QOTD: Who competes with us for your affection?



I seriously considered a CNC carving unit instead of the Glowforge. (x-carve and the like) but the mess, noise and less friendly user experience turned me off.


I had absolutely no intention of buying a laser. I had looked at 3d printers and thought about small hobby CNCs. When my son showed me your Glowforge video they day you launched I purchased within 2hrs. I’ve since looked at other lasers and have not been swayed in my decision. The biggest draw for me is all the options your camera presents. With a daughter who is quite the gifted artist, the ability to drop one of her pieces into the machine and the engrave it on just about any material is priceless.
I have a freind that works in a rather high position at Universal Laser and still, it wasn’t until I saw you launch video that it even occurred to me that having a laser in my home was a possibility.


Considered X-Carve or Shapoko3. Glowforge gives me the cutting/engraving precision that those don’t. Might end up with both in the future.


My XCarve is getting more and more use (with fewer and fewer broken bits) while i eagerly await the GF.

I think I have been scared off of going the Chinese laser route. I do toy with the idea of cancelling the GF and getting a Full Spectrum hobby unit, but by the time I add a filter I am pushing $5k. So my maxed out GF referral credits are making it a no-brainier to stick out the wait. (not to mention the feature differences)


You’d be surprised what you can do with an x-carve


Nope never once considered any other machine…nuff said !


You’d be surprised what you can do with a Shapeoko 3. :wink:


My first foray into the Maker world was a 3d printer. They too were a crowdfunded campaign, the difference being that they were not a company before the crowdfunding. Suddenly they had too many orders and they didn’t know how to produce the product properly. It took a long time… probably why, though it sucks, the delay for GF didn’t really bother me as much. I expected it.

Anyway, long-story-short, it did not really work as promised, so I eventually sold it. I wouldn’t be opposed to picking up another. I was looking at the Allforge for a bit, but then figured out that you need a model to start from, so it isn’t really for prototyping, but rather for making copies of things which were previously prototyped (using a 3d printer for example).

I would be interested in a CNC machine, but at this point have too many brands in the fire so-to-speak, and aside from cutting metal, the CNC machine wouldn’t do anything that the Glowforge can’t do, so it would really just be something to tide me over… and I can wait. I’ll use the time to design things rather than fiddle with hardware.

I think you are missing a zero. According to their site, their two printers are pre-ordering for $39,999 and $42,999 USD.

I guess I’m pretty lucky… it took me showing my wife the GF video for her to get on board.


Yeah they’re almost the same! I haven’t used one but I do love my xcarve



Looks like they cancelled the Kickstarter and put it on their online store for $40,000.


I had been looking at the Othermill, but i was worried that it was way too small. I had also been looking at an x-carve, but after seeing a shapeoko (1?) set up at a friends place, I was worried that it would be more setup and fiddling than I would have the patience for. The more I think about it now, the more I suspect that they (my friends) did not build it very well or spend much time refining. Also, it looked like someone had been running a woodchipper in there… I don’t think they had heard of dust-collection.

I had also been looking at 3D printers. At the time I only really knew about the Makerbot Replicator and the thing at home depot from dremel. The more I looked, the less excited I became about the idea. Watching videos of failed prints that took hours and hours. Jagged edges. The associated plastic waste. I have learned a great deal about the variety of 3d printers from this forum, enough to know that I still want a 3d printer, and that it will not be able to do what I had originally hoped: make printed art-toys of the same visual quality as vinyl art-toys.


Ditto, except that I’m in Boulder (Hi, neighbor!). One attractive feature of Epilogs is that their laser tubes are metal, not glass. Also there’s a decent resale market in the area as folks upgrade from the entry models to the pros.

I almost pulled the trigger on a Shopko, but after cleaning up after each full-size CNC session at a local maker space, I decided my house did not need that much detritus. Btw, it was using an 80w Rabbit at the same maker space that made me say “I’ve GOT to get one of these!”

