November 2020 Update

I can’t believe it’s November. 2020 is simultaneously the fastest and slowest year of my life.

Here at the Shapiro household, we just put the kids to bed after a day full of pride in our twins. First for our son, who did an amazing job roasting his first turkey:

Then for my daughter, who completed a quarantine-long project to grow out her hair and donate it to a sick child through Locks of Love:

Finally four of us had dinner, Zoomed with family from across the country, and ate way too much pie.

And that echoes the theme of the past few months: home, zoom, hot chocolate, craft projects, and tons of board games. Our kids are now frighteningly good at Settlers of Catan, and my wife and I are wondering how we got left behind.

Turkey aside, I’m excited to share something new with you for this November. It’s something we’ve never done before. We’ve always kept our best price for you to share with people through your referral code. We told everyone that we’re not putting our printers on sale, and that’s still true. But then we thought - what if we had a Black Friday sale exclusively for you, our community? We put our heads together to figure out what we could do to make your winter brighter… and decided to offer a discount on Premium, and a new Air Filter package. More below!

In no particular order, then, here’s what’s new:

  • The Glowforge Book of World Records
  • New features for everyone as part of our free Glowforge Print service
  • New designs and features for Glowforge Premium
  • Proofgrade supply improvements (including material now in stock!), and…
  • Our first ever Black Friday sale!

Here we go…

Record-breaking news, and fun with print statistics

You would not believe how many things are being made with Glowforge printers right now. But you better believe we’re setting records together.

Well, that’s not quite right. It’s not so much that our community set one record, as that we’ve set a bunch of records.

To start with: three weeks ago, we had our highest-ever week of 60,000 prints. Think about that for a moment: 60,000 amazing things existed in the world that didn’t exist the week before, because of your creativity and ingenuity.

Wait. I’m sorry. I got that wrong. I apologize. We did not all come together and print 60,000 prints a week three weeks ago.

Three weeks ago, we printed 60,000 prints, in one day.

Then two weeks ago, we averaged 70,000 prints a day.

You’re going to be less impressed when I tell you that last week we averaged 80,000 prints a day, right?

Would you be impressed if I told you that this incredible group of creative visionaries has created 1,500,000 prints this month already?? That’s unbelievable. That’s astronomical!

Thinking about every print as a moment of delight; a gift, a sale, or something you treasure. And together, we made 1.5 million of those. That’s a massive improvement in happiness, in joy, in celebration - one glowing button at a time.

I’m so lucky to get to work with all of you.

Oh, and here’s what the holiday looks like to our engineering team:

This graph is the number of Google server nodes that we’ve set up to serve your printing. As you can see, we’re adding resources constantly and adjusting in real time so that the more people print, the more resources we have to support you. (This graph shows a combination of both Fast Lane nodes and original recipe servers combined).

Every one of your prints means more computing, more storage, and more data. Our software team has been doing heroic work keeping up so you never notice. They’re scaling systems, optimizing operation, and doing everything behind the scenes to keep things running fast and flawlessly, even as the number of prints going through our system climbs higher than anything we’ve ever seen before.

Free with Glowforge Print: saved settings with Export Design

In addition to keeping everything up and running under record loads, the software team has been working on feedback on our new Export Design option. As you heard with the last update, we’ve added a way to save your designs as SVG files, straight from your Glowforge Print dashboard. When you choose Export Design, it will save a copy of the design you created to your local computer so you can save or edit it.

Now, based on your feedback, we’ve made a huge improvement: it will now save your settings as well. That means when you’re ready to print it again, you can refer to the exact settings that you used the first time, without having to refer to notepads or separate files to keep track. This works for both Proofgrade materials and for manual settings you’ve tuned yourself.

Also free with Glowforge Print: Pro Passthrough

Let me tell you, it is extremely satisfying to be able to say “Pro Passthrough is here on every Glowforge Pro.” Behind the scenes, an enormous amount of work has led up to this day. If you were part of the Pro Passthrough beta test, thank you - you already know how powerful and magical it can be – and what a challenging set of problems our engineers solved to make it that way.

