Renting out Your Glowforge

Has anyone ever been approached about renting out their Glowforge Daily? I have someone wanting to rent my glowforge in my shop and pay a daily rate… Can anyone help me with this on what to charge or things to consider… This is a first for me … Thank you :slight_smile:


Not on a bet. :smile:


Well… there’s cost based on what it’ll cost you (hard to quantify since your customer could cut pvc and destroy your machine in five minutes) and cost based on what they are willing to pay.

Ideally you’d find what they are willing to pay is far and away more than what it’ll cost you, and your choice get clearer.

What isn’t clear is how you account for risks like pvc or fire, it’s not feasible to charge a replacement value deposit so you’re likely to be exposed to that risk.

So I don’t have a dollar amount in mind but hopefully this is food for thought.

You could probably mitigate a lot of that risk by setting rules around materials and settings. Only PG materials with PG settings would theoretically insulate you from a lot of trouble because generally if proofgrade causes problems Glowforge is much better about fixing you.

Definitely not a liability lawyer so use your best judgment here.


I would fall in line with Jules on this one. HARD PASS.


Going to expand on that a little:

Letting someone else use your machine requires that they know what they are doing, are responsible enough to monitor it, and clean up and maintain the machine, and the more they use it, the more likely that you are going to have issues sooner. So increased repair and replacement costs sooner.

Also, the likelihood that they will abuse the machine is HIGH. You don’t take care of something when you have no skin in the game. It’s not yours, you don’t care. You’re going to try carving up that LP.

The amount you would have to charge to make that worthwhile for you (taking all the risk) would be more than they would want to pay.


NOPE nope


By shop do you mean the cool area over your garage we’d all drool over or your business? If your business, what does your business insurance agent think about this? Having a non-employee in your shop may be a no-no or it may be fine and you’ll only be out a deductible if the worse happens.

As for cost, what the market will bear. If this person is trying to make money it won’t be long before they buy their own (if they’re successful) or they won’t be using it much. Or are you looking at a potential partnership? You’d still charge, but I would structure it differently. If they are just doing a personal project, then what you feel is right.

What I’m saying is you know the details of your situation, but we have to guess.


Thank you so much for being honest and upfront … This is exactly the type of real I was looking for. My machine is paid for and although I do not use it as much as i’d like myself because of things in my shop keeping me busy I do not want someone wearing my machine out when i’ve not really used it myself.


Your instincts are right on the money in this case… :smile:


I’m thinking I will offer to maybe be the one to cut the designs they need etc and charge accordingly that way… and then they can add the finishing touches to their item. That way I can use the correct materials and I know how to use the machine.


:+1: MUCH better idea!


You could look at the Joann model for their in-store GFs (are they even still doing it?). I think someone reported it was something like $25/hr?


Uhhhh… that is a no for me. Maybe if they asked me to cut XYZ for them, while they watched, but to use it otherwise, no. I had a ‘friend’ borrow my serger, brought it back broken and just shrugged and said I am sure you can get it fixed. Um, no, I now have an expensive doorstop and all I was able to do with it was use it for a trade in on a new one. After that experience, I would say anyone borrowing my power tools was a big negatory.


Thank youI appreciate the honest feedback … That’s exactly what I was wanting… I think i’ve decided I will cut for her what she wants and charge accordingly…


You might be onto a great business idea. This is how I would approach it.

You will have to have some type of website and have dozens of pictures to show what is possible with the Glowforge.

  1. Advertise you will rent your Glowforge / Design services for 50 bucks an hour.
    This does not mean the GF is continuously running for one hour.
  2. You will be the one to set up and operate the machine.
  3. You also want back to back reservations.
  4. This is not going work if the appointments are scattered.
  5. This is just an example. Have 7 appointments every day for a week and this include weekends. 49 appointments x $50 = $2450

A total of four weeks that would be $9800.—- enough money to buy a Pro. Basically after one month you have a brand new GF and then you can use your old one to rent.

I would only do this if you can get all of those appointments.


I cut batch items for fellow local makers, and I charge them per item with costs built in. For example, I just did a large order, one set of items was 98 3x3x1/8" clear acrylic circles, $1.25 each. Is that a good price? It works for me, since the entire over was over $400 and she came and picked up vs me mailing it to her. I have a spreadsheet where I enter in a bunch of numbers (estimated time/cost of materials/cost of laser running, etc) and I start with that to price a job.

I would also say heckin no to someone renting time on my laser. Either we do it together and it is free (maybe with “donated” materials thrown in) or I do it and you pay. ;p

Good luck with the new business endeavor :wink:


Thank you so much… Would you mind sharing your spreadsheet so I could see what I might be working with. If not, totally understandable … I own a print shop and I do majorly shirts, embroidery, banners , decals, vehicle lettering, sublimation etc we bought our glowforge about two years ago and have used it maybe 10 times so, I’m trying to find ways to use it since I paid for it and I feel like it just kind of sets…

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I’m happy to share it, and I’ll have it to you by Friday, which gives me some time to clean it up and add some instructions. You sound like you probably have a whole lot more experience pricing batch items than I do! ;p

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I really appreciate it… I have an idea for pricing other than Glowforge lol… I’ve not had time to dive into that area of the business just yet…

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Here is the Google Sheets file:

I’d love any feedback, especially if you find something wrong or that I forgot about!