To tide me over until my GF arrives, I picked up a Silhouette Portrait for $75 (new!) in a holiday sale and have been developing skills by cutting paper and vinyl – who knows I may go crazy and cut some foam…

Btw, I cannot wait to try this with wood veneers:


I have a Taige mini mill, but only operate it manually. I would love to learn how to use the software and upgrade it to CNC; that would ROCK. Simply because of the ability to work on almost all materials, including very hard metals. I also have a manual mini lathe…

But I think that adding a GF, CNC to my Mill, a CNC Lathe, a Vinyl Cutter, and a true 3D METAL(!) Printer would pretty much fill in all of my dreams; I have lots of other tools already.


I’d kill to have someone endorse a product of mine so emphatically. :slight_smile:


Even though my Next Wave Automation Black Diamond Shark CNC would probably be in the large class to many hobbyist (27 X 25 X 9 inch travel with a 2 1/2 HP router) I initially learned much of my CNC work on much larger machines in Defense Department Depots. I have a 1 1/2 HP dust collector connected to the system to suppress the dust that it can generate.

The systems, as with all 2 1/2 HP routers, is LOUD and requires serious hearing protection to run.

Once the GCode is perfected for a job the system will crank out the products. It is not the system for just a couple of items though. There is too much setup time spent on the keyboard and then verifying the programing.

I can say the same about my 3D Printer though. I have a PrintrBot Pro and I find myself spending a lot of time on the initial print perfecting the print head temperature, the print bed temperature, the printer head speed, etc. to make sure I get good adhesion and the layers do not separate. Very few of these systems are truly consumer plug and play devices yet. They are still at what we use to call “plug and pray” level devices. (Yes Marketing Departments just
cringed when I showed up :wink: but I am a System Engineer…)


Mr. Beam II or X-Carve. I made up my mind about the Glowforge long before Mr. Beam II, so that’s easy. As for the X-Carve… I haven’t ruled it out yet.


My 7 year old router is a Next Wave Automation CNC Shark Pro. I have been emailing support this week about what upgrades they offer will work with my older unit. Looks like I’m going to add a dust boot, the touch plate, and upgrade to Control Panel 2.0. None of that was available when I purchased mine. I thought about getting the 4th axis kit but I’d also have to upgrade my control box for a total cost of $1300.


I recently upgraded the gantry on my 4 year old Next Wave Automation Black Diamond CNC Shark to the 3/8 inch Aluminum plate that they just started offering. I had to change out the four 1/4-20 1 3/8 inch long bolts that held the old HDPE gantry to the uprights as the old ones were 1/8 too long when used with the new 3/8 inch thick aluminum gantry. The old screws bottomed out in the holes. By replacing the old screws with 1 1/4 inch long 1/4-20 screws the problem was solved.

I have had the touch pad and Control Panel 2.0 for about 18 months. I just added the laser module and ordered the touch probe (currently back ordered expected delivery by June).

I have not added the 4th axis kit because I currently have a Delta 490 lathe with extension that I use for turning and replication of spindles so I can not justify purchasing the 4th axis kit.

If you are upgrading to the newer control box you can also look at adding the laser module.

Adding the laser module will require opening the control box and drilling a 3/8 inch hole in the side of the metal case so you can add a connector to connect the external laser control box that Next Wave Automation originally developed to use with the Piranha FX CNC system. Once you get through those steps and get the Universal Control Panel software from Next Wave Automation that you use to control just the laser module everything goes fairly smooth.

BTW: if you have the Laser Module installed on the Next Wave Automation Shark CNC series systems you use the Control Panel 2.0 when you are using the routers and you use the to use the Universal Control Panel software when you are using the laser module. The other trick when using the laser module is you have to go through the image authoring software and make sure that all Z values are set to 0.001 and do not change. This will prevent the laser from crashing into the work piece.


Epilog I looked at, then died a little inside on the price.
Then saw GF on Tested. Easy to use unlike what I have read on the imports, and a price I could handle with a small loan.