Printable area a bit small compared to advertised specs - round 2

Sure would be nice if the original poster had a chance to respond before a thread was locked. So starting a new thread.

list of things that are still being worked on and that you accepted when you agreed to have your Glowforge sent to you


As soon as devices arrived they became available for resale. I purchased mine from someone else. The information I based my purchase on was what was publicly available to me on the “tech specs” page on the site. I personally made no such agreement and was not informed this by the original purchaser. Did he also agree to pass along any such agreements to future owners?

With a secondary market now happening, the belief that everyone who owns a Glowforge understands the history and has agreed to things is incorrect, so maybe the available information that they would make a purchase on needs to reflect reality. State the actual current cutting area and the desired future cutting area so secondary market purchases can be made on actual facts. Do non Kickstarter people who have purchased a GF through agree to the same thing? If not, does that mean it will be done by June when they were told they would receive it?

As for the immediate closing of the thread because it was believed to be addressed, that kinda hurts and is infuriating. I find a problem that is a big deal to me (an owner who may not have waited two years, but an owner none the less) and threatens the business model of why I bought it. I spend well over an hour documenting the issue, measuring multiple times to be sure of things, etc and wake to find it summarily dismissed because you presumed to have all the facts and think I have agreed to something I did not. Please give people a chance to respond before these presumptions are made. A simple “does that answer your question” and a day for me to respond would have saved a LOT of frustration that I am feeling now being tossed aside.

I’m sure many would say “wah, try waiting two years and see what frustration you feel”. I don’t try to diminish that frustration at all, but it doesn’t make mine any less valid either.

Another 40 mins used in drafting and tweaking this response. Hopefully it won’t be immediately closed as well.

1 Like

When you buy something pre-owned, it’s “as-is,” not “as stated when it was new.” And this is as it is.
You can’t expect your used car to perform the way it did when it was new. Same rule applies to just about everything.

You’d have to check your local laws. If you believe he mislead you, you could very likely be allowed to return it to him.


Understand you are just venting. Wondering what sort of response in a company Support topic you are seeking? Seems the person who sold it to you didn’t provide the information. The publicly available specs describe the final operational standard. Everyone that has accepted delivery from the company, up to this point, has had to agree to the current conditions. There are no official 3rd party sales of new units.


Not a fair comparison.
1 - I am not asking about something that would degrade over time. I could buy that the speed diminishes over time because the motors wear out. The physical area of printing shouldn’t change.
2 - while pre-owned, it was not pre-used. He didn’t even open the box before selling it. I was the first to open and use it. My understanding is that the warranty even transferred to me. So while a pre-owned car may be as-is after 10 years or whatever, a used car that is still in the warranty period does get the full coverage of issues taken care of for the new owner, just like the original owner would have received. Correct?

Sorry I wasn’t clear. My point was you didn’t buy it directly from the manufacturer so you can’t expect to have received the same information from the manufacturer. You can only expect to receive whatever information the seller chooses to provide at that time. Again, the law in your area may be on your side and you might be able to return it to the seller.

That’s your opinion. It has changed in the past and definitely should change again, as promised.

If the warranty hasn’t run out and has been transferred, absolutely. And as far as I can tell you’ve received nothing short of that. A question was asked and answered. That’s just how it works. If you have another question, absolutely ask and it, too, will be answered.


Maybe acknowledgment that I am one of the first of a new situation (people who didn’t agree to the same thing that others did) that could potentially be addressed to make things better for others in my situation in the future. While no company would likely officially support 3rd party sales, the knowledge that they happen may change the way they message things to reflect that it will happen.

Is it that crazy of a suggestion to have the tech specs reflect current reality and future potential?

Tesla (another company who updates their product after release) states

Regular over-the-air updates add safety and navigation features, enhance performance and improve the driver experience

They disclose that updates are coming. But I doubt they put the future features as their current tech specs. I would guess that they put the current spec and then update that after they have released an update saying it is available as of version X.Y if you don’t have this. This is helpful and accurate both for initial owners and secondary owners.

Agreed, but in other situations I could go to their public facing website (of a car or otherwise) and presume that the specs listed are accurate. In this case, they were not. Is it unreasonable to ask that the listed specs reflect the current reality, not the future potential?

