Refurbished Glowforges

I know there was a prior thread that discussed the possibility that someone was shipped a “refurbished” glowforge by mistake. Guess it was eventually resolved, but I have a question that I don’t see any discussion on.

Has there been any discussion on what Glowforge is planning to do with the units that were returned? I know that they are concentrating on production and shipping new units right now, but it would seem that eventually they will catch up and there has to be a fairly large stack of returned units building up in the mean time. I guess they could just destroy them, but running them thru the line again and refurbishing them makes more sense to me. What do companies normally do in this situation? destroy them? use them as “loaners”, send out to retail locations as demos? It’ll be a while before this is relevant, but thought I would ask.

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Only data point I can offer is that the company would not let me buy (at a reasonable discount TBD) the pre-release unit I had been using for 9 months. They made me send it back when my Pro was delivered.

Pretty sure it has zero parts that can be refurbished after 9 months of use.

BTW: I going to guess that the units folks thought were refurbished were not. At that time the company ran out of shipping materials and were stacking finished units on every flat surface in the factory. Units may have been scuffed a little during that time.


They may not have been able to sell the prerelease because of insurance reasons.


Sadly I think the PRUs will end up beside the ark of the covenant in some dark warehouse.



I had not even thought about PRUs. I was thinking more about the production models that have been returned for various reasons - alignment, leakage, DOA, etc.

I would think that PRUs would be considered “used” at best, but as you stated, they really wouldn’t be able to get slipped back into the production line for refurb.

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Most (all?) can’t even fully support the current software. So that makes them considerably less useful.

My perception is that this unit was one of the last prerelease to be shipped out, and I find it quite capable. Like @rpegg i would have offered to purchase this unit at a slight discount in addition to my regular order.
I have a ridiculous sentimental attachment to this thing.


My circa-April PRU seems to be handling everything fine. What am I missing in the current software?

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With all the FNL stuff they deal with, I doubt they would send out a refurb unit as a new unit. All the cosmetic issues were expected with how they ramped up production.

I wonder how it works with warranty repairs though. I’m awaiting my 3rd glowforge (replacement to my replacement) and I’m curious if I get another new unit. I would be disappointed if I got a refurbished unit, but I know they aren’t repairing my unit as I’m not sending it out until I get the new one in.

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Don’t think you are missing anything other than the fact it may not have been power calibrated and image mapped at the factory. Mine had a Pro tube and did not have the Pro cooling. To me that just meant that I used Pro settings without the pass thru, and might have more temperature restrictions. All of the fancy new 3D settings seemed to work. I received it in late February.

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Would bet you get a new unit. But who knows. Both Verizon and AT&T have sent me half a dozen refurbished $500 phones as a warranty replacement. Took that many to find one that worked.

That’s my machine too. I have enabled a pass-in on occasion but not through :slightly_smiling_face:

Did the same as a test early on with a different front panel. But never used it after. My only use case for the extra length was as a pass-thru.

How do you tell if you have a Pro tube? I’ve sometimes suspected that mine has one but no way to know for sure.



There’s the anecdotal way - compare power/speed settings against other PRU owners results for the same job.

The non-anecdotal way is to take your laser meter (it’s basically a thermometer with a graphite block on one end and a dial calibrated for power vs degrees/temps) and stick it in front of the beam. This would not be a method that is endorsed by GF. If you need to know how you could do that with a GF then you shouldn’t do it :slight_smile: I happen to have a meter that I use on the K40 and Redsail so I can track tube output over time so I can order a new one before the old one dies which will occur in the middle of a critical project leaving me out of luck while I wait for a new tube to arrive. (I don’t keep spares because they degrade over time even when not being used.)


Oh. Well, I guess I can live without knowing.


On the K40 I lift the lid, stick the meter in the beam path and hit the test fire button for 30 seconds. There are no safeties built into that puppy.

The GF is more challenging. :sunglasses:


It just hit me when I read that, it’s good that the glowforge has the safeties. As dementia sets in it’s good I can’t hurt myself… :sunglasses: