September 2018 Update


#1

Hello from the team at Glowforge! We’re going to try a customer suggestion this month - for updates that matter a lot to some customers but don’t affect others, we’ll summarize in this post here and create separate forum threads with details for in-depth discussion.

Air Filter Update

The Air Filter has been a long and technically challenging project. We had some major developments this month. The short version is that we need to take four months to make changes to the plastics tool to get the best possible performance. In the interim, we are working on providing an alternative product for those of you who would rather not wait. The alternate filter will cost no more than the Glowforge filter, and will be available in October.

You can read more about the air filter and discuss it here.

International

We’ve already delivered to most of our international customers. EU orders are dispatched immediately and usually arrive in less than 15 business days! But some countries haven’t been approved for shipping, and we continue to work hard on getting them approved.

You can read more about international shipping and discuss it here.

Pro software underway

The Glowforge Pro has the unique Pro Passthrough slot that lets you print truly enormous projects - even furniture! Today, large prints require careful planning. You need to divide the print into pieces, run the first print, then carefully move the material forward by the right amount.

Our machine vision team has been working on the software to automate the alignment process. Your Glowforge already uses the macro camera on the laser head to measure material height for extremely precise autofocus. For Pro Passthrough, we’ll be using this macro camera for extremely precise positioning of Passthrough designs. (Of course, we’re continuing to invest in making camera positioning much more accurate for all prints, on all models.)

To help develop this new software, we created a feature that precisely identifies and locates an image on the material. This helps us perfect the imaging and positioning systems in our software. While we’re not done with the full Pro Passthrough software yet, we’ve turned this test software into a new feature. This will be available to some customers in a limited beta release, starting soon.

Snapmark

Snapmark is a new, experimental feature. Unlike everything else we’ve released, this was not a part of our core feature set - it wasn’t part of our original software commitment to deliver to you. For that reason, we haven’t yet decided if we will make it a part of the Pro package only, if it will be a premium paid software offering, or something else entirely. In fact, we haven’t even decided if we’ll keep it as a feature - we’re going to give some customers access to it so we can learn more. Doing so will also help us perfect our Pro Passthrough software for Glowforge Pro customers.

First, some disclaimers:

  • As with all our beta features, it will only be supported in the forum. Our customer success team won’t be able to answer questions about it.
  • We will only turn on Snapmark software for some customers while we’re testing it.
  • We know that Snapmark is a complex, advanced feature; if it’s too confusing or hard to use, we’ll remove it or change it before releasing it.

Now with that out of the way… I personally think it’s amazing. It’s a way to do “mini mass production”, customizing dozens of items at once, over and over again. It gives alignment accuracy down to less than a millimeter. It’s pretty magical.

You can read more about Snapmark and discuss it here.

Support Update

Good news and bad news:

The Customer Success team has pushed their average time to reply to under a day! Complex queries (particularly when they require help from engineering) can take longer, but the team has been working hard to reduce times for you and it’s been paying off.

We’re working to become even more responsive. To accomplish that, during the next few weeks, we’re going to be spending additional time training new customer success team members. We may take a step backward in response times so that we can move forward. As always, the forum is the best solution for nearly instant answers. Most questions get help in under 30 minutes!

Basswood is the new Maple

If you’ve been using maple, you might want to try basswood. The price of maple has gone up, so we’ve provided basswood as an affordable alternative. It’s similar in appearance and cuts just as well, if not better. I’ve been using it in place of maple and I think you’ll love it.

Customer Gallery

We’ve been reaching out to creators who use the #glowforge hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to share their work with the world on our new customer gallery page at

https://glowforge.com/customer-gallery

We wanted everyone who might be curious about Glowforge to see how amazing our customers are. A big thank you to everyone who’s posted their work on Instagram and allowed us to share.

If you need some inspiration, take a look - it’s always inspiring. And remember, any time you post your work with the #glowforge hashtag and your referral discount code, you’re eligible to be selected for our customer spotlight - a dedicated profile and an amazing $1,000 in Glowforge credits! Of course, anyone who uses your referral discount will get up to $500 off their purchase, and get you up to $500 cash or $600 in credit too.

Your Glowforge is always getting better

We’ve sped up autofocus to make each print faster, sped up the software interface again, fixed some of the most-reported bugs in the UI, added more catalog designs from the video, and updated the iOS app to make some of the most-requested improvements.

And for those of you who’ve been eagerly awaiting saved settings for materials… we’ll have good news for you soon!

You can discuss this update at these links:

Update & discussion of Air Filter
Update & discussion of International shipping
Update & discussion of Snapmark

Discussion of topics in this update not covered above

Thanks for being a fantastic customer,

–dan