Fair enough. That is knowledge that you have as someone who has been here, I am presuming, a long time. Would an average buyer think that something which is listed as a physical dimension would normally change? Is that information that would be useful for those who haven’t been around for a long time? Heck, wouldn’t that be a feature to tout like Tesla? “We continue to push out updates to make things better, even on things you may presume are hardware limited”. Again, you may know it but others who will be buying (both original and 3rd party) may not.

No. So you asked the question. Absolutely a reasonable question that you needed an answer to. And you got the answer. So I’m just not seeing why this is an ongoing conversation. I guess what I don’t know is, what do you hope to gain by creating this thread?

1 Like

Welcome to the community! I am sorry for the rocky start and whatever role I played in that. Each post in #problems-and-support area generates a support ticket, and so when the correct answer has been given, whether by an employee or by a member who has been here long enough that we know the answer, they close the ticket by closing the post. Unfortunately, the answer may not be what was desired, or may not have answered the entire question. In that case you do just what you did and reopen the ticket by posting again.

I am sorry that you were not informed. While the forums here are read-only to non-owners, the information is definitely here.

Everyone who has received a unit from the company has been informed that the software (both in the cloud and the firmware on the device) is currently in beta. The have the option of receiving it now or deferring until the software reaches a completed state.

The company does not share with us their schedules. If it is the case that the software is still in beta by the time the manufacturing backlog is completed, then I would imagine that even those who order today would be given the same options.

The list of things that are not quite ready is presented during the web-based acceptance process and is not listed on the site outside of that. I made copies of mine, but since it is a moving target, it would not make sense for me to post that. Perhaps a support person can send you the current list?

A few of the major points:

  • cutting area is smaller than that target spec
  • auto focus currently measures a single point at the start of preparing your print. The multipoint continuous focus adjustments are still being worked on.
  • visual alignment of designs on material can be off by as much as 1/4”. The error is usually less directly under the camera, greater at the edges.
  • object recognition—like recognizing an iPad or phone and automatically adjusting settings—is not working
  • automagically aligning long designs when using the pass through slot on a pro unit is not done yet.

There are workarounds for some of these. For accurate placement workarounds search the forum for “jig”, “Kentucky windage”, and “indexing”.

There are a heap of tutorials in the #glowforge-tips-and-tricks section. Specific settings for materials (other that the Proofgrade™ presets) are discussed in #beyond-the-manual.

For your use case, where you want to produce a grid of items, a workaround might be to cut your material so that it is wide enough for n-1 columns, with the leftover being wide enough for one column. Then, using a jig, you can place the material where you know it will cut accurately and without wasting material. Then use a separate jig for processing several of the one-column pieces at once.

Another option if you have a pro unit is to rotate your design for a 12” wide x 20” high material and feed the material through the pass through slot, making the entire sheet cut as you envisioned, but in two passes.


That’s a perfectly valid point. It’s something we should be aware of going forward (& GF Support as well). While you’re in an incredibly small group (less than a handful of re-sales have been announced so far), it is a group that will increase over time.

Original backers who sell their unit are doing a disservice to the buyer if they don’t include the current status of the product as communicated to them when they accepted delivery. I don’t think it’s reasonable that someone from outside the backer group that’s going to buy a GF from a current owner should spelunk through the forum to see what they’re getting. I think it’s entirely reasonable to look to the company’s website to see what the thing does.

Those of us who are answering questions actually ought to keep in mind that some of them may be coming from folks who have not made the 2 year journey to get here. That’s going to be tricky because almost always they will have but very occasionally they won’t. Or possibly since they haven’t been here, their questions about those things may become a disproportionate share of them. Beyond that, since people can invite others to use their GF they can participate here and they’re likely to have similar questions that they might not ask their host and come directly here instead.

I hadn’t even considered this scenario. I appreciate the heads up to remind me that not all users and owners are coming from the same history.


@johnse and @jamesdhatch thank you!! Very thoughtful and thorough responses that, regardless of the end result, helped me to feel heard, validated and feel that I am not crazy in how I am feeling in my situation. Next time you are in my neighborhood I totally owe you some cookies :slight_smile:

@ Tom_A (can only link 2 people as a “new user”) I hope I didn’t come across too grumpy. Responding to a thread isn’t the very first thing I should be doing when I wake up. Looking at your activity you provide a LOT of help in the support area, for which I am grateful. Providing support is not an easy thing, especially when the same questions come up over and over.

