Refund/Return Policy?

Having received a refurbished unit to replace a month old pro that went faulty I would like to arrange a return/refund. As a disabled vet I can use my money on other more reliable creative arts. I really feel duped. I spent $7000 and don’t have a machine that works reliably. I should not be in tears over a tool…

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Support doesn’t monitor this section…you’d need to post in Problems and Support for that. But as a former electrical engineer, I can tell you you’re actually better off than a refurbished unit. Statistically, refurbished electronics are far more reliable than new ones. The failure curve for electronic equipment looks like a big “U”, with the failure rate much higher in the first 6-12 months and then again at the end of its lifespan. When you get a refurbished unit, you’re getting one that has already made it past most, if not all, of that first spike. :slight_smile:


Also, if you want to tell us what’s going on, we can try to help. It could be just something simple!


it is at least double the noise of the first unit.
it is not cutting gf proof grade materials all the way through.
the camera is not reliably reading the QR codes.
on 1/8" baltic birch ply it is making only about 70% cut all the way through but is burning the back side of the material , two things that worked ok on my original unit .

regarding the U effect you talk about , I get that however 7K on a gf and air filter I should not be having these issues period. Again a refurbished machine is dependent on the person doing the refurbishment.
I spent hard earned money to get the best product for my needs. I would rather have my money back than spend hours trying to fine tune something that should be and is sold as plug and play.

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Hello, I am mystified how the cut could possibly go only 70% through but burn the back. Non proofgrade I am assuming?

Edit: Oh, do you mean that only 70% of your cut line is cutting through? That would point to material inconsistency. Noise - are you using an external filter with the internal fan running?

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Do you have the fan switch in the interface in the correct position (since it sounds like you have an air filter attached)?

The only way it can burn the back is if the laser is going all the way through and the heat is reflecting back onto the rear of the material, so (like @gewubs said) I’m not sure how it can be burning the back but not cutting through. Maybe some photos would help?

That’s frequently due to lighting in the room where the laser is located reflecting off the label. You can try lowering the light level and/or rotating the material 180º to see if that helps. I don’t worry about it myself, since 80% of the time I’m cutting something on PG materials I’ve already cut through the label and need to set it manually anyway, and setting it manually is simple enough.


I understand the “plug & play” aspect of the Glowforge has not been your experience. May I offer my observations? and please understand that they are kindly meant.

  1. Glowforge is one of the lowest priced options to get into laser cutting. $7000.00 is a lot of money, but I have looked around some and I cannot find anything even close for the money that I spent on my Basic. That said, I am not sure that I would invest in a filter, as it seems to have a generally short life.
  2. Plug and Play aspect can only be hoped for using Proofgrade. Explore other material for sure, but do not expect P&P with them
  3. Even the best equipment has failure from time to time. I cannot think of a single device that never fails. And when you consider all the things that could make a laser cutter fail, it is amazing that a person can purchase the ability to cut and engrave with a beam of light for $5k
  4. A neat little extra like QR code material recognition is nice but not really essential.
  5. Marketing is designed to sell products, and Glowforge has excellent marketing. Overall I am pleased with mine; give your machine a chance and I hope you will love it.

@geek2nurse and @gewubs both have really good points. I’ll just quickly add that even when the QR code isn’t being recognized, you can really easily select your proofgrade material in the upper left where it says ‘material,’ or ‘select material,’ or something like that. Start typing your material and it’ll come up for you to select.

Lastly, as they both said, the community here will help you if you want the help! If the laser isn’t cutting through proofgrade stuff, then the laser has an issue and you should get in touch with the support staff. If it’s working on proofgrade but you’re running into issue on non-proofgrade, there can certainly be more at play (material inconsistency, settings, setting focus, etc.), but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s impossible! I (as many others) use mostly non-proofgrade materials; there’s just a bit more to learn and experiment with and many folks on the forum (myself included) are happy to help figure it out with you!


As one increasingly disabled from birth I am very happy with my Pro and glad I bought it instead of the Basic. I also had my first machine die but now understand that it was mostly my own ignorance that killed it. The internal exhaust is very loud but should not be run with the filter. If you can exhaust out a window you will have an easier time of it, and with a 200+ CFM inline fan you will not know the Glowforge is even running.

One thing I learned was that if and where the smoke caught fire even though only at the point of the cut it would block the laser enough to not cut through in that area only. I discovered rather late that this was actually caused by using unshielded magnets to hold the material in place, and whenever the head was near the magnetic field it would cause the fan to slow down or stop in that area and allow the smoke to catch fire, causing it to not cut through there.

Anytime there is more than barely enough cut to make it through you will get flashback that will mark the backside. This is almost impossible to avoid and if you do not want to clean it up some of that masking paper will take all that flashback. Proofgrade stuff comes with paper on both sides so this should not be a problem there.

By communicating and having photos of the problem there is enough experience in the forum to help figure out most issues.


yes 70% of the cut line is not cutting through. Regardless of material, proof grade from GF and also other materials that cut ok on the first machine. Having measured with micrometer and a straight edge there is next to no warping/cupping etc and it happens on every print. Glowforge say it’s another faulty machine…

Glowforge say the machine that was sent to replace my faulty pro is also faulty.

Sorry to hear that, but hopefully the next one is good. The good news is that even though their customer service can be slower than desired, they do a pretty darn good job at making sure issues are resolved. Other good news is you’re on a pro so you have a longer warranty. I know ppl have gotten faulty machines and in some cases like yours, multiple faulty ones. I understand your frustration and being averse to now trusting the product, But I think the far majority of machines delivered are not faulty and there’s now a pretty well established base of users with machines working fine after multiple years of use. Personally, I’ve had my basic for almost a year with no issues. Wish you the best and hope to see you on the forum with a non-faulty machine​:grinning::+1:


I am experiencing this exact situation right now. Did you end up getting a refund? Or did you get a (yet another) machine that actually worked?