On our 4th Glowforge Pro in 9 months

Hello there… my partner and I are in the middle of receiving our fourth Glowforge… and let me make this clear we have not bought 4 separate laser engravers… we have had issues with 3 individual Glowforges… in the span of just over 9 months of having one… The first glowforge( apparently a new one) broke down after about 4 months, when it works it works great… however when it breaks down… it is so stressful, especially since we have a business that relies on our glowforge working. The first issue seemed to be that the printer head was having trouble connecting with the machine itself… I spent 6 or more hours cleaning it and troubleshooting, sending photos back and forth with Glowforge for days, in one incident I didn’t get a reply for more than 24 hours… I also have never spoken to ONE representative over the phone… yet I have left at least a dozen separate messages over the past 9 months. After we received our second glowforge it broke down in under 4 months… and seemed to possibly be the same issue, however Glowforge didn’t actually tell us the issue, since you can’t run diagnostics yourself… I also recognize the automatic messages they send to you when there are issues… they were exactly the same as the previous ticket i submitted, I also asked glowforge to please renew our 1 year warranty… which they declined to do so… which rubbed us the wrong way, I am very worried for what happens after the warranty is over and the next one breaks down, there are no people in my City who know how to properly fix glowforges, and it is very hard to find any information online about how to fix these things yourself. Our most recent glowforge we received, looked fine, some scratches here and there and a bent screw… however I did notice that the laser tube was basically completely filled with liquid… thought that was rather odd, compared it to the glowforge that broke down, the one we would send back(refurbished) replacement. The old glowforge had no liquid where the new one had, but i thought maybe the new one is more updated than the previous… I was so excited to get printing again, as we have orders coming in and shelves to fill in shops… I was very displeased to find out everything worked… except the laser… the arm would move back and forth as if it was printing… reminded me of when i accidentally tried printing something with the settings on 0… however this time the settings were normal and I know the files weren’t corrupted… I even tried printing glowforges files. We spoke with support and did all the necessarily troubleshooting… and again they informed us after running diagnostics they would have to replace it again… even though we JUST got this one and they assured us last time that they would test print this glowforge to be sure it works… I am extremely nervous for when this warranty runs up… and I really can’t understand why they wouldn’t agree to either renew our warranty or compensate us in some way. As I said before, when the glowforge works its GREAT… but the lack of customer service and the fact they haven’t offered us a new warranty really really worries me, if we don’t feel like our needs are met after making this large purchase, we will have to resort to getting the message out online about our experience with this product, we really don’t want anyone else to go through what we’ve been through, out of the 9 months we’ve had this product I would say a month and a half we have either been trying to repair it, contact support or were waiting for a replacement refurbished one to come in the mail. This has been a huge headache, we were going to purchase a second one… but are now looking elsewhere for a more powerful engraver with longer warranties as well as a proper how to manual so we can do our own repairs once the warranty is up, to avoid this from happening again. Glowforge we would really love to hear from you, a phone call would be nice.

Unfortunately they don’t monitor the forum anymore. Nor do they do much phone support, if at all.

Your story isn’t universal but it’s not unheard of either. Many of us can sympathize with you. And like you regardless of our current experience with our machine might well make the same decision as you about getting a different machine that is more appropriately supported for someone running a business. Or in fact, anyone expecting long term value from a not insignificant purchase.

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The first time you turn on the Glowforge, the coolant pump will circulate the coolant and purge the air from the tube. From then after, it is “full” of liquid and you can’t see it at all, as it’s just as clear as the glass containing it. If your first Glowforge had no liquid in the tube, it would have stopped working immediately. Your replacement is normal and will look like it has no liquid in it either shortly after you start using it, once the air is purged from that tube as well.

In all these many customer service interactions you said only once they’ve taken more than 24 hours to reply. My takeaway about their service from your post is that their response time is excellent. I have waited more than 10 days between responses from Dell for laptop issues this year.

That Glowforge worked when it left the factory – it was not only tested when produced, but tested again when it was refurbished. But a lot can happen between there and your home when FedEx and UPS are involved. It’s delicate equipment, some of them don’t make it through the shipping process. As long as they replace it without fuss, which they did, you can’t fault them for shipping damage.

