New Years Update (Jan '17)

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years! We tend to take turns taking holidays at Glowforge - folks who took time off during Thanksgiving worked through December, while folks who were pushing through Thanksgiving were here most of the month.

No major updates as we push forward to getting your Glowforge delivered later this year (details on the schedule were in our last update), but folks have asked to hear monthly updates, so I’m going to share some of the odds and ends this month.

Software advanced on many fronts, and have been working particularly hard on something we call the “Technician Tool”. This is an all in one QA & calibration tool that we use on every machine at the factory to precision align the cameras, the hardware, and the laser, as well as verify that everything works. We did a great deal of work to empower the tool to catch more problems and keep it from missing small issues. For example, instead of requiring someone to judge test results by eye, we use the camera systems and machine vision to verify tests automatically.

We’ve been shipping units to customers - the majority aren’t posting here, but @marmak3261 and @karaelena are doing so rather prolifically. :slight_smile: Click their names to see some of their posts. My favorite number: 22, the number of minutes elapsed between when @karaelena opened the Glowforge box and when he had his first print.

We also worked through a host of annoying issues, including a problem where smoke could get past the focusing lens and dirty the mirror inside the head, and a problem where we saw really poor engrave quality on some machines.

We decided to skip our booth at CES this year so we could keep our focus on production. I still get stuck going to attend a few meetings (and our manufacturer, Flex, will have a Glowforge in their private suite) but it’ll just be for a day.

We continue to ship units all over the US, refining the packaging to make sure each Glowforge arrives in perfect condition. One of our team members has family in Colorado and sent the Glowforge there this weekend, where it did day-long duty cranking out coasters for a high school graduation party - everyone engraved their future school.

And last but not least, we’re printing tons of cool stuff ourselves! @bailey has been working with a contract videographer/photographer and we put this together - a cool tool spinner that’s got a place of honor on my desk.

Thanks as ever for your support - I can’t wait to get you your Glowforge!


Thanks for the update, @dan. 22 became my favorite number as well. :wink:


Thank you, Dan! :clap:


Thanks for the update, Dan–having a peek inside the black box makes it seem far less black, if that makes sense.




Thanks for the update! --and kudos for the video. Way to stoke the giddy excitement furnace!


Thanks for the update @dan

Will we be getting the tool spinner as one of the things we can print along with all the stuff from the previous videos which was promised due to delays? it looks cool and like something I could use on my desk and in my workshop.


Cannot wait to be able to do this myself !!! Thanks for the update as well Dan !! Quick quiz everyone - close your eyes - now how many of Dan’s tools can you name… :disappointed_relieved:


No, although it’ll be available in the catalog.


@Dan, is that going to be something you guys could use (or us) to verify the unit is working if it seems “off”. So if we need tech support, you guys might say “hey, load some ply in there and let’s run the self-test” which would likely save a lot of time in diagnosing what was wrong?


Thank you for the updates. We all appreciate you taking the time to keep us up to date. :relaxed:


Thanks for the updatek @dan! I’m looking forward to continued short monthly updates like this.

Does anyone else wish for a line-item “like” option on long posts like this? I really wanted to specifically “like” the 22 minutes line and the part about using the Glowforge’s own camera to verify its QA status.


Thank you Dan!!


Why is that?


Are the units in people’s hands from the production line at flex or from previous builds out to people?

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Thanks for the update. :clap:

Could you let us know approximately how many pre-release units have been shipped out as of now?


Thanks for the update! Nice to hear that there are units going out that we just haven’t heard about since they aren’t active on the forums.

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Thanks for the update @dan. I’m actually happy to hear that you skipped CES this year and it is good to know that things are progressing well.

instead of requiring someone to judge test results by eye, we use the camera systems and machine vision to verify tests automatically.

Smart thinking.


I second the skipping of CES.

With all that the Glowforge staff is trying to do, having to rehash the last year events and additional queries will jump eat up their time.

Will look forward to any Glowforge sightings and dialogues that come out of CES.


Have to admit, it always bothered me a little. Understand that Glowforge is a business and needs to operate as such, but our needs are different. When I see GF at a convention I can only think about how it affects the schedule.

Every time our lab would set up a booth for a large convention it shut all development down for about 2 weeks. The amount of time it takes to plan, prepare, patch S/W to hide flaws, travel, and unwind is amazingly non-productive.