Preorder deal for replacement laser tube and/or air filter?


When I buy a device that has consumable parts, like an inkjet printer, I usually buy an additional set of consumables so I don’t have downtime when the first set eventually fails.

I, for one, would certainly be interested in purchasing a backup laser tube right away. Dan, is there any chance that we can purchase one during the preorder period at a reduced price?


Yes, I second this. Particularly with international shipping rates.


Nothing to announce yet, sorry.


@dan how much will the tubes be?


We haven’t announced final pricing but our target price is less than $500. A plug for our FAQ: the answer to this and much more can be found there too.


@dan Could you confirm the final tube price please?

Just to reiterate also, we would consider getting a second tube as a backup to ship with GF to avoid the expensive shipping charges in future. Is that an option?

I know your tubes would probably go into machines but spare a thought for the c. $1700 shipping cost for those of us outside of the US…


Having a second tube shipped with your Glowforge might not be the best idea. Russ, who is probably best known for his “RDWorks Learning Lab” series of videos on YouTube, says that there’s a belief out there that says “tube life” is akin to “shelf life”. Meaning that an unused tube may degrade just as quickly as a used tube - once you decide to replace the originally-installed tube, the spare might be depleted as well because of its age even though it was never fired.

I don’t have a strong opinion on the matter, but Russ seems to be pretty smart, knowledgeable, and unbiased, so his opinion carries weight with me. On the other hand, this idea seems to go against not only the answer given in that answer in the FAQ that Dan linked to above, but popular knowledge/opinion about glass laser tubes as well.

The “shelf life” talk starts at 05:57…

Open Topic: RDWorks Learning Lab At SabarMultimedia on YouTube

That’s not something I had considered. Thanks for the info, Hirudin.

The GF tube is apparently a custom tube. I would imagine it is of higher quality than average CO2 tubes, but that’s just a guess and it may not mean it’s sealed any better.

Still, we plan to use the machine in a kind of small batch production line. So if the tube goes, so does business. Our policy is to always have two of all consumable elements, like ink cartridges etc.

So I’d like to hear from GF regarding this.


2 whole glowforges?


Based on this vid… I’m concentered about the power out out of our devices… Especially if gf had all the tubes made a year ago are they already shot … Who knows… Then he goes on to say maybe his theory is rubbish and it’s mirror and lens problems


Wouldn’t that mean shoddy work from all the beta units, if all the tubes were made a year ago?


The root of the shelf life issue as described is the seal on the tube. The Chinese don’t have a reputation of using the finest materials.
The Glowforge tubes are a custom design, as opposed to the rather generic mass produced Chinese units. I would have more faith in the founder’s experience regarding their requirements of manufacture.
As far as material science, permanently sealing a light vacuum shouldn’t be that difficult or expensive.


The Helium in a tube also determines shelf life. Helium will leak through seals, and even through glass and quartz (just very, very slowly). This is, of course, a much bigger problem with HeNe tubes - and after 10-20 years they just stop working.


Yes, HeNe tubes are a different life from a good quality CO2 tube. When I worked for Spectra-Physics, we had HeNe lasers that worked for 12 years and were still going. A modern, good quality metal tube CO2 can last for 50,000 hours! That’s almost 6 years of 24 hours a day operation. I don’t think GF is saying their tubes will last that long, but the Glowforge is not designed for 24 hour a day use. - Rich


Wow! That’s why @smcgathyfay hasn’t replaced hers for 16 years!

I wonder about lenses, @dan mentioned an expensive lens, so I would like to understand expected life and care.


This is NOT the norm. Most last only 6-8 years.
I talked with one of the techs at Universal Lasers and apparently mine is the longest lasting known tube! :relieved:
I told him I should win an award or something like a big discount when it needs replaced…lmao


The better industrial metal tubes can last 50,000 hours. Some do. The best tubes get 30-50k and more. Many tubes last much less depending on environment (vibration can kill a tube) and use/abuse. Lesser quality reduces service hours too. As always, your mileage may vary. - Rich


Unfortunately we don’t have that available. We’ll announce it when it is.

The Glowforge shipping container is very carefully designed for one Glowforge unit and its accessories… unfortunately there isn’t room for anything else.


All we’re asking is if you would consider accommodating us by selling us the spare tube and ship the two items in a consignment…


Unfortunately each Glowforge shipment is handled separately, so there’s no allowances for merging two shipments together into a single, larger shipment.