Review - Completed my 1st Week With My GlowForge Pro & Filter System

So being that I am somewhat proficient with artwork from owning a t-shirt company, I ventured out to see what life was going to be like with the Glowforge Pro we purchased. And we have already sold $70.00 worth of products. (14 Key chains at 5.00 each, see photo). Also made some things for my daughter which for once said “That’s cool”! Coasters for friends as gifts, etc.

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Pro’s

  1. the machine was easy to setup and doing the first cut was simple.
  2. It’s easy and fun to use to create things.
  3. Your only limited by the materials and your imagination.
  4. The Community Forum! Real people posting, a lot of great information and inspirations.
  5. Filter system allows us to keep the unit in a climate controlled area of the office

Con’s

  1. The software to run it is web based and if your internet is down your SOL for using the machine. So make sure you have reliable access to the internet. A desktop app would be better, but I understand why they do this.

2)The accuracy of the camera for alignment is poor, even after running the lid calibration process.

  1. The Support process is poor, which very much concerns me if something seriously goes wrong or breaks. I emailed three different support requests. First off response time is horrible. Additionally the first two responses to two different questions I submitted made one thing clear… support rep did not understand the issue, my guess is that’s outsourced to a 3rd party. Only the 3rd actually read, understood and my questions and provided an answer that actually solved the problem.

So here is a tip for any new user.

I’m so sorry you hit a snag.

When you edit a design on your Workspace, the changes are automatically saved as you make them. That means that if you close your browser, navigate to another page, or just hit refresh, your work will pick up right where you left off.

If you accidentally delete the design from the workspace, that will autosave as well.

Since you got the design from the catalog, you can get it back by opening the design, clicking on the three-dot icon, and choosing “Reset Design” to remove all changes.

  1. The filter system is loud and the dial is a guessing game.

Other

  1. Make sure you understand artwork layers. It will make your life easier when your setting up design in the app.
  2. Cardboard is great and cheap for testing designs.
  3. Find the spreadsheet in one of the forums about printing on other material types as it was very helpful.
  4. When you share your designs you inspire the next person. I’ve seen some amazing things in the community forum.

So there you have it, my 2cents after the first week.

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You can open a support ticket on this. The alignment of design onto materials should be near perfect after the camera calibration process. Mine is <1mm (and was horrific - about an inch in the lower right corner - before that process was available.)

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I did open a ticket they were not help thus far. It’s been two days since I emailed them back about it with no response.

Standard response is three business days (which they state in their automated acknowledgement), so hang in there. It is unfortunate that it takes so long, but it is a “hobby” machine with the appropriate level of support.

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Some feedback:

Nice list of Pros. Sounds like you’re having fun.

As for your cons…

The web based software is a tradeoff, and I personally think the benefits outweigh the negative. Of course, that may be because I live in a major metro area and my internet almost never goes down, so YMMV, but the fact that it’s cross platform, has no software to install locally, and is hardware independent are great benefits to me.

Camera accuracy is “poor” depends on a lot of things and is somewhat subjective , sorry you’re struggling with it.

#3… yes, support process is not good.

I’ll add to your other #1: Layers are irrelevant to the GF software. I almost never use them and seem to be getting along. I’d like to hear more about your process, maybe I have something to learn from you.

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One would think the pro version would come with a higher level of support. But thanks for the support, I’ve read a lot of things you have posted.

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“Marketing”… :smiley:

I wouldn’t consider it an “appropriate level of support”. I’ve gotten faster responses from china on 10 dollar universal remote controls than people get from GF. Just because it’s a “hobby” level machine shouldn’t be any excuse. They are understaffed for the amount of support that comes in. Simple as that. I don’t mind it all that much but then I haven’t got a horror story about it (yet). As I’ve said elsewhere… I love my machine. The product is fantastic when it’s working. But we shouldn’t cheerlead for sub-par support or make excuses for it either.

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Subjective. I might agree with you, but you can’t say other people’s standards need to match yours.

I can agree with it being subjective. And when they are on your case I think they get the job done… Getting them on your case sometimes… seems to be a trick and a half.

Many years ago I worked in a metal fabrication shop, where there was a sign on the wall of the front office that advised customers to choose any two of 3 options for their orders - fast, cheap, or good.

It has pretty much applied to everything I’ve experienced since then. :wink: Glowforge support is not fast, but it’s free even when you’re out of warranty, and the quality is excellent. :slight_smile:

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Really appreciate your perspective and review. Seems to hit all the highlights well.

Some clarification on artwork layers might be needed here because this term has different technical meanings in terms of software functionality from how people often refer to the separate operations in the GFUI when you’re selecting engrave/cut/score. There is no mapping of layers as used in a design program with operations in the user interface other than if you turn a layer off in the design program, it won’t come into the user interface. Instead colors of fill and stroke are used.

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You right not everyone uses es the same terms. For t-shirt purposes we put all the same colors into their own layer in our graphics program (in this case Adobe Illustrator). So you are right it is about fill color or outline color that’s detected. I have found that sorting them in the artwork software makes, it easier to set things up.

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That’s exactly the kind of information I like to know to understand where folks are coming from design wise. I can now see how color and layer map better when you are come from a printing background.

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Update on my support tickets. I found that once they engage the ticket, responses flow faster, which is great to see and the responses seem to be much more on point.

Sadly I have to report they have determined that my alignment issue and random failure to identify proof grade materials issue after reviewing the logs, screen shots and photographs, is a hardware problem, and now my 10 day old Pro unit needs to be replaced.

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Rats. Hope the turnaround is quick. Thanks for the update.

So 7 days ago I posted that my Pro Unit had to be returned to Glowforge for the alignment issue. I was quoted 5 weeks, but I was going to keep going using the old one until the new one arrived. I have to say I am very impressed with Support at this time. I received my replacement Pro unit today! It has been unboxed, setup, calibrated and my accuracy alignment issue is gone!!!

So it might have taken longer than I wanted to get support to initially respond to my trouble ticket, but once they engaged this issue was resolved to my satisfaction!

Bravo!!!

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