Tube replacement saga - let's vote!

Hi guys,

The implication for all of us having to arrange and pay for return shipment of our Glowforge for tube replacement is very significant due to the cost and effort involved. For international customers it is HUGE.

Also take into account that it eliminates the possibility of uninterrupted work since the option of having a spare replacement tube for when the thing goes is no longer there. If you plan to use the GF for a business, this is significant.

I thought it would be interesting to get people’s opinion in a poll.

    • I don’t mind arranging and paying for shipping my GF back to the GF factory for tube replacement and want my GF on Dan’s latest promised date, regardless of future inconvenience and cost
    • I hate the idea of arranging and paying for shipping my GF back to the GF factory for tube replacement BUT… I’ll take the hit because I want my GF regardless of future inconvenience and cost
    • It is not acceptable to me to arrange and pay for shipping my GF back to the GF factory for tube replacement and I am willing to accept a 1 month delay for the guys to address the problem
    • It is not acceptable to me to arrange and pay for shipping my GF back to the GF factory for tube replacement and I am willing to accept a 3 month delay for the team to address the problem
    • It is not acceptable to me to arrange and pay for shipping my GF back to the GF factory for tube replacement and I may have to cancel because of the implications it has in my case
  • -None of the above - I’ll elaborate in a post below.

0 voters


I’d rather just do it myself anyways. Last thing I want to do is ship my laser, the chances of damage are just too high. More than likely my machine will be out of warranty by the time it needs a new tube. Nbd as long as they will sell us the tubes.


I will be taking this approach. As @takitus mentioned above, by the time I need a tube it will be out of warranty. I will just do it myself.


@chevalier_jeanpaul , what we need for your solution (and most) to work, is the commitment that the glowforge team will actually SELL you a tube. That has not been confirmed.


I am happy to replace the tube and do any other repairs myself but I need to know the tube will be available to buy. Also during warranty I am happy to repair it at my own risk but I want free replacement parts sent to me. Again returning it at my cost is not acceptable.


This is what I feel as well. As long as they’re just saying it’s potentially dangerous to me and the machine but still offer the tube I’ll do it myself. Otherwise I’m a tad concerned


Would settle for being able to get a single OEM custom tube directly from the manufacturer. With or without GF involvement.


@rpegg - Yes, I think that would be the first step. The other step would be the service manual on how to replace it.


Great poll. Thanks for making it!

So my biggest questions are: @dan are we going to have access to these tubes to freely purchase? It was stated before that we could have a few on hand for replacement when needed.

How custom are these tubes? Can we just go straight to the manufacturer? What’s the difference between these tubes and any other out there? Will other tubes of the same length/diameter/power rating work in the glowforge or is this one specifically made for it and only it will work?can I just snag a 45w off light object?

Also: What is the tube life look like in hours? Everywhere else is measuring by an hours estimate. The estimates you guys have given of “2 years of a certain type of use” is highly subjective at best. Are we looking at 10k hours or closer to the bottom at 2k hours tube life? That will make a big difference in helping us know when to start planning for replacement, as its something we can actually track (hopefully in the GFUI or GuhFoooey )


I would be happy with allot of different scenarios’

As of right now we simply don’t know enough to make any decision
So things ok with me
Self service
Swap out at some local hub
Traveling repair man like you would for a fridge or oven etc…

I don’t care for
Shipping - expense and risk time


I’m not cancelling or saying I think it’s ok to delay again to deal with this (though I would accept that). My vote is there needs to be the option for users to buy a tube and do replacements themselves (even if it’s difficult) or have the option to send it in. I would also be fine with regional certified support, but that seems more complicated to set up than just saying “send it in or replace it on your own and accept the liability.”


HOW DO YOU UNCLICK??? I did not mean to click the one that I clicked. :rage:

Didn’t have the “click another option” until I left the page and came back. Thanks @andistarnes


You should be able to just click another option to change your vote.


I’m not going to cancel, but I’m also not going to send the unit back for replacing a tube. I’ll use it until the tube dies, then if Glowforge won’t offer a replacement tube/kit, then I’ll wait until someone else does, or find some way to fit in a different tube. Warranty is gone then anyway.


I wanted to elaborate a bit here. The big hangup for me is shipping cost- if that’s included in the ~$500 I can live with it. If it’s extra I’ll have to cancel. Since I’ll be using it for hobby projects the downtime is an annoyance not a deal breaker.

The bigger thing is that for non-US customers there is no viable solution that involves shipping a GF to Seattle. Somebody has to pay for shipping. If that’s users it will see lots of cancellations and some very unhappy people who don’t know about this until after their tube dies. If GF is paying then they’ll be taking a massive loss on repairs, which won’t be sustainable long term.

If GF is going to have non-US customers, they need a different solution. Either a sub-assembly we can ship back, or training, or waivers, or something. But shipping the whole thing doesn’t work.


I would love to take a seminar or a certification course at the closest Maker-Fair or trade convention on how to swap out the tube. I would even be comfortable with a second manual and a liability release form to just allow us to change the tube ourselves, heck even a good video tutorial would do.


The idea that this issue can be fixed in a month, or three is rediculous. I see the options are:

  1. Deal with shipping it back when the time comes
  2. Agree to sign a liability waiver for a kit, or repair person/self/friend.
  3. use the thing for a year and a half and sell on craigslist.
  4. sell the machine immediately upon arrival
  5. Cancel, get money back

This is truth. No way theyre going to do it now, if it hasnt already been done.


That totally depends on whether the problem is an engineering problem or a liability decision.