Tube Replacement - Game Changer for Overseas buyers?

I am interested to know how other OS purchasers are taking the March Update with the revelation that the only Glowforge supported option for Tube Replacement is to ship it to GF and back
(~US$500 for new tube + shipping costs + time costs)


For myself this is a major game-changer.
I will stick around and see if there are any more concrete details offered or if some of the current users come up with thoughts based on the units they have but i admit this is the first time i have considered the Glowforge is failing to meet reasonable expectation.


I’m US base but I see how this could be a game changer for international customers.


This is of course a game changer. I hope that you will be able to change the tube yourself (or for others) after a qualification.

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Being required to ship the unit back for tube replacements is definitely not feasible for me. I expect that’s true for many international buyers.

I’ll have to wait and see what options GF offer. I don’t see a real reason why owners couldn’t assume liability when replacing their own tubes.

Butchering something together to use a third party tube may be possible but would defeat the purpose of buying a GF


I am especially annoyed about this because i wrote to @Dan on the day of the Launch with the #1 question being about the Tube replacements. This was the main concern for us.

He replied within the day to say that the intention was for “user-replaceable tubes available for less than $500”.

I am also concerned that this is being written off as a ‘feature’ that is not being delivered, instead of it being recognised that not having a solution for the lack of delivery of this ‘feature’ could mean a lot of very expensive paperweights sitting on International desks in 2 years time.


I’ll be honest. it’s a big deal for me. As a business, I’ve been very careful to manage my expectations and unlike some others, have just left it out of my business planning until it is actually in my hands, but this changes everything.
The costs of a tube replacement just become astronomical.
Since it’s costing me $1000 to ship, then I’ve got to assume the same for a replacement tube (each way)
Then there’s the cost of the tube $500 and assuming a three week turnaround time, say another $2000 for machine downtime.
Whilst I can (hopefully) plan my schedule to mitigate for the downtime, it’s still going to cost $2500. That’s a pre-order Basic!

I’m still on-board though. I bought this thing for it’s capabilities and I’m still confident that it will deliver in that department.


I can’t accept delivery if it doesn’t have a user replaceable tube by a technically competent user like myself. That basically means specifying where we can buy the tube. It simply isn’t practical to ship it back to the US due to he cost, downtime, risk of damage and the hassle getting it through customs without paying import duty and brokerage again.

The warranty is also useless for overseas customers for the same reasons and losing our place in the queue for delivery is another blow. If I was being cynical I might think it was a way to shed all the pesky international customers that need extra approvals.


It’s a massive issue for me too and I’m perfectly capable of putting my own tube into the machine. I never would have purchased if this was the case and I bought asap on day 1.
It’s really upsetting to get this news and like I saw elsewhere it’s actually a bigger kicker than all of the delays so far.


Wow. Yeah, I would never have purchased one of these lasers if I’d known I’d have to ship this back. I’m gonna have to think hard about cancelling, now.

Absolutely the same.


Yeah I ordered the basic to use for hobby purposes that might generate a little income… but only being able to use it for 2ish years (maybe more since it won’t be full time) after the investment of not just $$ but also two years time waiting… it’s a pretty strong blow.

I can’t afford a different laser at the moment, so I’m willing to wait around a bit to see if GF comes up with a solution, even if it’s something like local or semi-local techs. I’m willing to drag the machine from the south of France up to Amsterdam if that’s what it takes to not have to ship it back to the US!

But I also don’t understand why replacing the tube is so difficult if GF staff can do it in just a few minutes?


It’s a guess but I’m assuming they’re having technical people replace the tubes and not, like, customer support staff. It seems like they don’t trust end users to be capable enough to do it themselves.

Which is fine, if that’s the case. It’s a completely reasonable stance. I suspect a lot of customers will actually prefer this. But there’s no excuse for not making the parts available with the understanding that this isn’t really supported under warranty.

I really feel like they dropped the ball with this.


I suspect it’s more about the chance of electric shock when disconnecting and reconnecting the tubes. I’ve been a zapped a few times and it’s quite painful. If you’re advocating someone else does it and they have a weak heart then you’re in all sorts of trouble.

It’s less of an issue with generic laser cutters because they have generic tubes and you can get them from anywhere. I get the feeling you’ll need a special GF tube for these machines and by supplying them GF has to take responsibility for what happens when people change the tubes.


[quote=“m_raynsford, post:13, topic:6372”]I get the feeling you’ll need a special GF tube for these machines and by supplying them GF has to take responsibility for what happens when people change the tubes.

Sure, it ties into technical knowledge, although there are always precautions you can take. And I think it would be reasonably easy to put up some boilerplate about risk and absolving the company - honestly I can do it myself and so I only care about getting access to the tube.

If they can set something up with whoever makes their tube so that verified customers can buy from them and thus absolve the company of guilt, or whatever, fine.

Honestly, there’s all kinds of risk when my fridge compressor goes out but that doesn’t stop the company from selling me a replacement part.


I have mentioned elsewhere this was the first question i asked of Dan back on the very first day of the crowd-fund. It is an amazing turn-around on a Core Function.

If i was being cynical i would be deeply questioning how no-one has taken the time to think through the design of the system… or why it has not been mentioned until now?


Massive game-changer for me. I simply cannot justify the cost of buying the machine knowing that every 2 years I’ll need to spend a ton of money to keep it working.

Tube replacements are bad enough, but that’s the current state of the technology, no-one to blame there. But spending thousands of dollars/euro/pounds shipping the device across the Atlantic every two years, not to mention the customs headaches? Simply not feasible.

I really will have to cancel my order unless we get a guarantee that replacement tubes will be available for sale, even if replacement is at our own responsibility.


If would suspect all things that are not important for the initial shipment (especially concerning international buyers) have a low/close to zero priority. Not that I advocate this kind of shortsightedness.


That’s not entirely true; they’re working hard on the design catalog so that the company has an ongoing revenue stream!


My bad. I was focussing on the Hardware

I absolutely agree with you! As a machine engineer it must be possible for me to change the tube by myself, anything else is not acceptable!
For me, I would be absolutely fine, if it is not easy and takes it’s Time to alinge it, but it must be possible!