This is getting ridiculous! (singapore crowdfund purchase)

This is a rant. It is getting to become obscene and I am gradually believing that Glowforge is succinctly forcing overseas owners to call in a refund.

My delivery date keeps getting pushed back further and further and further.

From the first salted date for a july delivery. It got pushed to august. 2018. Then to october 2018. Then to november.

Now i check. It is pushed to feb 2019.


for years i have been waiting and waiting.

I got my glowforge table ready since last year. But the glowforge is not here yet.
I even bought a bunch of blank dice, some leather samples, some wood plys and various wood types on standby…

My patience really grows thin. For a product of this nature to be unable to deliver to founders purchases, to continue keep sending out to only US based clients.

This is really shitty. I am seriously contemplating a refund. Hell there is not even any interest gain!

Dear community. Who here resides in Asia or Singapore and has received their glowforge?

I just checked and saw i got a 3 year anniversary badge for this forums. Hell it’s been 3 whole bloody years! I knew i had to wait a year.

All the people I talked to about the Glowforge and got interested in potential services left because the device did not arrive.

It’s time for Glowforge to deliver its overseas promise!
This is obscene!


Generally, things have been held up by the government agency or agencies that control regulations around laser devices.

It sounds like Singapore has some pretty stringent requirements. If there isn’t an “unlicensed use” category of an acceptable power with acceptable interlocks, then things get a lot more complex.

I have no idea what is going on, but having some cursory experience with international regulations surrounding electronics imports and deployment, it is oft a terribly complex situation.


The actual customs link is here

The area for laser is as such:

Irradiating apparatus

  • X-ray equipment, charged particle accelerators, electron beam welding equipment, CT scanners, bone densitometer, alloy analyser, lithotripters, scanning electron microscope, ion implanter
  • Sun-tanning equipment
  • Microwave oven
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment
  • Ultrasound equipment
  • Laser equipment (Class 3B or Class 4 laser)

The NEA link you gave is the breakdown and description of the limitation

I read through and I knew that GF Basic is a Class 1 Laser. It’s not the Pro pass-thru that is Class 4 and requires a permit to import and use.

With that said. If glowforge is genuinely having an issue. I wish they can be more transparent about this.

Seriously… 3 years… I need better answer than “we’re having difficulty with the strict guidelines imposed by Singapore” What difficulty are we looking at now? The basic + insured shipping is close to the equivalent of buying two units at that time. And 3 years for such paperwork to be resolved is crazy.

I’m in Thailand and have been waiting 3 years and 2 months for mine. Zero contact or information other than looking at my estimated ship date- that keeps changing. It’s depressing. I know governments move slowly, but how does it take over two years to get a permit? I can get any size laser cutter from China delivered to my doorstep! If they shared with us the problems they are having, we could possibly sort things out faster than who ever it is that is currently working on it. In my case, $150 in the right persons hand would clear it all up.

I would be surprised if that’s not part of the problem… I understand cultures are different, but that would be considered corruption here, and it’s in Glowforge’s best interest to follow all the rules.


If I were to list the top five defining categories of every culture/government (generally) my impression is that stringent regulations would be on Singapore’s list, and has been since I can remember first hearing about its existence. There are many positives to the concept but having your own private industrial laser would not be among them.

But glowforge is marketed as a class 1 laser. Akin to dvd players etc.

Yes it is powerful to cut wood. But it’s not marketed as industrial laser.

Malaysia was straight up rejected as a destination. No known reason.

Singapore wasn’t. So I can only guess some paperwork is happening. And clearing this paperwork is important because of the role singapore has in ASEAN countries. It can then be a springboard to reach Thailand for example.

At least if i know the problem, i can help to find the path to fix it.

What sucks is waiting with no update. And each delay is not even emailed. You gotta find out yourself. This is a really shitty feeling here.

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Yes. I am wondering if an inquiry from you to the import folks would make things better or worse. In Thailand the payoff may be possible, but it would break US law for Glowforge to do that. My impression of Singapore is that anyone attempting bribery would get locked up, but I am worse than a novice in any of these matters. The most I have been involved in was paying the local beat cop in Mexico to “watch” your car that nothing bad would happen to it.

no, that’s called “lobbying”.

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Lobbying is usually much more subtle though the line has certainly gotten gray over the years.

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Can we not derail this to a lobby corruption bribery thing?

My concern is what is taking so long that 3 years is Not enough to solve?

replies by email can be tricky


GF can speak for themselves, but my guess is that one of the reasons that they dont give detailed info on the issues involved is because that info would provide a roadmap or shortcut for their competitors who might seek to enter the same market. It is costing GF a lot of time and money to get over some of these hurdles, and there is no reason for them to make it easier for their competition.


This is a fair view on the matter.
But consider this from a customer experience standpoint. 3 years…


Right, in your country. Here, “following the rules” will mean I NEVER get it. Corruption is part of the rules. It’s how our system works. If you don’t slide a bit of money under the table to the permit guy, you never get a permit. That’s why I’m saying they should let the buyers know what the hold up is. I’m not saying the company should pay bribes, they don’t know the system. Let me hire someone who’s job it is to solve this kind of problem. They know who and how much to pay. They also will take care of any ‘surprise’ fees on delivery, so I don’t get screwed over when it arrives. If you think “rules” prevent that, ha. I ordered 50 plastic, toy compasses for 50 cents apiece. Customs decided they wanted to make some extra money and declared they were precious metals and I owed $450 in fees. I didn’t pay. They kept the box for a couple months and finally settled on $60. When I got the box 20 were missing. That’s the kind of rules we have here.

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All of that… is insane.

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Refurbished apple batteries get held at customs here in the USA as counterfeit. (Louis Rossman, a private tech repair guy in NYC).
Apple lost a customs lawsuit in Europe over “counterfeit” screens(read: original screens sent to China to be refurbished then sent back).
Yeah. Customs can be hazardous anywhere.


Whilst situations vary country to country.
Singapore is a very strict rule based country.
Such corruption is zero.

But people learn to work between the rules to expedite processes without resorting to bribes etc.

Do they still routinely utilize caneings?

@eternasky, I’m so sorry for the extended delays that have made this take so long. We continue to work through logistics and compliance challenges for each country, and we’ll keep your ship date updated with our best available estimate.

In the mean time, this thread has gotten off topic with political criticisms, so I’m going to close it.

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