The Future of Glowforge

Hi! I currently own a Glowforge Plus and just purchased a Glowforge Pro, however I am having some regret and considering cancelling my order. I had a part break (V-Wheel) on the Plus, and had to stop all orders as a result. Customer Service said they would expedite the part, so i paid for that service, and i have yet to receive tracking (three days later). I also found myself constrained by size limitations of the plus. Due to all of that, i thought i would invest in a Pro as my tool for larger cuts, but also to have a backup so i do not have to stop my business. Why invest in another machine with so many complaints? Well, i guess you can say that it’s the beast that I know and i have to keep the business flowing.

Does anyone know of plans for Glowforge in the future? Customer service improvements, add ons to the equipment, greater ease of machine serviceability?

Thank you!

There are now over 24,000 Glowforge owners. They are constantly rolling out software improvements.

If you think the handful of complaints you read about is a lot, then you’re probably going to spend more time worrying than enjoying the machine. Go look at other lasers to get an idea of the value they provide.


Hi! Thank you for your quick response. Awesome to know that they are rolling out improvements. I will say, that you are right. I often worry more than not, so this post was more for reassurance. Based on this experience, i am worried that my glowforge will break and i will end up spekding upwards of $1000 repairing (based on other threads). The Glowforge has allowed me to start a small business, which is what i have always dreamed of, so no complaints there! I just questioned the investment of the pro, however, I do understand that the ease of use and features built into the Glowforge make it worth it.


I get that.

But to get comparable capability from an “established industrial brand”, you would be spending in excess of $20,000 by the time you add in all the required pieces - there are people here who have them.

Glowforge has brought those capabilities within reach of many that could never afford that. Yes, you might well have to pay $1000 to fix it. You’re still WAY ahead in the game.


It makes me feel A LOT better knowing that info. Thank you so much for getting back so quickly!


(Everything here is opinion. I don’t speak for glowforge of course)

As for their future plans they’re pretty tight-lipped. We know the general business model is going toward subscriptions for premium features and there has been a lot of talk about their plans to go public, but in terms of operational issues like changes to their support processes and costs we don’t get much insight there.

We also get very little information about their software roadmap. It’s rare that future features are talked about in an official way. It’s possible that their policy there could change if they ever do go public, accountability to shareholders can sometimes alter the communications policy of a company.

So to an extent it’s a gamble about the specifics of what’s to happen. You can make a few educated guesses about the overall tone and intent of the current leadership by reading a bunch of support posts… from the top down the company really does seem to try to be fair and helpful even when it sometimes goes against the stated support obligations. (Like replacing a machine that’s out of warranty in exceptional circumstances. It’s rare but it happens. Read a lot and you’ll see it)

So. Not sure what my point is here. I guess it’s that if you’re talking about what machine to put in your business’s critical path then it comes down to your downtime and risk tolerance. Glowforge support is both slow and a bit of a black box so that’s in the “con” column. On the other hand they do seem to try their best to help when things go wrong and as eflyguy mentioned other lasers have their pros and cons lists too.


My opinion. Sometime in the next 4 years I’m pretty sure you will either spend $1000 on a repair or stop using it. Laser engravers in the price bracket aren’t devices that will run forever without maintenance. Might be immediately after the warranty expires or years from now. Don’t know whether the average time between failures is any more or less than other lasers. My unit is operating exactly as it did 2.5 years ago. Am I lucky or the norm? But as it gets older I must assume that every customer project is like playing Russian Roulette. All business plans should have have an option B.


Lawyers write in option “B” all the time that amounts to “If things happen and I cannot deliver you can get your deposit back” in the kindest of situations. Some do not go that far.

I love my GF, but it is a hobby machine. If you have a budget closer to $10K, you can definitely get something bigger, with more capabilities, and just as easy to use. From well-respected brands. A little searching around should help you there.

I think this is a pretty fantastic company that is always innovating, but there are drawbacks as well. It’s a matter of knowing your priorities. But regardless which laser you have, things will break and parts can be pricey.


Well I currently have two machines, so i am hoping that works out if a plan b is needed, but i guess i could look into a makers space in the area as well as a last resort. Thank you for your insight!

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That is the best plan for a business depending on a laser.

Everything breaks eventually, the tube has an expected lifespan of just two years. The chances of both failing at once is very slim.


Whether you spend a few thousand on a glowforge or 10-20k on a larger machine, you should anticipate that there will be maintenance/repair costs. The best way to prepare for that is to self insure - make regular deposits into a fund so that when the time comes for a new tube or whatever, you are covered. It will also give you considerable peace of mind. My .02


This is a great callout, thank you!

Welcome to the forum

I only use my machine for fun, but I have been impressed over the years (original pre order person here) with the improvements. Instead of just selling machines, Glowforge seems committed to enhancing the user interface and making it more user friendly. If your business is successful enough to justify a second machine, then you are doing something right for sure. If, however, you are totally dependent on the Glowforge, you need a back-up plan because all machines break down at some point. There are others in the forum that have a second machine so you are not in a unique position. I hope your business continues to thrive and that you recover from this slight case of “buyers remorse.” Keep up posted.


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