It’s been a wild summer at Glowforge - we’ve been cranking out new features, shipping to international customers, more new features, building air filters, and then making some more new features!
Your Glowforge got faster overnight
Five years ago, we set out to create your Glowforge as a living product - one that would give you years of use and joy, long after it’s left our hands. Instead of obsoleting your investment, we work to improve it. That means we’ve been doing our best for the past few years to surprise and delight you with new features, and are looking forward to doing it for years to come. And there’s a big one today.
This morning, we’ve updated the software that operates your Glowforge. This will make a new beta setting available to dramatically increase the top speed your Glowforge can achieve. The top speed of the Glowforge Basic is now 1.4x, the Plus is 2.8x, and the Pro is a whopping 4.2x as fast as before.
While your Glowforge won’t always run at top speed, this new option can make prints go much faster than before. You’ll see the biggest improvements in large engravings - for example, engraving the back of this clipboard used to take one hour but now only takes 23 minutes. Note, though, that not all machines may work well at all speeds - since this is a beta release, we’ll be depending on your feedback to see how it goes.
Faster processing of your uploads
We’ve improved the way we handle bitmap engravings, which is often the slowest part of the “Preparing…” step after you hit print. That means you won’t have to wait nearly as long for that glowing button to glow already! This also means high-resolution, full-bed engravings that might have timed out before can now be printed successfully.
We’re adding a new manual mode option: Minimize margin. Moving the slider to the left can speed up your engravings while reducing the unusable margin on the left and right, with some decrease in engrave quality. Note that this beta feature is only available when you’re engraving a bitmap image, like a JPG or PNG, and not when you’re engraving a vector image.
The margins are the grey no-go zones on the left and right the head uses to travel up to speed. When you adjust this setting, your Glowforge will start engraving while the head is still getting up to speed in the margin. The software will automatically compensate by lowering the power.
Last but not least, we’ve made a tremendous improvement to how your Glowforge handles corners. This will automatically improve all your prints, but also lets you use the “score” setting at much higher speeds while still looking great!
Normally, when your Glowforge slows down to cut or score a corner, it leaves a dark spot. With this feature, your Glowforge software automatically compensates as it slows to reduce the dark spots in the corners.
You can see the results from the 2” stars below, which were scored in copy paper.
Our Plus units are shipping with all the features above, but new Plus units will ship with a 40 watt tube instead of a 45 watt tube. Lucky existing 45 watt Plus owners’ machines will continue to operate as before (including using the faster Proofgrade presets).
If you’re waiting on an air filter order, we’ve updated the air filter thread with the latest schedule information. Deliveries start next month!
We’re shipping pre-orders to more and more new locations around the world. Check out the latest on the International Shipping thread for the latest updates, which include opening the shop so that customers in the United Kingdom and Canada can purchase Proofgrade materials and more.
We’d love to feature you!
We just celebrated 100K followers on Instagram! Every day we feature incredible prints from customers like you on our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or blog. We’d love to showcase you and your work next. Just click here to send us photos or videos of your amazing creations and tell us about what inspired you. We’ll post as many wonderful submissions as we can!
We’re working hard to build this company for the long haul. For us, part of that is getting off the hardware treadmill of forcing you to upgrade and landfill your investment to get the features you want (I’m looking at you, iPhone). At Glowforge, we’re going to do everything we can to make our features available to you, our amazing owners, whenever we can. Today is one of those days. Enjoy!
(Discussion of this topic is in this forum thread).