Now, it’s easy to use Pro Passthrough to bring your big ideas to life. When you’re working with a large design – like a 50-foot-long sidewalk stencil – you can just slide your material through the Pro Passthrough Slot section-by-section. Pro Passthrough automatically splits your design into pages so you can print gigantic objects much bigger than your printer. It’s perfect for making dramatic art pieces, full-sized furniture, and of course, truly enormous signs.

Are you a Pro owner who’s inspired to think big? Full instructions to use Pro Passthrough is here. If you don’t see the Pro Passthrough switch and you’re using a Glowforge Pro, running Printer Head Setup will fix that for you. And if any part of that process leaves you with any questions, support is here to help!

New with Glowforge Premium

The Glowforge Catalog is expanding with more amazing designs than ever. Here’s a selection of designs that the team is most excited about - free with your Premium membership:

Premium Design of the Month (DotM)

  • The November Design of the Month is this 1:175 scale model of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Featuring a detachable fuel tank, booster rockets, its very own launch pad stand, and closable cargo bay doors, you can store and release your very own model satellite. I printed one of these at home and the kids immediately started debating who got to put it in their room. Now I’m printing another.
    As always, the DotM is free for subscribers for one month, and then it is only available for purchase. Premium members, remember to claim this design for free before the end of November!

  • And your December DotM is here a few days early! We created something that’s perfect for a fun family gift during the holidays. Meet the Ready, Set Sling! Table Hockey Game.

Who will be crowned the quickest draw of the land? Fun for the whole family, this puck slinging table hockey game pits you against an opponent’s speed, reflexes, and sheer determination. Each player uses an elastic band to launch pucks through the gate to the other side. First one to get rid of the pucks on their side wins!
I can’t wait to print this so I can seek sweet revenge for our last Settlers of Catan game… I mean, try something new with the family.

New: Premium Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for a personal, thoughtful, and whimsical gift for your special someones? We have you covered! We’ll be adding a new design every other day to the Free with Premium section of the catalog until we’ve given you a baker’s dozen of gifts to print and choose from. Each one is carefully chosen to be a perfect gift for someone on your list. Print one, print it twice, or print them all for free with your membership!

Premium Gift #1: Counting Down the Days Calendar Set

To kick off the holiday gift guide, we’re offering a “Counting Down the Days” Calendar Set. This lets you hide away thoughtful gifts behind tear-away pockets in a classic countdown gift calendar. We created versions for 7 day, 8 day and 24 day countdowns to celebrate a variety of holidays or just make any week special.

Glowforge Premium Introduces: Past Print!

Past Print is like a time machine for your designs. It automatically creates a new version of your design each time you print. You can see your print history, roll back to restore a prior version of the design, and make a copy of an old version to edit it.

Glowforge Premium Introduces: Household Members

Once you’ve signed up for your Premium subscription (after your free trial), you can share the goodness of Premium with up to 2 other people in your household who share your Glowforge printer! All the joy of easy designs, powerful tools, and more is yours to give to everyone in your household who shares your Glowforge.

Proofgrade improvements

Throughout the pandemic, one of the enormous challenges has been making Proofgrade materials available. The demand for acrylic dividers made it difficult for us to source acrylic. Supply chain disruptions because of illnesses made it difficult to source wood products. And even before the pandemic, we weren’t getting the performance from our shipping warehouse that you want and deserve.

So I’m particularly proud of our operations team for a huge change this month: we’ve moved to a completely new fulfillment center, who will be faster and more efficient with shipping requests. And we’ve pulled through with our suppliers on some of your most-requested products. We have all of the following in stock as of right now:

  • Maple, Basswood, Walnut and Cherry Plywoods
  • Walnut, Maple, Poplar, and Red Oak hardwoods
  • Acrylic in a huge variety of thicknesses and colors, including orange, pink, white, green, yellow, red, blue, and - the team favorite - Glowforge teal.

We’re still offering free shipping for orders over $100, so we do expect these to run out quickly - but we’ll continue to restock throughout the season. Use the Email me when available button to be notified when your favorite product is available.

First-Time Ever: Customers Only Black Friday Air Filter Sale

We really don’t run sales on our hardware. We work hard to make sure that the everyday price to buy your Glowforge is the absolute best value already. The very best price on our printers is the price you can offer your friends through your Glowforge referral code.

