On My 3rd Glowforge in need of help

I am writing here because I can’t seem to get a human to call me.
My first Glowforge received in November 2021 worked for a while then would not cut through proofgrade material in the corners. I asked for support, did all they wanted and got sent a replacement. That machine did the exact same thing and more. It would not recognize proofgrade material that did not have the bar code on it. Then it stopped recognizing the bard codes all together. By now I purchased the extended warranty, have used the first AND second Glowforge less than 30 hours. I haven’t used either enough to even go through the first box of proofgrade material that came with my first machine! The error message (Does not recognize proofgrade material ) also says ( Do Not Print or it will void your warranty !) By the time I asked for support for the second machine and did all they asked, they sent me a THIRD machine. Only this time it’s not the new machine I originally ordered, it’s Well Used! bits on the inside, finger prints on the lens and mirror, the front seal is cut through and broken glass inside!
Mind you, the first and second machines were NOT warranty requested work but non -functioning (improperly working ) machines that I requested replacement for.

HELP! I can’t even get a human to call me to ask what I did or what I need to do for them to help me. I get emails and emails and emails asking me to repeat yet again, what I did for the first 2 machines.

Hello and welcome to the forum. I can’t address an issue with an actual broken machine as you have described. For the other issue though I can telll you that I’ve had my Glowforge for 4 1/2 years and for most all of that time it’s never recognized most of the Proofgrade barcodes. It’s given me that same message hundreds of times…and I know there are many other owners who have also had this happen. There’s a very easy solution for that; use the dropdown menu above and choose whichever material you would like. The GF will just do as its told. This is not an issue that makes it necessary to return an entire machine.


Thank you for your reply.
I would get the same error message when I tried the drop-down menu to select the material I was using. Then it would not cut completely through the material. I haven’t even tried non proofgrade material yet because I didn’t want to mess up the machine or my warranty.
Why would they send me a new machine each time then?

Yes, I’ve gotten those same messages using the drop down menu, too…but, I know better and just ignore them. Not cutting through is another issue.


Welcome to the forum.
You state that the Glowforge “would not recognize proofgrade material that did not have the bar code.” The only way the Glowforge recognizes material is for the camera to read the bar code. This is normal for a working Glowforge. It can’t recognize anything if there are no markings. Also, once you cut the Proofgrade label off of a sheet of material, you will need to select the material from the dropdown menu.

I also can’t comment on your current replacement, but I’m afraid some of these issues are caused because you don’t understand how the Glowforge interface works.

Glowforge support does not monitor this forum. The only way to reach them is email of phone. You will need some patience as they are taking longer than usual to answer.


You know what? I am new to this. Maybe I don’t understand how the interface works. I do know that with no barcode you must use the drop-down menu to select the material or put in measurements manually.
But when an error message says Do Not Print or it will void your warranty. that’s kind of a red flag for me. Don’t print it.
As for phone numbers. The Seattle office doesn’t answer or able to leave message. The U.S. Support number will only accept voicemail. No one has called me back yet.

Thanks for listening.

Indeed. Regular users ignore it because it’s an artifact of GF’s relationship with their lawyers. It’s kind of like the little etching in the side view mirror on your car that “objects are larger than they appear”. Or the printing on takeout coffee cups that says “Contents may be hot”.

It’s only there so if you use a material that’s not good to use (like vinyl) they can absolve themselves of any responsibility. But it will also be displayed for any material that’s okay but just not made for & sold by GF.

The warranty that’s affected is the material warranty (which only applies to GF supplied proof grade material) or the machine warranty if something you use causes damage to the machine. If no damage occurs, your machine warranty is still good. It’s only if the material you used is the cause of the damage. If you use someone else’s plywood or acrylic or glass there’s no warranty impact. If you cut some acrylic and aren’t watching it and it catches on fire, then your warranty would not apply.


I get that, thank you. Better explained, better understood. A warning label. Being new to this I was just using proofgrade stuff. Without the label going to the drop down menu.
But why would they not once, but twice send me a warranty machine?
“learn by doing, they said”. I did.
Now I’ve been sent down the rabbit hole of warranty machines. Apparently I should have read all the community posts prior to shucking out so much money. Their machines failed. Failed to recognize even when I used the drop down menu to select for proofgrade material. Failed to cut completely through on two machines. If I am doing something wrong here then I own up to that, but I do not believe I have and I do not believe I should have been sent a well used machine.
I am trying other avenues to talk to a human. But knowledge is much appreciated.

