Want to feel better about the Delays?

Just to be clear, when I disparage FS (and I do) it’s not because I feel superior! I feel extremely lucky, and FWIW I don’t relish in the dissatisfaction of their customers - I truly sympathize. Nobody deserves to be treated like that.

I started exploring the idea of a hobby laser around 2012 - a few years before :glowforge: even existed. At that time, my options (or at least, what I was aware of) were a cheap Chinese laser, FSL, or a maker space. Chinese laser was ruled out quickly, YMMV - just knew it wasn’t right for me. Maker space was possible, but involved a whole mountain of logistical issues and limitations. I really needed a tool that could live in my home/studio.

That left FS as the most viable option, but minimal research revealed their reputation for lousy customer service. Again, this was well before :glowforge: hit the market, so that negative feedback was squarely on FS’ shoulders. The rumors of faulty equipment and uncommonly poor CS were prevalent enough to give me pause… but I also really needed a dang laser.

At one point, I tried to rationalize that FS is a short drive for my stepdad. He’s the nicest man on the planet, but you do not want to mess with his cubs. So for half a minute I actually thought that I’d go ahead and buy a machine from FS - and if anything went sideways, I’d just send my dad up to straighten things out. Then it dawned on me that I was applying grade school solutions to grown up problems. Not cool. I wrestled with that dilemma (was the risk worth the reward?) for quite some time, so when I saw the GF ad, it really felt like the solution I’d been waiting for.

Fast forward nearly 2 years. It’s been a rocky ride, the delays have been very stressful, my money was tied up, and I still ended up laser-less during my busiest season. :glowforge: has been less than stellar about communication, and while I am so grateful to have this PRU at my disposal, it still has a few bugs to work out. Even so - even with all of the negatives that I’ve just outlined, I’m absolutely thrilled with this machine. The support team has been great about responding quickly and professionally to questions and concerns, and they were extremely generous with proof grade materials.

I’m not a cheerleader, not a shill, and most definitely not a pollyanna. Also, not trying to pick a fight. With all of those disclaimers out of the way, if the product that I have - and the treatment that I’ve experienced thus far from @staff - is any indicator of what’s to come, then I’m completely confident that I made the right choice. In fact, I kinda feel like I dodged a bullet.


It looks like they pushed out a software update without telling anyone and it basically has gotten hung up on a bunch of the machines.

This is the main reason i am really happy that the GF software is in the cloud. I know there can still be issues when they update, but the chance of this type of issue are greatly decreased since it is just the server that have to be updated.


I didn’t have the money for a laser disc player when they were released (lucky me), but I did fork over several hundred dollars for an early Sony DVD player. One video store fifteen miles away rented DVDs. Best Buy had two sections of one rack (maybe four feet total shelf space) selling DVDs. Netflix didn’t exist. If they had sold as many DVD players as they did laser disc players I would have been part of a tiny little niche. (I’ll stop the analogy here as streaming and the fact I haven’t bought or rented a DVD in many years just destroys it.)

The more companies selling living room laser cutters, and the more they sell, the more we all benefit. I want a world where big box and internet retailers sell not only laser safe materials, but the equivalent of proofgrade materials. Millions of laser cutters, and not tens of thousands, need to be sold and used for that to happen.


I believe the GF firmware can also be updated from the cloud, so that could brick the machine if it goes wrong unless it is done in a fail proof manor.

I have implemented many embedded systems that could update the firmware and cope with a power fail during that process, but it amazes me how many products don’t.


True but most updates shouldnt require a client side update where all updates of the muse do.

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Yup. Not sure what hardware they have inside, but it’s running a full Linux-ish OS, complete with multiple containers. More complexity = more potential failure points.


[quote=“palmercr, post:21, topic:7900”]I
believe the GF firmware can also be updated from the cloud, so that could brick the machine if it goes wrong unless it is done in a fail proof manor.

Unfortunately this is very true but unlikely.

Lincoln Electric has an update for one of their machines that they specifically tell trained technicians to not use. It WILL brick the machine and the engineers have no intention of fixing it.
BUT, this machine is about 15 years old and not on their priority list.

HOWEVER, I highly doubt that this would be the case with Glowforge since they currently have only two variations of their machines and have shown a high level of respect toward the customer and pride in their work. I’m sure they will test it out a few times before pushing it out to customers.



Everyone who joins the firmware team gets this from me:
“There’s really only one thing that absolutely has to work: the updater.”

I don’t believe in ‘fail-proof’ but we built in a lot of redundancy.

If memory serves, it’s a beaglebone computer - but please don’t quote me on that.[quote=“soldiercoleman, post:24, topic:7900”]
I’m sure they will test it out a few times before pushing it out to customers.

We push firmware updates regularly. As with the UI, different machines are on different firmware “channels”.

We’ve had failures, but they automatically roll back to the previous version.


I’m hoping the folks at Glowforge study these unboxing videos for how not to create that “Gee Whiz!” first blush experience. These videos are from a person who cancelled his Glowforge for the Muse.

Muse Video Profile

I’m pretty sure the Glowforge team is shooting for the Apple product experience. It’s little things like providing enough hose and making sure the crumb tray seems new that help. Also, providing an unbroken working product doesn’t hurt.


Um, it should be new, shouldn’t it? :grin:


If it isn’t a demo or beta unit. It seemed new, but had dings. I’d suspect shipments from China.

my PRU came through pristine (now it’s starting to look like Perth-Amboy at low tide…)


Watching his other videos, glad I stuck with Glowforge. There’s just so much other external hardware needed for those other lasers. Not that it’s difficult to set up but it’s very fiddly.


I would depend on the burn-in/testing process. If a GF was tested after complete assembly, it would have some marks on the tray. Or you could mount a scratch tray for the tests.

(My second-most-recent 3D printer arrived with a calibration cube stuck to the build surface, which did inspire at least a little confidence.)


My sewing machine had a test seam in the box.
Firearms often have a few empty shells in the box from a test fire.
Printers often spit out a test sheet when you set them up.


The crumb tray dings were the least of his problems. It hadn’t been used to test his device. The condition was new except for obvious mishandling.

My point? This is 1 of many little things that can impact a first impression. You only get that once.

I really don’t care if there are marks on my crumb tray or not.

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That’s what I’d do.


We test every Glowforge with a reference crumb tray so we don’t goop up yours.


Considering I’ve been gooping up yours, I do appreciate it…