Via con dios, GF... I'm done

So for those following along or - more hopefully - those who might be considering a purchase of this device, the Glowforge locks in cooling mode and becomes inoperable above 75 degrees F. Such has been the case with my brand new, never-fired-the-laser machine. No amount of reasonable effort has remedied this.

Now, in trying to give it one more go, I find that the Glowforge is no longer recognizing GF’s own proof grade materials:

This new issue may be a common problem. Perhaps it’s an easy fix. I don’t know and really, I don’t care. I’m not going to start patching new holes when when the ship has already sunk.

Obviously, it is frustrating investing in a machine that will not work and, arguably, whose manufacturer is not forthcoming about it’s limitations.

What I find unacceptable, however, is a company whose product support could best be described as anemic. Particularly for a product in this price range.

To date, I have received only two emails from @Rita in GF product support - though she claimed here to have opened a support thread offline. The first email pushed responsibility for support onto the Glowforge community with, fingers-crossed, the hope ALL YOU would be able to provide a solution.

When it was explained that I was able to get the temperature through the machine down to the narrow requirements yet still had no success, the second email asked me to keep trying and thanked me for participating in the forums.

I then expressed my concern that some of the homebrewed solutions may void the warranty of the machine and asked for assurances that it would not before I continued with testing.

No assurance. No reply.

Given the silence, I must conclude that any solution offered in the “Beyond the Manual” category of these forums will, in fact, void the warranty of the machine and that it would be irresponsible to continue testing.

Moreover, I feel it is unreasonable to give my money to a company that does not stand by their product and takes the position that customer support is somehow the sole responsibility of their community of customers.

For those who have had success with this machine, I am thrilled for you and wish that might have been my experience as well. As a professional designer, owner of a tech company, and avid maker, I have thousands of professional quality, laser-ready vector designs that I was hoping to share with this community. It is disappointing that will not be the case.

For Glowforge, send a truck and come pick-up this paperweight. You’ve squandered your opportunity to keep me as a customer.

Have you tried turning it off and back on?


Sorry to see you go, actually.

Out of curiosity, what was your goal in posting this goodbye? A simple “how do I go about returning my Glowforge?” Was all that was necessary, yet you wrote a lot more.

I guess I’m asking because it reads a bit like maybe you’re hoping for one last solution. If you are, I’m sure the staff and us users would be happy to help.

If not, then we won’t offer any suggestions.

Anyway, just making sure. Either way, good luck.


hadn’t thought of that… :wink:


“Vaya con Dios”


I would love nothing more that a solution that makes this work. At this point, given that I have been able to get the necessary temperatures through the machine, I’m not entirely certain that the machine is functional - particularly with the new scanning issue that has manifested.

But to answer your question, the purpose for posting here was twofold:

  1. To present my experience with the product for those who might be considering a purchase since offsite reviews are being restricted.

  2. To publicly document my issues and intent to return the machine as Glowforge has been non-responsive in terms of support and in my request to initiate a return via their published process.

Well the very short term solution is to simply tell the gf what your material is. There’s a dropdown in the upper left.

The QR codes are nice touch but not recognizing them doesn’t mean the machine is a total loss.

Jules is about to reply far more thoroughly than I am, she’ll no doubt go into possible reasons why the QRs aren’t reading so I’ll just leave it here.

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Ambient light reflecting off the QR codes can also interfere with recognition. Sometimes it helps to turn off any lights over the machine, or cover the glass lid with something to shade it…although just using the pulldown is really a lot simpler.

My first machine was a bust. The 5th print went sideways and the machine became useless. My replacement has been perfect, so I’m personally glad I weathered the storm.


I assumed there was a simple fix or workaround for the qr codes, it was just the straw that broke th camels back. I’ve built out a pretty comprehensive makerspace and if the GF cant easily integrate into it, I’m just going to get something else. There’s no other machine in my studio that has been this proplematic from the start.

If you have made up your mind to go with something else, you’ll probably want to send a direct email to (They aren’t going to discuss it here on the forum to keep your personal information private.)

Good luck with it. :slightly_smiling_face:


As Glowforge support has mentioned ad nauseum, the labels on the Proofgrade materials are still being tested and will be replaced with a different version as soon as they are able to source the one they like. The problem is not with your machine, it is with the glare off the gloss finished sticker that the QR code is printed on. Just use the upper left corner selection in the GFUI to avoid this until the PG label is replaced. I don’t even expect the label to work anymore and peel them off since they change the cut depth in that area.
Operating temperatures were advertised before you purchased the unit. I operate mine in a room that stays between 76-78 F and while I get cooling issues, they don’t stop me from successful uses, though I have to wait a little longer. I realize that I am operating the unit outside of its design operating temperature, I have a basic, and I plan for it. Others have come up with several ways to cool their units. If I were you, I would look into one of those ways before doing a return.
Support has always been responsive to me when I am asking them a support question. If you are asking them why the unit doesn’t work outside of its design temperature range, they are going to point you to the forum since they have provided you with the foreknowledge to plan for the capabilities and limitations of the unit, and to choose your purchase accordingly. If you didn’t do your research and aren’t willing to accommodate the limits of the unit you purchased, I agree, you should do a refund, and I hope that GF charges you a restock fee to recoup some of their costs in getting that unit ready for a user who understands what it will and won’t do.


I see you already emailed us about this and I’ve followed up with you on it there, so I’m going to close this topic.