The drop down menu is you overwriting the machine. If you did not have a barcode visible, then it is will not recognize the material and any print done without the barcode is out of warranty.

I do think you have a view of refurbished that is assumed. Refurbs are commonly tested more then any other. I do not believe your issue is the refurb. I do believe the issue likely can be traced to your conceptual model. However, this is not saying that you are the issue. A system like a glowforge should include HCD and therefore, they would be responsible for creatine the correct model. Yet from the items you have listed of concern, those are items well covered in glowforge user manual and so there is a case for them having given all needed information.

I think that this is a little off. If Proofgrade is used and a failure occurs, the Glowforge and the Proofgrade material will be covered under warranty even if the barcode isn’t read, provided Proofgrade settings are used. Only if you use material that is not Proofgrade will the warranty on the machine be affected. If you have a failure while using non-Proofgrade material but the material is not the cause of the issue, the warranty will not be affected. The onus is on Glowforge to prove that the material caused the failure.

That is my understanding from reading the warranty a couple of times.

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You probably jumped too fast on the first machine. Not cutting through when it was cutting through is almost always a lens cleaning issue. not a reason to replace. I have had two replacements and except for being the older style, they were indistinguishable from new.

As noted most of your issues were caused by inexperience and not knowing what to expect. A careful reading of the setting up instructions would have helped, but the lawyer language in the warnings is pure CYA. If you randomly picked up a piece of PVC and cut it, it would destroy your machine in just one cut. That is what the lawyer language is for. Not for putting in proofgrade and telling the machine it was proofgrade.


The refurb machines are not what GF promises. I was just sent one with the promise it would be well-tested and practically brand new but it didn’t work right out of the box. I’m getting my money back and going elsewhere.

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Sadly, not. The lack of bar code is what triggers the warning message that “non proof grade material is being used”. If that warning occurs and the user proceeds, Glowforge is not liable for any damage after. Good friend of mine figured it out the hard way.

That would be interesting to see how they handle a machine with a focus issue that won’t recognize the QR code. While I am incorrect about the warranty, I think they must have changed it again, probably when they extended it to a year.

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Do you have a post or document from GF that says the PG warranty applies only when the GF can read the bar code? As far as I recall they stated that it was when PG was used with PG settings. If they’ve changed that to needing to read the bar code then we need to get that cleared up since many machines have issues with GF bar codes, the bar codes have historically presented issues and there is no warning that cutting the bar code out renders the rest of the material unusable if one wants to retain the warranty.


From Glowforge Warranty Information | Glowforge

Damage to the Glowforge Basic, Glowforge Plus, Glowforge Pro, Compact Filter, or Glowforge Air Filter caused by material in the machine is not covered by this warranty unless the damage is caused by the use of Proofgrade™ brand materials used as sold, in accordance with the instructions in the manual, and with the settings automatically configured by the Glowforge software upon recognition of the material.

Note specifically the last part of the sentence. I would question if this is enforceable under Magnusson-Moss, though I am sure their lawyers think it is.


I generally put proofgrade material in upside-down anyway. Those stupid stickers impact cuts and engraves. Especially the new ones that take up so much of the workable area. They look great on store shelves.


Mine has not recognized them more than it has recognized them…for years, now.


Thanks, it’s been a long time since I read the warranty - my machine dates back to before there was a Plus or Air/Compact Filter (or PG for that matter).

People should be warned that they should be returning either the PG that doesn’t scan or the machine that can’t read PG codes as either case would prevent them from availing themselves of the warranty they think they have by purchasing PG materials.

Magnusson-Moss wouldn’t apply to the material warranty that PG is supposed to come with. But it would apply to machine failures that could not be determined to be the cause of the material. So if a pulley breaks or the tube or power supply fails, that’s still covered regardless of who manufactures the material they use.

But if it catches on fire, GF would likely take the position it was the material and thus not covered and would likely survive a M-M challenge. If the material that caused the fire was PG, they would likely argue that it was operator inattention and not covered as well.

I haven’t relied on them since the PRU. I almost always put PG in upside down so I’m not trying a first surface cut through the sticker.


I lost a bit of respect for GF today since I discovered that change.