very close and extremely helpful. From start to finish it took 30 minutes to get setup and cutting my first design. I chose a puzzle with a very intricate engraving. The end result was perfect.

I am extremely impressed and going to have a ton of fun with this.

Thank you


Hey, guess what! Your life just changed. :slight_smile:

Re the guide not being 100%, you might want to give some specifics in P&S so they can correct it for our fellow future recipients. :slight_smile:


Yes it is hard to imagine what they were thinking when they specified the packaging. Many things I buy costing two orders of magnitude less come much better packaged. I hope they revisit it before international shipping.


As someone who had theirs shipped across the country to the east coast…they DEFINITELY need to improve the packaging before going over seas.


How’s about a picture or two? (Packaging and puzzle!)

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At the very least a plastic bag over the unit to keep water and dust off it when the outer packaging is pierced or it is left out in the rain.

Proper reinforced parcel tape that goes all the way around the box.

Handles that need a more definite action to release them, not just a knock on the release tab that sticks out. Perhaps something that needs a screw driver to release a sunken tab.


Couldn’t agree with you more. I’d also like to see something covering the all glass top. Like even a 3mm sheet of craft foam or something.

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Congrats on getting it! Post your projects!

Since the two halves of the box separate they should be stapling them rather than taping.

I’m not sure why they didn’t do that.


What you see when the lid comes off. 20171101_125645

A look inside. It was very well packed in here.

The detail is amazing and this was just a black png.


I had the same experience - two handles missing, bashed up box, top held to bottom with minimal tape. Luckily the internal foam padding worked, so the unit was fine, but it sure didn’t look good.

Only difference - for me, one of the internal foam pieces was pulled loose from the rest of the ‘cage’, but I was able to stick it back in place and the ‘cage’ is usable for future use.

I’ve boxed the GF up to bring to a Maker Faire (long drive, lots of equipment). I have to say that due to the great internal protection (the strips that protect the wheels and the track they run on, lockdown screws, etc.) the GF came through fine. I still used the bed, though it was hard to carry with only two handles - the cardboard isn’t as rigid as the plastic.

While there was no damage, and the GF works great, the lost handles, etc., didn’t inspire confidence. It might be worth upgrading the packaging so that it’s consistent with the GF’s otherwise awesome design.

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Packaging is a tough cookie… oftentimes, packaging is designed to be sacrificial to protect whatever is inside. Our cars are made the same way. The dilemma comes, obviously, when you need to use that sacrificial packaging more than once or twice. If you think shipping damage is high now, I can almost guarantee that more rigid packaging would result in more damaged units.

I agree that some kind of covering would be nice, whether it’s a bag (which might be a pain to remove on the consumer end) or the peel and remove stuff that they typically use to protect screens.


Glowforge specifically say it is a reuseable shipping container though and require you to keep it. So you would think it would be better protected.

As a consumer, I’ll use whatever packaging they supply as they require but I wonder how many units they will end up replacing that get shipped back for warranty work because the box shredded

What is better protected as far as the outside box? I’m not a packaging design expert. I doubt many here are. I also didn’t see the testing results when they dropped multiple package designs from 3 feet in the air. I doubt many here did.

I figure if I have to ship it to Glowforge, I’ll just use the box - regardless of the condition (mine isn’t bad at all) and the rest goes from there. I’ve done what was asked. If I need to, I’ll ask Glowforge to package it in a new box for return. I doubt it would be a 250 dollar box at that point because they wouldn’t need to ship it to me empty.

Does anyone here think Glowforge is going to leave them high and dry for shipping it back in the container they requested?

Edit: I’m sure they’ve done a cost analysis on the return shipment anticipated damage etc.

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No idea, im sure its 90% good enough to get items where they are going without the unit being destroyed. I’m just curious how well they will make the second trip back for warranty work. Not my problem really but I can see why people would be concerned if a unit gets damaged when sent back and there is a delay getting them a replacement unit.

Ok, just to take this to the next logical step.

Do we know if GF will grant a “limited warranty” when they ship the unit back to us after they have repaired it?

Scenario: Something happens with my GF after the warranty period ended (i.e. Tube replacement) and I need to ship my GF back to Seattle. It arrives with no issues, gets fixed, tested, and is being sent back. At this point the box is looking quite ragged and my unit is dropped when the bottom of the box gives out, or SOMETHING happens and when I open the box up again at my home the unit is damaged in some fashion.

Is there a limited warranty that would cover me on that return trip?


I would hope any liability issue would be handled the same as original shipment.

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Here’s hoping. I’ve just heard of people doing a more “at risk” scenario. I wouldn’t expect that from a company like Glowforge, but I’ve also haven’t come across any verbiage on this topic that I can recall.

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We need to use the original box for a warranty return. But doubt very seriously if GF will use that same box to return the replacement or repaired unit.


Many companies use double boxing. The outer box is plain cardboard meant to be scuffed, etc., in shipping, and the inner box is slick (or printed cardboard) meant to be seen by customers in retail. I think that given that GF is trying for an Apple-like experience, I would think that double boxing with a slick inner box would be worth the cost - if Apple can double-box a watch that sells for $250, GF can double box a $6500 laser cutter - that’d give a much better “out of box experience” and even more clearly differentiate them from the industrial laser cutters.

The other weak point in shipping is the handles. They just aren’t locked in place well enough to survive shipping. And they’re important because they’re what lock the top and bottom boxes together.

An inner bag would also be good. When the handles pop out, there’s now a hole in the box, and an inner bag would protect from dust, water, etc. And also improve the “out of box experience” in that you’d see another layer protecting your awesome GF in shipping.

Yes, double boxing, printing, bagging, better handles, etc., all cost money (materials, work). But I certainly hope that GF has margin to cover that, at least once they have customers paying regular pricing instead of the early discounted prices.