Unlike fast fashion or big box stores, there’s simply no room for us to do Crazy Eddie Everything Must Go hardware sales.

But 2020 is… decidedly unusual.

One of the unusual things about 2020 is how global supply chains are working (or not). Since March, pretty much every company in the world has been playing whack-a-mole with parts shortages. For Glowforge specifically, this sometimes means we can’t keep items in stock (cough, Proofgrade, cough).

And then other times, like now, we’re pleasantly surprised by an unexpected extra shipment of Glowforge Air Filters ahead of schedule.

Since you’ve shared our challenges, we want you to share our good luck too. That’s why we decided to do something we don’t really ever do: a sale.

If you don’t have one yet, the Glowforge Air Filter is amazing because it lets you use your Glowforge anywhere with power and wifi. No more nestling up to the window, opening it up on freezing days, or worse forgetting to do it and stinking up the house. It’s easy and it works incredibly well. I print all the time in my basement with my Glowforge and Air Filter - it’s perfect for anything from a big house to a tiny apartment.

So while they last, we’re offering these extra Air Filters with a fantastic extra value. Here are the details:

Buy a Glowforge Air Filter; get a cartridge for half price.
We created the first-ever Glowforge Air Filter Bundle. Your Glowforge Air Filter comes with a cartridge that can last well over a thousand prints (details here). To make sure you’re not offline for a minute, we’ll include a second cartridge for you in the bundle for 50% off. This bundle would normally cost $1,244 if you purchase separately. Right now, you’ll lock in the total price of $1,119.

We think we’ll have inventory through Tuesday December 1st, but we could sell out much sooner, or they could last much later. We just don’t know - because we haven’t done this before! We’ll run the sale as long as we have bundles left to sell. Because of the limited quantities, we can offer only one per Glowforge owner.

Black Friday Discount: 50% off Glowforge Premium

When we announced Glowforge Premium last month, I was excited. We’ve been staffing up our team to deliver this, hoping that enough people would want it to make the extra effort pay off.

And wow. Did we ever!

We now have six times as many subscribers as we thought we would. First there was a wave of folks during our welcome deal, but the signups haven’t stopped - we’ve continued to see huge numbers of signups every week since.

And I want to share that with you. So I’ve got one more Black Friday discount to share: 50% off the Glowforge Premium regular price.

Glowforge Premium is regularly $50 a month, but with this Black Friday discount, your cost will be just $24.99. And I know deals like this are normally full of small print. The really incredible thing about this one is what you’ll find in those tiny letters.

First: It doesn’t run out. This isn’t one of those tricky situations where we start you at a huge discount and then jack the price up. You get 50% off for as long as you keep your subscription active.

Second: Anyone can use it. Already a subscriber? No problem: you can add this coupon to your account and your next monthly payment will be $24.99.

Third: No lock-in. If you decide Premium isn’t for you after all, you can end your subscription any time. If we ever offer a different subscription deal, you can switch to that. If you have a different coupon and prefer this one, you can change.

To treat yourself to Premium with this Black Friday discount, sign up for Glowforge Premium and use the code GF23579BFP.

*Note: this offer expires on December 31, 2020

I’m overjoyed with how many folks are creating new and wondrous things with Glowforge Premium. I hope that this Black Friday discount makes it even easier for you to join them.

I just scrolled up to make sure I didn’t forget anything and… whew. It’s a busy month for us!

Announcements like today are tremendously fun for me to write, because it’s my chance to finally spill the beans! The team has been working so hard, and I finally get to share the results with you.

Every day, I get to work with some of the smartest, most ingenious folks in the world, and I get to see what happens when they apply their (astonishing) hearts and minds to thorny problems. But I can’t tell anyone about the cool stuff they’re doing until it’s done. It’s tough.

That’s why I’m so gratified to be able to talk to you all about the work we do here. For every new feature we release, thousands of hours of work went on behind-the-scenes. The team here is so incredibly motivated to make something that helps you make anything – it’s magical to be a part of it.

Boy, I have a lot to be thankful for. And we’re not even done with 2020 yet.

Thanks for adding your creativity, insight, patience, wisdom, and your joyous and caring self to this big, turbulent year.


PS: You can discuss this update in the discussion topic thread here.