I get the need to close tickets, but this is a great example of why leaving something open a bit longer is helpful. These additional responses were immensely helpful to me, and it would have been great to get this additional information without my becoming frustrated, which I know is all my own fault. Then again the “i’m ‘special’ as not a backer” thing wouldn’t have come up without it. Who knows?

Hopefully the feedback to consider non-backers in the public documentation as well as in providing support is worth considering. Thanks again to @johnse and @jamesdhatch for the supportive responses and for @ Tom_A for providing the opportunity to better explain my situation through frustration (that is tongue in cheek and sarcasm, with a hint of truth and respect :wink: ) .


Ha! Grumpy, yes. “Too grumpy?” Meh. :wink:

What burns me up a bit about closing tickets is when they close them and don’t answer the question/problem. I came across one the other day where the last thing the user said was “It’s still not working.” and the next thing Support said… after like a WEEK… was “I see no further activity so I’m closing this.” HUH?! Or when the obviously-canned reply doesn’t really fit. Like when a user says “Oh… It was totally my fault. I screwed up my drawing.” And Support responds “I’ll let the right team know.” What the heck?! And there are tons that simply say things like “We’re taking a look at it.” If you’re taking a look, how can it possibly be closed?! It’s very clearly still an OPEN case.

Anyway… <\vent>


I saw one of those where what would have been helpful was what in the drawing caused the issue (the head banging post). That would be good to know so it could be added to a “did you check this” list when people ask about a problem.


Not everything that we have accepted as “not yet ready” is turning out to be able to be fixed in software/firmware.

I know that, on the head version in my unit at least, there is a physical limitation that prevents it from using the full .500" focal range.

This can not be fixed in software.

I think this is going to be a bigger problem in the future, and they may want to seriously consider adjusting those specs (if they haven’t already).


Just out of curiosity, was it made clear to you that while you were buying a finished hardware solution the firmware/software that runs it is still incomplete/beta?

Not specifically, but I did gather from the general feel of the forum that the software was a work in progress. But as specified above, I didn’t figure that what appears to be a physical dimension (the cutable area) was a firmware/software thing. I kind of figured a physically measurable thing fit into the “finished hardware solution”. I have since learned otherwise.

The S/W limit used to be 0.433" but now it allows 0.5" as an entry. So, are you saying that when the S/W accepts 0.5" as a focus the laser is not capable of focusing at that height? For clarity, how have you determining that? The range of motion for the lens?

1 Like

On my unit, that is correct.

Yes. The travel distance of the lens is limited to just under .480" between both extremes of its physical limits.

When you add in tolerance buildups, the usable range is probably less.

It is a fixed focus lens working with a collimated beam, so there should be a direct relationship between the distance the lens travels, and the change in focal height.

There is also evidence that GF is aware of this, as the number of “steps” they command the lens stepper motor to move for each change in focal height is linear for the entire focal range, until it gets to .400" - .500", where there is a distinct drop off curve.


Back to the original topic of the thread (hijackers!!! :wink: )…

In the first thread that was closed @dannyc said

Your Glowforge can currently print up to 11 x 19.5 in. Engravings take extra room to speed up and slow down, so the area may be a bit smaller.

Around the discussion of potential documentation updates, I don’t see listed anywhere on the site (other than digging into the forum) the concept of “Engravings take extra room to speed up and slow down, so the area may be a bit smaller.” That should be some form of * on the Cutting area or something, or a separate Cutting area vs Engraving area line.

Related to this, if the 10.75x18 area that I have available currently is because the design I had loaded (the ruler) has engraving, would the available area get bigger if I loaded something that only had cuts? Could I cut an 11x19.5" box as was stated with “Your Glowforge can currently print up to 11 x 19.5 in.”?


specifically to this instance I believe Glowforge is trying to adjust the laser power to compensate for the slower speed during deceleration to increase the engravable area. but seeing as that’s conjecture as to what’s in the mythical hopper. I just wanted to let you know it is in theory a solvable in software problem so you may some day get your full range.

Very close to that. Marketing rounded. Back in June I scored a rectangle 10.97" X 19.47". No clue if 10.98,10.99 or 19.48,19.49 might have worked. Couldn’t get it to work at 11" x 19.5". Had a little difficulty positioning the rectangle within the boundaries using X and Y nudges, but eventually placed it properly.