A bold threat for such a mundane tale. Every company has a few unhappy customers, and “they’ve replied in under 24 hours and shipped $21,000 in replacement machines to us at no cost, as many times as it took to make things right” is not a story that will scare off many. With a slight change in tone, this post could be a 4 star review. If I wasn’t already an owner, I would be MORE likely to give Glowforge my business after reading the lengths and expense they’ve gone to service your warranty.

Glowforge staff does not monitor this forum nor do they offer support by phone. Your threats are only being read by other Glowforge owners. Sorry about your bad experience. Glowforges hold excellent resale value, so you can swap into another machine easily if you’d like.

You’re definitely not going to get an extended warranty through blackmail. Shame on you for trying.

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are you speaking from experience? you’ve sold a used glowforge before? and gotten a good chunk of your investment back? i’m also not blackmailing simply stating that I will be sure to let other potential buyers know what we’ve gone through before they make the purchase.

When you demand something of value and threaten to share damaging information if that demand isn’t met, that’s blackmail. Go on eBay, search Glowforge, tick the “completed” checkbox in the left. Glowforge Pros typically sell between $5000 and $6000 used, as several have this month.

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the liquid is in both sections of the tube not just the main area inside the center

That’s where it’s supposed to be.

right well than that means the last glowforge had other issues when it was first delivered

It doesn’t. During shipping, the machine is not kept level, so some of the coolant drains out of the tube into the reservoir tank in the front left. The first time you turn it on, the pump will start circulating the coolant through the tube, which will push any air in it out into the reservoir, replacing it with the liquid. Now you can see neither air nor liquid in the tube. The unboxing and setup guide mentions that you’ll hear a bubbling noise as this happens. It’s 100% normal.

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right well im telling you both glowforges have completely different amounts of coolant in them the old one only has liquid in the center, and the new one has liquid throughout the entire thing, first one ran for 4 months second one ran for a full day.

and by ran i mean i had it on, not that it actually worked

appreciate your sympathy :wink:

Sometimes it helps to vent, and share your thoughts with others by taking the time to write out your experience. I hope you feel better after sharing your situation. Glowforge has sold over 100,000 units and when things don’t work properly they swap out the machines. It is a cumbersome process and it is a big item to pack and ship. There are not local repair facilities, so this is going to be the situation for the foreseeable future. The warranty for the machines is stated and honored. I have heard of many situations when Glowforge was extremely generous with their replacement policies.

If your business depends on the Glowforge or any other single piece of equipment you need a fall back plan. It could be a different laser or an additional Glowforge. The forum is made up of other Glowforge owners, and is not monitored by Glowforge personnel. We understand your frustration, but we can’t be of much assistance.

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definitely felt good to write out that message, I saw past topics had been answered by glowforge and that they had gotten to their tickets quicker or even took on the issues themselves instead of the regular automatic messages they send out, so I was kind of hoping for that result. I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know that and not just putting me down for opening up about our frustrations.

do you know if there are any extended warranties? I couldn’t find anything online…

also do you know of anywhere I can properly learn how to repair my glowforge for when the warranty runs up?

appreciate you taking the time to answer my post <3

There was an extended warranty offer some time ago through a third party. I don’t know what the current policy is, but I think it needs to be purchased at the time of the original purchase.

Learning to repair the Glowforge is not something I can help with. I can do all of the things that they sell spare parts for, but power supplies and other electronics are beyond me. There are some skilled owners on the forum who may be able to assist you - but usually it is task specific - the white cable, the stepper motor, the power supply, etc. Read some of the posts by @MyDogsThinkImCrazy, she knows a ton and is good at explaining it.

Good luck.

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I’m pretty sure if I had had that experience from the get go I would be just as upset as you. I’m quite mystified at the company’s general apathy toward customer support.

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really appreciate you saying that! i feel heard! I couldn’t agree more! before we bought the glowforge I was hesitant because most laser engravers come with 2-3 year warranty and glowforge only gives you a one year, I mean my cellphone I use every day and drop all the time has a 2 year warranty hah. They must just have a huge warehouse full of broken down glowforges getting refurbished and sent back out to the customers, I imagine a never ending revolving door.

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