I’m going to guess that another reason this works for Glowforge is they have some way to make it cost less than $50 for them while providing the whole value to (U.S.) customers. Makes good business sense. I want a strong Glowforge business going forward so I can buy all those fancy or novelty magnetic heads and have continued access to the cloud software.
I also get that international customers can’t use that value in the same way. I think they’ve said they’d look in to and consider alternatives. Whatever the alternatives are, I think it is beneficial to all owners if Glowforge uses good business sense in their considerations.
I think the above idea of customers taking it into their own hands and selling discounted gift certificates is one option. Maybe if there are enough regional suppliers (one in Europe, one in Asia, one in South America, etc.) Glowforge could work out deals with each.