Ruined Reputation And Business

I had not used my Glowforge for some time, business wise, due to the many problems I’d had in the past. Just recently, I was approached and offered a business proposition with the promise of $40/per 8x10 mirror engraving. The venture was to create 10/day=$400, which equals $280/week, totaling about $8,400/month with a grand total of $100,800/year. Everything was ruined because of laser banding. I’m devastated. :rage::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

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That’s a simple settings/art issue.

Mirror coatings can be inconsistent, you’d need to spend some time dialing the engraving in. It’s a broad topic, but I wouldn’t say you’re sunk; for that kind of money it’s worth taking time to research the settings and materials to get it right.

I will say that 10 pieces/day is aggressive if you have just one glowforge. 8x10 engravings are pretty substantial, I’d guess they’re about 40 mins apiece? That’s a lot to do reliably day in/day out 7 days a week. Also, everyone needs time off, and you’ll need to do maintenance, etc etc.


With a guaranteed $100k revenue stream it should be easy to pick a different laser engraver. Whatever problem you are having is irritating for sure, but it seems like you now have a lot of options. Congratulations on your business, I think a lot of people here would like to find such success.

$280/week, totaling about $8,400/month with a grand total of $100,800/year

I just never understood Common Core math.


I THINK you meant 10/day=$400, which equals $2800/week. (not $280) (gross income)
$2800 week x 52 weeks = $145,000 year ($12,133,34 month)

But I don’t think you will be able to run the Glowforge 365 days a year for 8hrs a day. And YOU need time off as well to spend all that $$

That is a GREAT offer if you can dial in the best setting to get a better engrave. Definitely worth the time and effort. Perhaps look at a bigger, faster, more capable machine.
I am seriously looking at the OMTech AF2028-80 which is only $3700 and would be able to handle this job with no issues. There are other brands out there as well.

$280 week x 52 weeks = $14,560 a year
$14,560 / 12 months = $1,213.34 a month.

Still good $$, but that math is way off.


DISCLAIMER: my post above wasn’t a jab at Glowforge, but it is really just a “hobby” class laser, and is severely limited compared to a more “small business” class of machine like the OMTechs or multiple other brands available, (just don’t buy one directly from China is something I have found in hours of researching an upgrade for myself.)

My only complaint about Glowforge is what their tech support and quality control on new machines, has become. Basically, non-existent. Which is sad. I have fully enjoyed my Glowforge and just want to take my hobby to the next level soon.


Thanks for the correction on my simple math error. I was upset, drinking ( still am) and doing stuff in my intoxicated state of anger on my missed opportunity. I did some research on how I may be able to fix the problem. I read that it’s possible that in might be a power surge issue and I may want to try a line conditioner which should not be confused with a surge protector; supposed to surpress power fluctuations. I’ve priced them on Amazon and will purchase one today. If this fixes the problem then I could be back in business.

All I really want is to make the money back that was spent to purchase this machine, plus some profit. I understand that these laser machines have, at most, a 3 year life span. Once I achieve the aforementioned, I will just trash it.

Please, everyone overlook my simple math error. Intoxicated anger, simple math and community texting does not mix. I may have found a solution to the banding problem. If it works, I will be sure to post an update. Thank you.

$2800.00/week. My simple math error. LOL.

I think that is the disadvantage of something like a Glowforge, or similar “all-in-one” compact laser cutters.
Thats why my next one (which is way cheaper) is built with upgrading and replacing components an easy task and uses software like “Lightburn” that that give you incredible and complete control of your laser. But these do require alot more room and have a learning curve. Glowforge is relatively small and is SUPER easy to learn and use, which makes it a perfect machine to start learning. But I don’t think I will ever sell enough to get my investment back


A lot of people here are going on 5+ years …


I agree, Glowforge is an excellent laser for a novice. But I believe that I can get a wonderful return on this investment. I mean, didn’t many of us purchase this with making money in mind. So many have made much more than what I thought I’d make. Spending money to make money…it’s the American way. Isn’t it? :thinking:

That’s wonderful. I guess it really depends on the work output on these machines.

I suppose. But it’s far more likely that you have variation in your material or your image that is causing this.


It happens on various material so it, probably, isn’t that. Now, as for variations in the photo. What’s a good fix?

You may be on the right track because the image I used was a photo of a photo. So, just to ease my mind, I’m going to try a clean image on a 4x4 mirror right now and post it. I shall return shortly. :smiley::+1:

If you can upload the image I’d be happy to look at it and see if I can spot variations…

… but. I still think it’s material:

You can see banding effects in your border, (pink) which isn’t part of the photo. (or is it?)

And the bands carry over from border into photo in clear lines (green). Heck, you can see the banding all the way over on the left side border too. This is a pretty clear indication of material variation.

I am operating under the assumption that the photo is a picture and the rest is vector shapes. If I’m right in that, then I really think it’s a material/settings issue.


You may be able to tell if it’s variation in the mirror by using a super bright flashlight.

The backing of some mirrors isn’t 100% light-blocking. If you go to dark room and shine a bright light through the back of the mirror you might be able to see darker bands running through the untouched parts. That would put the question to rest – it would definitely be materials at that point.


Tested: See new thread.

I had a banding issue once that I think was an issue with my lpi to image resolution ratio. It has been a while so I don’t remember exactly, but it might be worth checking out.