Question for the Pro owners

So I got my email asking if I was ready to start the process to receive my GF Pro yesterday. I want to get some perspective from the pro owners who have already received their pros on whether it is worth waiting for the filter or to go ahead get the laser. My hesitation comes from the third step in the shipping email/process asking if I would rather have my laser now or later.Glowforge Now or Later.pdf (47.0 KB)

Reading through that page didn’t give me great confidence in this product. I understand that a lot of what is on that page is really just CYA, but it doesn’t paint a great picture of the laser. The software is in beta and that seems like an easy update that can be done later. Where I get concerned is this line:

“If we find a way to make a major improvement in later production runs, we may, at our sole discretion, ask you to send your unit back so we can update it.”

That is nice to know that if hardware issues come up that they will fix them but has anyone had hardware issues with their Pro? This was a big purchase and for the money I spent I want to be sure that I’m not getting a beta unit. Would it be better to wait for them to test more on the design/production and get a second run?

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I think the only one we can definitively point to have been two instances of broken wheels off the head assembly. And those were probably from impact shock via the ever gentle UPS. Anything else was simply, “yep. Somethings wrong. Let’s replace it.

So I guess, no, nothing hardware that we know of has been found yet. I said yes to mine at any rate.


Betas went out over a year ago now. Long since done. You’re getting a full production unit.

As for a need for the filter, that’s solely up to you. My hose simply goes to a vent. Do I wish I had a filter? Nope. Not for my usage.

The machine is crazy wonderful. So easy to use. And the results are stunning. I mean, look around… you see what people are doing with this thing.

Enjoy it! Look forward to seeing what you make with it!


I wouldn’t consider the current units to be betas. I don’t think they’re planning on making any big changes (just minor things, like when they changed from silver to black crumb trays) but they want to cover themselves in case they do make some big change.

If there’s a safety or reliability issue, they want to be able to issue a recall.

If it’s something that significantly improves user experience (e.g., making a bigger usable bed or switching to motors that can move the gantry around faster) then they want to leave open the option of swapping out machines so people can get the improved hardware. If they let people keep the old version then they’d potentially have to maintain software for both new and old models which could be more expensive for them in the long run than just replacing the earlier units. But it’s “at [their] sole discretion” because they might also choose not to swap the units out.

I’ve had my Pro for a month and the hardware seems solid. The software still has some bugs, but they’re updating it all the time. I’m glad I didn’t wait.


Actually I believe @dan said somewhere they had identified a small batch of defective wheels.

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I recall him posting something about a defective batch of something but honestly don’t remember of what or if he’d said.

Wether you feel like it maybe a beta or not what you are reading there is their promise that if they discover something later to make the unit better and they decide it will be of benefit to all of us whom have already accepted our units they will essentially re-call the unit/possibly replace the unit with an updated/upgraded machine. Any way I received mine last Friday and even though all the features have not been unlocked as of yet the ease of use has been spectacular and unfortunately as a lot of what I have accomplished is for awards and I am unable to share at this point trust me when I say the steps to complete a project w/ the forge is so much better than he 100w Chinese laser I own. As to my earlier statement maybe a member from the GF staff might confirm my understanding of that statement about possible improvements.

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I wish I had my filter, but I wouldn’t take delaying until the filter over a current use of the laser with an acceptable, though not ideal, venting setup.

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I’m going to be the voice of dissent here. If you’re even considering this question, it suggests you have enough patience to wait, and if you have enough patience to wait, maybe you should. Next year’s machines probably will be better than this year’s. Maybe in very subtle ways, but if you can hold out, why not. It’s like that thing with the kids and the marshmallows. I took mine right away because I have poor impulse control. And I’ll probably be begging for change on the side of the road while you’re enjoying your retirement on the beach.


I actually prefer to run mine without the filter. I probably won’t use it unless I take my glowforge somewhere and put it on display. In that case, definitely ship if you can vent through a window. It’s truly the better solution, I think. I also don’t feel at all that my unit is a beta version. I think it’s fairly certain that it’s the final version. I do remember hesitating (as a person who has little patience and really didn’t want to wait) when I read that scary page. It really is not flattering, which is a credit to glowforge, I think. The machine I have is great and I wouldn’t hesitate to ship knowing what I know. That said, I do look forward to some software improvements, but there are no software failures that prevent me from making anything that the machine is capable of.